Dear Anxiety, I Want You To Know How You've Made Me Feel My Entire Life

Dear Anxiety, I Want You To Know How You've Made Me Feel My Entire Life

Yes, I'm talking to you.

Dear Anxiety,

I've always been told that it's inappropriate to show up at a gathering to which you were not invited, but I guess you don't have a problem with that. You waltzed into my life without even asking my permission and became an unbearable weight upon my shoulders.

You make the simplest things in the world some of the most difficult tasks.

Hanging out with friends? Oh, they probably all secretly dislike me anyways. Choosing what to eat for dinner? I want the chicken, but the OCD is saying that if I don't have the beef, then my family will die. Going in to take a test that I have prepared days for? Totally reasonable to have a panic attack in the bathroom beforehand.

Some of my what should be my fondest memories are tarnished by your ill will and persistent presence.

You take beautiful moments and wreck them with unappreciated moments from the past and questionable thoughts of the future. No matter how much you make me mull over the past and worry about the present, it will not change a thing. All it makes me do is feel overwhelmed. It is a waste of time and a waste of energy and, while I see that it is those things, I still cannot stop. You are too powerful.

In my biology classes, we have been learning about parasites.

They drain the energy from their host ceases to exist. You, anxiety, are my parasite. You drain me of life, energy, and happiness. You leave me a mere hollow shell of myself. And, just like a lot of parasites, I am the only one who knows you are there. From the outside looking in, no one else can tell that you're in me, torturing me with everything that you do.

While it sucks that you ruin my life, that's not even the worst part about having you around.

You really want to know the worst part? You make me hurt the people whom I love the most. You make me into someone who is weak, negative, and panicky. You make me say things that ordinarily I would never say. You make me bother them with the constant questions of reassurance.

I hate the feeling of suffocating.

Feeling like I have no escape from my brain is the worst turmoil you could bestow upon me. Having my heart speed up for no reason at all is dreadful. Not wanting to make a single decision because of OCD's repercussions being a living hell.

You've done a pretty good job at making me feel worthless, I'll give you that.

But, you know what? Through it all, I have never given up. I'm still here; I'm still fighting. I don't want you to go away, no. I want you to diminish into the tiniest little voice in my brain and to realize that you no longer have power over me and that you never will again. I want you to know how you've made me feel my entire life.

Best wishes,

Anxious gal

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11 Gifts Someone Who Has Anxiety Will Really Appreciate

Lamps, candles, and more!

There are so many physical things that can help someone suppress their general anxieties, and not all of them have to break the bank. Whether you're looking for a birthday gift, Mother's Day or Father's day gifts, or you just want someone to know that you're there for them in their hard times, here's a list of amazing gifts to help a struggling friend relax a little more!

1. Salt Lamp

The soft, orange hues are one of the colors used to calm a mood or to keep someone completely focused. Plus, it is a great decoration and super pretty. You can get one from the Vitamin Shop for $13.79.

2. Coloring Books

The adult coloring book has become such a phenomenon over the past few years. I have received so many coloring books for Hanukkah and Christmas and bought a few more on my own. Coloring these beautiful designs just lets me forget about my anxieties and problems. There are so many to choose from. You can get some from Barnes and Noble or Walmart.

3. Essential Oil Diffuser

I have one in my college dorm and have a stress relief blend and a good sleep blend that I use almost every day. This helps me a lot with feeling relaxed and, plus, there are different light settings and it's cool to look at. You can get one at Target for $19.99.

4. Stress Relief Eye Masks

Face masks are essential to self-relaxation, so these are designed specifically for stress relief and you use it on your eyes. You can get a ten-pack at Walmart!

5. Calming Face Oil

The Oh Mega Calming Chia Oil is a blend of chia, shea, aloe and lavender that provides the most calming experience. It can be used on dry, sensitive, and all skin types. You can get it here!

6. Bubble Bath

Bubble bath

Bubble baths can be so relaxing, especially when they are designed for stress relief! You can get four different scents here!

