Living With Anxiety Makes Making New Year's Resolutions Difficult

Living With Anxiety Makes Making New Year's Resolutions Difficult

If I start falling short or sliding back, it'll mean ruin for my mental state.

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The new year is coming up, faster than I thought possible. It feels like I'm constantly seeing things on social media about other people's New Year's resolutions, things you can try to work on, etc.

And it's overwhelming because I can't do those resolutions.

I've lived most of my life with an anxiety disorder. While it's certainly under much better control than it used to be (thank you medication and therapy), my anxiety is not completely gone from my life.

I was never someone who felt the need to make New Year's resolutions. For many years, it was simply because I was just trudging through each day. It was enough for me that I did that, and to try and think of something I could spend a whole year working on was wildly ambitious. I just didn't feel all that dedicated to making half-hearted promises to myself that I knew would be forgotten and ignored quickly--as most resolutions are.

But more importantly, my anxiety will go into hyperdrive if I try to make a resolution of any kind.

Let's be real: resolutions aren't really promises to do better at something or whatever. They're goals, simple as that. They're something you want to look back on come the next New Year's Eve and say "This year, I accomplished XYZ."

I've learned the hard way that I can't do "goals." I can do to-do lists, small things, in a step-by-step manner. But I can't do long-term plans.

I can't do long-term plans because if I don't get to X point by Y time, as I expected to when thinking up the plan, I spiral.

It's happened before. I expected that by junior year of college, I'd be living with my boyfriend after temporarily moving back home and I'd be on track to graduate because I'd be doing well in the only major I had ever expected to be in. Then life turned on me and here I am, a senior in college with a new major and still living at home. That's not to say either of those things are bad--in fact, I love my new major (and am waaay better at it than my old one) and living at home has been good for me. It's helped me get my feet under me a bit again.

But it wasn't where I had thought I would end up.

I'm a senior in college who is going to graduate late, still lives at home, and is stuck in yet another part-time job that makes her crazy and doesn't give me nearly enough income to move back out. And every so often, I feel depressed and upset over the fact that I'm not where I had planned to be by this time.

Where I thought I would be at this time.

Setting goals for myself just leads to a negative mental outcome.

If I don't seem to be making progress in achieving a goal, I will feel like I am failing at whatever it is I am trying to attain for myself.

If I don't reach that goal, I'll beat myself up for it. I end up in a spiral of negativity that ultimately makes me wish I had never thought of where I could be by X time.

Part of it is also what these resolutions focus on.

Most resolutions are things related to building your confidence or learning to love yourself. It's really, really hard to make promises to yourself like those when you're low in both areas, like me.

There's no guarantee that actively working on in the span of a year will make any difference because working on yourself like that doesn't just happen. It takes a lot of time, energy, and effort, and a lot of help.

I don't want to set goals like that for myself and constantly worry about achieving them instead of living in the moment. Instead of just living for myself now, which is something I'm already trying to work on doing.

You never know what the year is going to throw at you, or what obstacles you'll have to overcome.

When it comes to my anxiety, obstacles often lead to mental setbacks. It's inevitable for me, and I have had to learn to accept that I won't always move forward. That it's okay to sometimes slide back, because you learn from these experiences and how to grow from them. How to come back from them, even if it's just to a general state of equilibrium rather than a more positive state.

So no, I won't be making any resolutions this year.

Just a promise to myself to take life one day at a time and not get ahead of myself when opportunities arise. Just because something good happens, doesn't mean it's guaranteed to lead to another good moment.

Sure, that sounds pessimistic. But I view it as being realistic, so that when something less-than-good happens, I won't be brought as low by the outcomes. It's self-preservation, in a way.

It's a reminder to not get ahead of myself, something I'm learning to do the hard way.

So here's to taking on the new year, one day at a time.

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The Truth About Dating A Girl With An Anxiety Disorder

She knows how annoying she can be, but she just prays you love her regardless of her flaws.

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Anxiety: A nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.

