A year ago, if someone asked me if I had a grip on my anxiety, I would've confidently said a whole-heartedly "yes." Back then college was fast approaching and I was looking forward to the future; my future. Everyone always talks about a college is the best years of their lives (next to high school) and I was ready to be interacting with a new set of people. But fast forward a whole year later and my brain is trying to drag me back to that anxiety cesspool. But the strange thing about my recent relapses with my anxiety is that it's trying to pull me away from something I thought I'd never achieved… happiness.
I am open about my anxiety, mainly because I never run into anyone who I know will follow up or help me go through it. Not that that is a bad thing, this is my problem that I need to manage on my own. My first semester of college was a low point for me socially. All my expectations about having that one great friend and hanging with tons of different people went down the toilet. While freshman year of college has been manageable school work wise, my social life has been something I've been trying to fix. Or rather, startup.
I am very self-conscious when it comes to friendships and relationships. Since arriving at college I've basically had to educate myself on how friends act and what certain things mean. Sure, I knew and sat with people in high school, but these weren't people I could go and hang out with on the weekends. At the end of last semester, I had a small group of friends. Little did I know that it was only the beginning. The second semester has rolled around and now there are a lot more people knowing my name. I can't walk down the streets of Athens anymore without someone recognizing me out of the blue.
I am so used to having my earbuds in, blasting Imagine Dragons, and going from point A to point B. But now I have people waving at me, saying hi as I struggle to see their face and recognize them (These new glasses do help). It's an unusual feeling for me. While I am mainly an introvert, I still like to be acknowledged and invited to stuff so it's nice to just be recognized even though I have a slight panic attack in my head of "OMG who is this person? Are they waving at me or at the person behind me like in a bad Romantic Comedy?" But you see how I describe it as "panic". That's what my anxiety feels like. A lot of people say they have anxiety, but I know for a fact that not all of them have it as bad as mine.
As the end of the second semester wraps up, I am getting more and more anxious. Not with finals or anything because I never panic with the school. School is my "job" and I've been trained by the best teachers not to crack under pressure (humble brag). But I am really more scared to leave some friends behind. Not all of them because every friendship is different. But there is that one friend who I have grown very close with these last couple months. But my anxiety likes to play tricks on me and basically belittle me. Even though I know that they appreciate me for who I am. And how I go out of my way just to be a good person, my anxiety still lets my past traumas haunt me. I get this from my mom who manages quite well but I know is still dealing with her own battles with it.
Growing up as an only child, on top of not having a lot of friends, I was alone with my thoughts a lot. So now as I am older, I worry about losing people I care about. The people I've put so much time in with. To many others, summer vacation is common with college. But as someone who managed to lose a really close friend before and several family members in the span of two months, it's a worrying thing.
Without getting into specifics I basically beat myself up. That voice in the back of my head is literally my worst enemy. And sure, there are medicines and illegal substances that could "help" but I know for a fact I am stronger than my anxiety. It's just something I have to learn to live with and get better at. I basically laid out the more extensive version of this whole rant to my mod mate. She is like the big sister I never had so it was just a great feeling to get this off my chest and have someone to just talk to. It's easy for me to see the universe working against me every day. And I try to do as much good as I can to course correct it. But finding new methods to combat my demons is very important. That's one of the main reasons why I am writing this. Just to get all my worries off my chest. And hopefully, show someone reading this that others go through it too. As cliché as that sounds, everyone has their hardships. But it's what you make of it is what defines you.