Hello, My Name Is ______ And I Have Anxiety

Hello, My Name Is ______ And I Have Anxiety

What anxiety is like from the perspective of an overthinker
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May of 2015, I arrived at my high school dressed in a blue robe with a matching blue cap and stood in line waiting for my name to be called to receive my diploma. As the procession began the only thought I had in my head was of the future that was to come during my freshman year of college. But that’s where the problem began.

My freshman year of college I did not know a word to put towards the headaches and sharp pains in my chest until I came across this with my doctor at my campuses’ health center My brain became immersed in these future-oriented thoughts and since then it has controlled my life, decisions, and actions.

Anxiety, in my own terms, since it’s different for everyone, is the state of being anxious, stressed, or worried about the events and situations of the past, present, and future. While it is normal to experience these episodes there comes a time when it becomes too much. A typical day for me goes a little like this:

I wake up tired. Tired because I fell asleep late after thinking over and reviewing things I said or did that day. After getting out of bed, I then start to think about the day ahead of me. I think about the drive I have to take to school. While at school, I think about the drive I have to take home. “What if I get into an accident?” “What if my car breaks down?” What must be done when I get home. “Do I still need to go to the store?”

While I express to my friends that I’m tired during the day, when I arrive home I am more awake than ever. As I write this article I am thinking if it is even good enough. Why is that? It’s because I am anxious. It is because of my anxiety. I create my own little world that consists of these worries while shutting other people out. My anxiety is not something that can be seen on the outside. My anxiety is what eats me up on the inside. Though it’s easy for people to tell me to “Move on” or “Get over it”, it in fact, becomes harder to do these actions.

Anxiety is like pouring beer in a cup. As you pour the cup, it starts getting filled with more foam than beer. Once the foam goes down, you begin to pour more beer and once again, foam fills to the top. Not leaving enough room for actual beer. This is similar to thoughts of someone who has anxiety. The beer is the substantial thoughts while the mind becomes filled with frothy thoughts that always appear. With no control over.

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My anxiety is a lot of things but it is not something that holds me back. My anxiety is burdensome but my spirit keeps me from giving up. My anxiety is depressive but I won’t let it become suppressive. My anxiety is not overreacting. So before you speak on the situation that troubles me, I would like to introduce myself,

Hello, my name is ____ and I have anxiety.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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10 Bible Verses for Self Esteem

Sometimes you need to search for inner strength and find your own self worth.
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We all get those days that we just don't feel good enough for anything. Everything is going wrong. For me, I go to the bible to read the words of God. His personal dialog for us is filled with encouragement, hope, and lessons we can learn from. Here are my top ten verses that are uplifting and impacting when at the lowest of lows:

1. Philippians 4:13:

I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

2. Psalm 46:5

God is within her, she will not fall.

3. Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

4. Psalm 28:76

The Lord is my strength and my shield.

5. 1 Corinthians 25:10

By the grace of God, I am what I am.

6. Romans 5:8

I loved you at your darkest.

7. Psalm 62:5-6

Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure.

8. 2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

9. 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

10. 2 Chronicles 20:15

The battle is not ours, but God's.

Cover Image Credit: chinadaily

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Telling Me To 'Keep My Chin Up' Is Sweet But It's Not A Cure — There's No Easy Fix For Anxiety

It's really difficult to voice my true feelings about GAD, but here goes nothing!

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Having generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can be really difficult. It makes living out my daily life a struggle. Even if I'm having a "good day" on the outside, I could be imploding. I bet if you asked most people who know me, a good majority of them would have no idea that I struggle with mental health issues. I'm not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. It definitely means I'm good at hiding and covering up my true reactions and feelings.

I do the best I can to conceal my feelings because I hate burdening other people with my unnecessary worries. Inside, I let my worries spiral and spiral into what I call the "spin cycle." This happens when I have one troublesome thought that leads to another one and another one until the situation I've come up with is so unrealistic it seems like I'm having a really strange dream.

Most days, I'm not sure how to escape the spin cycle. But that's when I remember all the good I have going for me. I have family and friends who love me. I have a soon-to-be husband who adores me and would do anything for me. Most importantly, I have my heavenly father who will always take care of me. Who could ask for a better support system?

How can I be so worried when I have so much to be grateful for?

Ask my genes, DNA, and brain for the answer because I have no idea. As much as I want to say that every time I pray for lessened anxiety it goes away, that's just not how it works. God isn't a genie. We all have our personal struggles, and this is mine. It's not going away no matter what I do. Yes, there are things I can do to make it more bearable or to soften the crippling effects it has on my mind, body, and soul, but is there a perfect solution to make it go away? Absolutely not. I wish.

No matter what my external circumstances, my anxiety always has, does, and will run high. Sure, I have coping mechanisms and people who can help calm me down — everyone needs that kind of support system. However, I will never escape a mental illness unless there's a sudden miracle from God (which I will never exclude).

The weird thing about having a mental illness is that you can pass by as "normal" to most people most of the time. It's so strange that with most other illnesses you can see the physical difference, but with mental illnesses, people could know you for years but are in the dark about your generalized anxiety disorder. I'm around such supportive people that sometimes I wonder why I don't tell more people more often.

I'm afraid of being seen differently or stigmatized.

Bottom line is: I hate standing out. This introvert hates being the center of attention. Even more so, I don't want to make other people worry about me. I also don't want to be different from anyone else. It's so easy for people to tell people to just "not worry" or "chin up" when they don't understand how debilitating mental illnesses truly are.

I don't want to be told that my feelings are invalid or can be fixed in the blink of an eye. I've lived with GAD my whole life. Trust me: if there was an easy fix, I would've done it by now.

I'm not sure if I'm just ranting or becoming a part of the change for good...but I'd like to think I'm the latter. The more people who know about generalized anxiety disorder and mental illnesses, the better. I think those of us who struggle sometimes don't have the words to share exactly how we're feeling, and I'm not sure I've done a good job of sharing my own feelings through this article. You, dear reader, are the judge of that.

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