Yes, Anxiety Sucks But It Is Not Impossible To Deal With

Yes, Anxiety Sucks But It Is Not Impossible To Deal With

You got this. Keep calm and carry on.
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There is a large spectrum of anxiety, from minor to intense, but no matter what intensity, anxiety is not easy to live with. Having anxiety impacts nearly every part of a person's day, whether they realize it or not. It's when you start overthinking every single spoken or written word, it's bombing exams because the fear of failing overtakes you, it's losing relationships because without loving yourself, it feels impossible to love another.

To put it bluntly, anxiety sucks, but it does not lessen your worth.

Anxiety is not something easily identifiable to the human eye. It takes trust to tell another that you are diagnosed with anxiety. It also takes even more trust to tell that same person that you're on medication for your anxiety.

Anxiety is not something that can just "go away." It is something that fades, and unfortunately most likely will come back. In fact, relapse is almost more terrifying than the initial diagnosis. You know something is wrong, but you don't want to admit it. You don't want to admit that you're right back where you started.

Panic attacks are the absolute worse. You know that no matter what you're getting upset over is most likely not worth it, but to you, it is. You start shaking, your breathing starts getting shorter and you can't get a full breath. The tears come faster and harder, your head starts pounding because the tears and rapid breathing is too much for you. You can't help but curl into a ball, unable to open up to the world. You start having flashbacks to your previous panic attacks and why they happened, and they make you worry even more. Eventually, you calm down. It may be in five minutes, it may be thirty minutes, it may be longer. Eventually, you come back around. Then finally, you can breathe and see clearly again. But, that does not stop the fear that there may be another panic attack right around the corner.

Anxiety is not an easy thing to live with. But, it's not impossible to live with either. It is manageable, with some practice. You can learn how to relax. Find something to distract yourself, whether it be Netflix or working out, maybe it's even taking a nap. Find something to distract yourself and put your whole life into perspective.

That job you just lost?

It's not worth as much as your college education.

Now, that test you just failed?

That's more important than a job.

Good grades can earn scholarships, those scholarships pay for school, a part-time job can only get you so far. Have friends that flaked out on you?

If they were true friends, they'd be there for you. You're going to lose people through your life, and that's okay. They had their purpose, but now it's time to move forward and find your own purpose.

You'll meet people who truly love you and care for you and support you; those are the ones you want around.

Take it from me; anxiety sucks. But, it's not impossible to live with. You got this. Keep calm and carry on.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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An Open Letter To The Judgmental People In My Hometown

Imperfections are what gives a diamond its value.
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Dear judgemental, simple minded people from my hometown,

I am sorry that I have never met your level of perfection.

Coming from a small town, everyone settles to the norm of the people around them. Unlike you all, I have always been a little bit different.

I've never understood why everyone always seems to feel the need to talk down to the next person. People love to gossip about a situation as long as the situation has nothing to do with them. For every move I made, someone was always there to bring out the negativity in the situation. You all are always sweeping around somebody else's doorstep when I know your doorstep is not clean. Maybe it is time to buy a new broom. I know that I cannot please everybody and that I will also not be liked by everybody. However, I deserve respect just as the next person.

SEE ALSO: Forgiving Someone Who Didn't Ask For It

I hope for the sake of the future generations of our small town, you all can learn to be more accepting to change.

I hope that no one judges your children like some of you all have judged me. I hope that the people that you love and care about are welcomed and accepted for who they are.

If we put as much time into being better people or helping others like you put into judging others, the world would be a much better place.

Imperfections are what gives a diamond its value. Pebbles are perfectly round. I'd much rather be a diamond, one in a million, than a pebble that fits in.

Sincerely,

The one whose every move you criticize

Cover Image Credit: Haley Williamson

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A Day In The Life Of A College Student Who Has Anxiety

You know it isn't a big deal, but your anxiety doesn't.

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You wake up an hour earlier than you meant to, and you know you'll be falling asleep halfway through your first class of the day, but you can't sleep now. Not since you've seen that your alarm will be going off in an hour anyway. You can already feel the twisting in your stomach, the anticipatory anxiety as you contemplate your plans for the day.

