Recently, I have had bad anxiety and it makes it hard to fall asleep at night for my mind keeps on running and running. For the past year and a half or so, my anxiety has continued to get worse. And it’s not something I really talk about because I feel like it’s this unspoken thing that everyone deals with at some point, but they keep it hush, and so then I should too. But I think more people should be open to talking about their problems, such as dealing with anxiety. It should be discussed openly, in the public, so then people feel more comfortable with it.
Anxiety should be just as good as an excuse not to go to class as having the flu. It can be just as debilitating, if not more. I recall when my anxiety sky rocketed. It was November 2015 and I just got the news that a dear friend to many from Brookline High School and who I grew up with going to the same church and Sunday school, Jordan Bayer, had passed away in a tragic car accident. I was heartbroken and my anxiety was so terrible on my train ride home, I spent the whole trip in the bathroom getting ill. Anxiety can make you feel even worse than if you had the flu. There’s too much stigma around mental health, but it should be taken just as seriously as physical health. This is a reason why I want to become a mental health counselor to end the stigma around mental health and try to work towards getting the health system to put mental and physical health on the same level. Mental health, in my opinion, is even more important though.
More recently, my anxiety has just been about life. I feel like I’m balancing so much on my plate and always have a million things to do, even when I don’t. And if I’m not doing something, I feel guilty like I should be doing something, even when I have everything under control. There’s another email to be sent out for work, there’s another voucher that has to be put up for field hockey, I have this homework to do, I forgot to go to this event, I need to write this down in my planner – it just builds up and even though I manage fine, it still gives me anxiety that there’s something else to do or something I forgot. My anxiety is about my future and what I’m doing after college, even though I’m in no rush to figure everything out and I pretty much do have it figured out anyway. My anxiety is about if I can afford rent one day and where Campbell and I will live when he graduates college, even though that’s SO far away and not even something to fret. My anxiety can be about anything and everything, and it’s the worst because even though in my mind I know I have absolutely nothing to be anxious about, it just creeps in there and doesn’t want to go away.
Some things that have helped me manage my anxiety: Writing again. Breathing. Doing something that makes me happy. Doing something social or fun or spontaneous. Making to do lists. Being organized. Being with family. Being with friends. Being with my love. Music. Petting and cuddling Cici. Reading. Watching TV. Getting distracted. Getting lost. Closing my eyes. And again, breathing. Breathing properly always helps.
Now, I know everyone deals with anxiety in different ways and no one experiences it the same. This blog post has no intention to offend anyone, compare to anyone (especially those that have an anxiety illness), etc. It’s just meant to get something out there that I deal with sometimes. For me, it depends on the day. But when it’s a day I do get anxious, it gets in my head and I have to reassure it that it can go away. I have to tell it, “Hey, I’m okay. I got this. I don’t need you here. Leave.” It doesn’t always work, but I like to think I’m getting better at managing when it does appear.
I know this is a personal post, but I think it’s important to bring up. Everyone deals with anxiety in some form and in some way at some point in their life and it’s okay. You got this. You’re doing great. You’ll get through it. I believe in you.