February 4th: Today has been an anxious day. I had to sleep in bed with my sister last night because my mind wouldn’t stop racing. I had to stop and think, why do I have these angry butterflies tap dancing in my stomach? Truth be told, it stems from my fear of taking my last semester of Hebrew. Many of the people close to me understand the obstacles my sister and I have had to face with Hebrew throughout our college career. We went from passing with flying colors to struggling to get by our Freshman year. That is when we decided to take a break for a few years. We figured that we would eventually find a Hebrew course online. Well, our Senior year we actually took Hebrew again at The College. The head of the Jewish Studies department contacted us and informed us that there would be a new professor. "Fabulous," we thought.
We thought wrong.
Now, the complications we had to power through in Hebrew is a story for another day. (I still have to graduate without burning any bridges). So I’m here to talk about anxiety, strength and dealing with what may seem like the end of the world.
The crippling wave of emotions that can consume my entire being with just one thought used to be normal. I thought it was the way everyone reacted in times of stress. In elementary school I remember balling myself up on the floor, hysterically crying because I was worried about my history test the next day. My dad took my textbook from me and told me to stop pushing myself too hard. I always studied long and aggressively, but my mind never thought it was enough. My best friend would throw my notes away because I could not stop studying up until the very last second before my exam. (I also use to throw up before an assessment, something I've grown out of...for the most part). I never had a reason why my body reacted with such distress, I believed it was just how life was.
Finally, I was diagnosed with anxiety in college.
I’ve said it before, and I'll say it again, getting diagnosed is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am happier than ever, and it gave me a solution. I finally understand why my brain doesn’t stop and why I feel in extremes. I've accepted and embraced who I am. As a result, I've been able to change the things that provoke my worries and keep the things that don't.
However, there are still times I wake up, go to bed or walk around with a nauseating pit in my stomach. It comes and goes, but I now know how to deal with it.
For example, Monday, February 5th I woke up with an intense, overwhelming sensation. Sometimes, my anxiety pushes me to get stuff done. Other times, it turns me into a complete mess. This time, I was a little bit of both. I signed onto my Hebrew account, called my mom to tell her my fears and planned my schedule out for the week. Now, when I start to become overwhelmed, I have one fix: writing. So instead of doing my Hebrew homework that doesn’t make any sense, here, I am writing about the anxiety I have over not knowing what my homework means.
Through all of this crazy mess of emotions, there's one thing I know that keeps me sane: I will get through it. It may be hard. It may feel like hell. But I am doing the best I can, and that is all that matters. I’m working hard, getting help and I will find a way to pass Hebrew. Even though the road to the finish line is going to be rocky, I will get there. This thought is something that helps me get through not only this class but life. I know that every path isn’t going to be a quick route, but I will get to the end (well, really it’s just a checkpoint). Isn't that kind of cool though? It's as if life is full of levels and we have to take it step by step to reach full fulfillment.
I guess I'll be fulfilled after I pass Hebrew. (fulFILLED with relief). So, that’s my piece of wisdom for this week. Shit may look rough, but it’s up to us to keep pushing and have faith in ourselves to get past it. Having amazing people around you is a pretty good motivator, especially when they sit there and listen to you vent (Thanks, guys—you all know who you are).
Until next week…