7. Motivational Bracelet

Sometimes, people just need a little something to keep them sane and remind themselves that they are strong. I always wear a Pura Vida mental health bracelet to remind me to keep going. You can get the bracelet pictured above at MantraBand.

8. Journal

Writing down thoughts and feelings can really help people with anxiety disorders, so having a positive thinking journal for a year or just a normal journal would help them a lot. The journal pictured above is available at Barnes and Noble for $13.98.

9. Relax Tea

I definitely want to try this tea! A promising review: "I didn’t think this tea would really make a difference but it really does. It’s almost immediate that stress melts away and my husband and I are able to sleep peacefully. Has a funky smell when you open the jar but the tea itself is pretty much tasteless. Highly recommended!!" You can get the tea here.

10. Candles

Any kind of candle can be so relaxing -- the smell, the flicker of the fire. I have so many candles in my room at home. You can get them really anywhere you look, but I love candles from Bath and Body Works.

11. Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy

This is my favorite line from Bath and Body Works! I have a lot of this and it actually works for me. You can get a variety of these products at Bath and Body Works.

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A Phobia That Engulfs My Heart...

"Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself." ~ Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter

We, as humans, always like to think that we are indestructible. However, this thinking can sometimes be considered irrational because truthfully, everyone is afraid. Many of us try to deny the fact that we can have phobias and fears and we aren’t willing to admit that we are afraid of something. We put up a confident and strong face and say that we are immune to any sort of fear.

A fear or a phobia can be something that is unexplainable to most people. We sometimes fail to understand why there is such an intense physiological reaction when we are in some sort of distressful situation that makes us so terrified that we jump out of our skin! Another type of phobia can be related to a certain object that some individual feels. Some examples of fears can be the fear of the unknown, fearing the future, fear of failure, or even more tangible things, such as the fear of spiders and clowns. Many of us consider a fear of dogs completely irrational compared to a fear of sharks; however, phobias and fears can be very different for all types of people on different levels of intensity. Trying to recognize a fear and addressing how to overcome it is very crucial to help you grow as a person!

Claustrophobia is something that I have struggled with ever since I was around 9 or 10 years old. There were no incidents of this fear in my childhood but the first incident of this fear has been ingrained into my brain. I remember that it was an extremely stormy night when I was visiting family in Richmond from New Jersey. I was in my cousin’s car with my two cousins in the front and my brother and sister in the back with me. Around 3-4 hours into the trip, I started to feel cramped in the back and my cousin had the heat cranked up pretty high. I told him to lower it a little but it became hard for me to breathe, and I couldn’t open the windows because it was pouring cats and dogs! I felt uneasy at first so I distracted myself and listened to music. I thought that taking a nap might help so I went to sleep afterwards; however, the nap only invigorated my troubled breathing and I woke up very shaken and frightened because all the windows were extremely fogged. I remember that I woke up screaming to my cousin to pull over and let me out. I freaked them out so much that he immediately pulled to the side of the highway and I pushed the door open! I was so frazzled and I didn’t know was happening to me! I rarely fell to the ground because I felt so constricted while rain beat down my back and soaked me completely. My cousins rushed out of the car after me and they helped me calm down. Furthermore, they convinced me that I was fine and come back to the car. Once in, I sat in the front and I tried to regain my normal breathing and starting thinking about something else, rather than this incident.

After that experience, there had been a few episodes in my life so far where I have panicked severely in cars whenever I felt cramped and in a tight, closed space. Most of my family and friends know this excessive fear that I have and because of this, I never go to the very back seat of a car or I don’t sleep in the car when it’s too crowded because I’m scared that it will trigger my claustrophobia. However, even though I’m still terrified of enclosed spaces and small elevators, I try to keep my calm whenever I’m around people. Most importantly, my friends and family help me find my peace if any similar situation ever arises, so I’m fortunate to have a strong support system to try to combat this phobia.

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