You climb out of bed and walk over to your dresser, where you keep the bottle of pills that keep you from having panic attacks between classes. The medication really does help sometimes, but it's hard to suppress something like anxiety. All you have to do is let yourself think about anything—a certain person, a plan you made with a friend, a memory, even a song. Boom, your stomach hurts and you feel those familiar trills in your chest, the jitters in your fingers, the numbness that makes you think maybe you're going to have a heart attack this time.

You take the pill with a couple sips of water, then get dressed. Your outfit for the day is already lying out on the top of the dresser—you can't fall asleep at night until you've got everything ready for the morning. You leave your residence hall 45 minutes before your first class. Not because you plan on getting breakfast (you can't eat in the mornings because anxiety turns your stomach into what feels like a vat of boiling acid), but because you're too anxious to show up to class right on time. What if you fall on the way? What if a sidewalk is closed? What if the bus doesn't show up? There are too many variables for you to justify leaving anything to chance.

You are tired when you get to your class building, but you can't just grab a cup of coffee. That caffeine would turn you into even more of a mess, and that isn't what you need today. You're all too familiar with the chest pain and trembling that comes along with caffeinated drinks. Just water for you today.

Once class starts (30 minutes after you reach the classroom), you feel okay. Finally, a reprieve from the feeling that you're either going to vomit or experience a chest explosion. Obviously, you prepared for class. Your homework is done, although the quality of your work really depends on how bad your anxiety was when you did it—did you spend time really trying to comprehend the work, or did you just do it as quickly as you could so you could tick that assignment off your to-do list?

At lunch, you know you should eat, so you grab a plate of whatever they're serving in the dining hall today. Your friend already has a table, bless her, so you set your plate down and push your broccoli around while you wait for your stomach to settle. You take small sips of water in the meantime, listening to your friend talk about her day.

"Oh," she says, "are we still going to that concert tonight?"

Oh no. At some point in the great race to do all your homework last night, you'd forgotten to jot down your concert plans in your planner. A stupid mistake.

"Yes," you say, pretending everything is okay, but already this spontaneous change in today's plan has ensured that you won't be eating lunch today.

Your last class is a small one, a discussion-based class. You rarely work up the courage to speak, and that poses a problem for your participation grade. It isn't that you don't have anything to say—you read the class text and always find interesting points in the reading. You just feel an encroaching panic attack whenever you consider speaking up, and you're too nervous to inform your professor of your anxiety. Participation is only 15% of your grade, so you can still get a B even if she gives you a zero for not speaking up. You use this rationalization to convince yourself you don't have to talk to her.

You have three hours between your last class and the concert, so you decide to spend two hours studying and give yourself an hour for dinner with your friend. You're finally a little hungry, so you buy a bag of chips from the little store by the Student Union. You snack on these while you study, but the closer you get to the concert, the more anxiety you have.

The concert is at six, and by five o'clock you can barely breathe. You're very aware that it's just a concert, and you're probably going to enjoy it. You know your friend will be there, so you won't be alone. You know it isn't a big deal. But your anxiety doesn't care. You can rationalize about it all you want, but your chest will still ache and you'll still feel lightheaded.

When you meet your friend at the dining hall again, you realize your anxiety has been a little alleviated now that you're not alone to think about the concert. You're able to eat an entire ham sandwich and a salad. You and your friend finish up dinner and you're feeling better. So long as you're not stuck in your anticipation, you're fine.

At a quarter to six, you and your friend head to the building where the a capella group will be performing. As you expected, the concert is great and you enjoy yourself. It's over at 7:30, so your friend heads back to her apartment and you return to your residence hall. You shower and then sit down to do some more homework. Now that you're done for the day, you can eat, so you snack on a banana and a granola bar.

When you've done all your homework, you brush your teeth and set out tomorrow's outfit. You take another of your pills. You spend several minutes trying to make sure you haven't forgotten something important, then you get into bed. You don't have any extraordinary plans for tomorrow, but for some reason, as soon as your head hits the pillow, you feel that familiar turning in your stomach.

After 30 minutes of hopelessly lying completely still in an attempt to tire out your overactive brain, you sigh and get out of bed. You rifle through your dresser and grab your bottle of melatonin. You take one of the tiny tablets, then get back under your covers. Tomorrow will be easier.

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