I love the definition of the word anxiety. I love how the dictionary has no emotional sense of how much this one simple word can affect your life and how you think other people may see you. In the dictionary or even through Google searches, it defines anxiety as "a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome."
What a simple ambiguous definition! Unfortunately, the dictionary does not know a certain thing about anxiety. What's funnier is that the online dictionary divides the definition of anxiety into different sections: a noun, and a term deemed by psychiatry.
In fact, people assume that if you have anxiety, you need therapy or you need to go to the psychiatrist for some SERIOUS help. I mean, it is true, I'm not gonna deny it. I for one have anxiety and I spend every living second of my life wondering what it would be like if I didn't have it. Would I stop worrying about everything every single second? Would I stop overthinking about stupid things that won't affect my lifestyle? Would I stop doubting my worth? Would I stop believing what everyone says, and what I think people think or judge about me?
I don't know. I really have a hard time knowing because I have anxiety. Anxiety is like this creepy-crawler that won't stop crawling into the holes of my body, haunting and messing with my head. It never leaves; it just wiggles in and then wiggles out, and appears every single time I have one small belief in myself.
Say I'm performing in front of the class during a class presentation and I'm reading off of the notes on my notecard feeling quite pleasant, there would then be a short hiatus in which I freeze and then forget everything. It's funny. Everything is written on my index card, it's just the words won't come out.
My mind then shuts down, and everyone in the audience starts to look like monsters with devil horns and squinty eyes. I then start shaking and my hands immediately start sweating a mile a minute. The few words coming out of my mouth sounds like quiet stutters and shy whimpers. I hear a few chuckles here and there as I can't bear to look up. It was one of my worst anxiety attacks, one of which I pretty much paused for five minutes just staring at the card, not knowing how to read.
Another anxiety attack experience would be during my final piano recital performance at Carnegie Hall where I completely blanked. It was a situation which I thought I would have handled pretty well, if not for my anxiety. I had practiced the piece several times at home and memorized it without any errors.
It began smoothly in the room with the audience, and the piece was memorized, but the accuracy got interrupted by a single noise: a baby crying. Somehow, that baby was the point of my downfall. I suddenly found myself repeating the same music interval, and thought to myself, damn it, I knew this part. Because I did not have my sheet music in front of me, I had nothing to base it off of. All I could do was just stare at the piano notes and panic.
I tried to play the same interval so that I could somehow remember the rest of the notes that went along with it, but it did not work. Even worse, my parents in the front row were super disappointed, I could feel their disapproving eyes glaring at me. Even worse, my piano teacher had to go up herself and whisper in my ear, telling me to just repeat the first half of the theme of the piece to make do for a good ending just to redeem myself. Even now, I can hear her regretful tone.
If you're born with anxiety, it grows the more you age. But if you're not, you're one of the lucky few until it hits you when you reach puberty or when you get to a certain age. If you have stage fright, you most likely have some form of anxiety. If you overthink, you also have some anxiety. Unfortunately for me, I've always had anxiety. Obviously, when I was young, I didn't know what it was, and I never knew that it affected my life to a certain degree.
Until I got to high school, I knew it took a toll on me. During tests, I would have a blanking phase where I forgot formulas. At home, my self-esteem in doing something would suddenly die and drop down to zero, convincing myself that I was nothing. At school, I would sometimes feel as if my own friends were talking shit behind my back, and all of their compliments were just backhanded and ingenuine.
I didn't think it was happening to anyone else, and so I kept it silent for years. I always thought I was different, so I felt if I told anyone about it, they would judge and look at me with a weird expression on their face. I didn't want anyone to know, so I tried so hard to fit into society's norms. But I still stood out.
Up to this day, I know my anxiety is always gonna be there. And even though it always will be there, I know if I surround myself with the right kinds of supportive and loyal people, they will help me learn to overcome my fear of anxiety overpowering my life. It had for a short amount of time until I knew I had to fight back somehow.
And this time, I believe I can overcome it. Not completely, but a little bit of it.