Anxiety Controlled My Life In Ways They Never Tell You

Anxiety Controlled My Life In Ways They Never Tell You

Yes, it is a real thing.

I have always had bad anxiety ever since I was little kid. Everyone thought I was just this shy kid who didn't want to talk, but I actually did want to. When your a little kid in elementary school you don't really have much to be anxious about, yet I moved to so many schools from the time I was in Kindergarten until tenth grade, I had to be "that new kid" almost every August.

As I got older, my anxiety became to get worse and worse, to the point in ninth grade I started to make myself so sick I could not go to school for a week every month!

Now, you're probably thinking what does this have to do with the title well, here it is.

For months my mom made appointments with all sorts of doctors trying to figure out what the heck was going on with me. It took the ninth doctor I saw to figure out what I have: Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. When the doctor told us this we had no clue what that was, that it scared me so badly.

Every month I would build so much anxiety inside of me that I would cause this disorder to happen.

Every week that I would have this, every symptom would happen in this order: aching in my left hand, to vomiting for either hours or two days, to god knows how many fevers, and end with a cold.

Weird, right?

That basically every "common" sickness a person can get I would get for a whole week. As I got into my Junior and Senior year of high school my disorder started to fade to the point where I would get it maybe a few days for one month in the whole year. Yet as I started college with the second month and third I was getting it once a month for a whole week. Every time I have to explain what is going on, everyone goes "just take a deep breath", " oh you'll probably sleep it off", "is that even a real thing". Well taking deep breaths would help in the beginning yet you never know when that first symptom is going to happen, and sleeping it off does nothing, and yes it is a real thing and no you can not fake it. So living with CVS has shown me that living with anxiety is a bigger deal than most people think.

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Invisible Disabilities

My Story

Not All Disabilities are Visible.

I have contemplated and debating publishing my first article. Writing has always been something that has been therapeutic for me. I am a very confident, strong young woman with my whole life ahead of me. However, it is time for me to acknowledge something very personal to me that up until now besides my family and three of my good friends.

There is no manual on how to be a successful person with a disability. The piece about my disability I do typically disclose is that I was born with a condition called congenital hydrocephalus. The way it affects people varies. I am thankful that I am one of the people that can function on a relatively normal level—for that I am eternally grateful.

The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome/learn to adapt to involve spatial relations. What people do tend to notice are my hand tremors—which I also attribute to my mental health battle with anxiety. I also learned how to ride a bike a bit later than those the same age. To this day, I am unable to drive myself independently and at this point, I may or may not ever be able to drive a car independently. Up until now, I have been ashamed and embarrassed that I have been unable to drive independently. I have been ashamed and embarrassed by something I cannot change about myself.

I read an interesting article that I urge you to read—especially if you care about me in any capacity. I want people to understand more about hydrocephalus—there are less than 200,000 cases diagnosed in a year. I have a VP shunt which was first placed the day I was born—however; it wound up getting infected the second day and a new one had to be placed. To this day I have only had two shunt revisions. The second revision was back in 1997 or 1998 when I was two or three years old. The most recent revision was done back in December 2008. I have had this current shunt for less than ten years. Others diagnosed with hydrocephalus can go through many revisions.

I urge you to research about congenital hydrocephalus and hydrocephalus in general. I would also like to invite you to ask me questions about my condition. From this day forward, I am no longer allowing my condition to embarrass me. I am a strong, confident, beautiful twenty-two-year-old young woman who is so much more than a medical condition.

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Social Media Changed My Perspective On Living With Diabetes

Thank you for changing my life, Instagram.

I have been living with Diabetes for over 16 years now, and am inching closer to that 17-year mark. I have gone through many different stages in how I choose to look at living with a chronic illness. I have gone through stages of denial, anger, sadness and every other emotion you can think of.

Lately, however, I have been overcome with a sense of motivation that has absolutely changed my outlook on this horrific disease.

My motivation to take care of myself with regard to my Diabetes didn’t start until I was a freshman in college, which is something that I wholeheartedly regret. At that point in time, I was my own source of motivation to do well. I was also my own worst enemy by really getting down on myself when things didn’t go exactly how I wanted them to in terms of my blood sugar.

It wasn’t until this past summer when I came across an entire Type 1 Diabetes community online that I realized how common everything I was feeling is.

There are two main outlets that I use: Instagram and Beyond Type 1. Beyond Type 1 is a forum type of application where fellow Diabetics can share their questions, tips, struggles, successes and more.

Of these two applications, Instagram has made the largest impact on me.

I have always known that Diabetes (type 1, specifically) is not as uncommon as it feels. But, when you are living with something that takes up every ounce of your energy, you can’t help but to feel alone in the battle.

It wasn’t until I randomly came across Type 1 Diabetes focused accounts on Instagram that I started to feel like I wasn’t alone in this and that there were others out there that truly understood what I was going through, and not just people who sympathized with me.

When I saw that others were going through the same things as me, I started to feel a sense of comfort in this disease. I started to realize that everything that didn’t go my way was going to be ok.

I have been able to both give and receive advice, and I have come to realize that you truly never stop learning about the ins and outs of Diabetes.

The amount that I have learned from others is miraculous in my eyes. I have also been able to gain more insights on tricks that I can use to maintain my health and foods that are good/bad for blood sugar that I would never have considered before. I have been introduced to a whole support system that I never thought existed.

There are dangers of this, though. I find that it is easy to put yourself in comparison with others, especially those who seem to be doing better than you. Of course, this is something that has to be taken with a grain of salt because not everyone is as transparent on social media as you would hope.

I must admit, as well, that I have found myself to become even more obsessive about my blood sugars than I ever have before. It is frustrating, and it is easy to be hard on myself, but it has also led me to be the healthiest that I have ever been.

The best thing that I have taken out of all of this is the confidence in sharing this disease and being open about it in a more public manner. I have always been open about educating people on the disease, and I have never been closed off when people ask me questions about it.

I was, however, very secretive in allowing Diabetes to be something visible on me. What I mean by this is that I never liked to check my blood in public, and I never wanted people to be able to see my insulin pump.

Now, however, I proudly wear my pump in some of the most visible parts of my body and have nothing but confidence about it! So, thank you Instagram. You have truly changed my life for the better.

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