The definition makes it sound really daunting. Truthfully, there is no one way to describe generalized anxiety disorder if you have it. It is hard to live with, hard to cope with and unfortunately, really hard to date with.

Girls with anxiety are different than the average girl when it comes to relationships. That's just an honest statement, no matter how much it hurts me to say it.

We need the constant reminder that you love us, even though we know in our hearts that you do. We panic when you don't answer your phone, in fear that we did something wrong. We care about your feelings when you say that we don't need to worry and we need to be a little calmer. But it's so damn hard.

It isn't easy to love someone who worries about everything 24/7. Half the time, we know we shouldn't be doing the things we do. We know we shouldn't blow up your phone or ask just one more time if you are mad at us. But we can't help it. It says it right in the definition: compulsive behavior due to excessive uneasiness.

Being with a girl with anxiety is probably downright exhausting. It's exhausting for us to have our minds constantly running and worrying. But I promise it's worth it.

We come to you with everything because you are the one person who always knows how to make us feel better. When we are happy, you are the one person we want to be happy with. We all know the constant reassurance, reminders and the same old arguments get old. It gets old to us too.

There was never a time I wanted to have a panic attack because my boyfriend wasn't answering his phone. In my head, I knew where he was because he was usually in the same three places. I knew he wasn't mad at me because I didn't do anything to make him upset. I knew how busy he was with his classes and he was probably studying and I needed to give him space. But the little voice in my head always argued, "What if you did something wrong? What if he's ignoring you because he's angry? What if he's seen your messages and calls, but no longer wants to be with you?" And then I give in. I call, I text, I cry, I panic. Only to feel even worse 10, 30 or 50 minutes later because you answer angrily, telling me what I already knew after I did what I knew I shouldn't have done.

Having anxiety is almost like having a drug addiction. You know all the things that trigger you. You know all the ways to stay away from the bad places in your mind so you don't end up relapsing. But you do anyway and it hurts worse every single time.

Dating a girl with anxiety is as hard as it gets, but she will love you like no other. She is so incredibly thankful for all the things you put up with to be with her. Because she is worried about being loved, she goes the extra mile to always remind you how much you are loved. She always asks if you are ok because she cares about the answer and knows what it's like not to be ok.

The truth is that dating anybody with anxiety is difficult, but it isn't impossible. You get back everything you put in, even though you may not realize it. Trust me, she is sorry for being the annoying, crying, worried, naggy mess and it embarrasses her because she knows better and she wants to be better for you. But please love her. Hold her, understand her, listen to her, calm her, be there for her. In your heart, you know she would turn around and do all the same things for you in a heartbeat.

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13 Songs That Help Me Through My Panic Attacks

It's easy to become paralyzed by panic attacks, but I've found music to be the best tool to help me cope.

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Anyone who struggles with panic attacks knows just how draining and overwhelming they are. It's easy to become paralyzed by them, and once I noticed this, I made a playlist of songs that calm me down. I find that music keeps me grounded, no matter how bad the panic attack may be. Maybe the songs I have listed aren't for you. but I hope that in sharing my main songs that help me, it can spark your brain into finding songs that fit your needs during panic attacks.

In case you don't know some of the songs I have listed, I put a link to each song from YouTube. I hope you enjoy my interesting variety of music!

1. "Weightless" by Marconi Union

Go here to listen.

This song is my go-to song for panic attacks, especially if it's a bad one. For me personally, my heart rate spikes during panic attacks (I'll go from a resting heart rate of around 70bpm to anywhere between 180-200bpm). Evidence suggests this song can slow your heart rate and reduce anxiety and let me tell you... it works 100% for me and I highly recommend it.

2. "Somebody to Love" by Queen

Go here to listen.

I've just always loved this song. There's something about Freddie Mercury's voice that just calms me down and makes me feel like I'm not alone at that moment.

3. "Let it Be" by The Beatles

Go here to listen.

I grew up listening to The Beatles since my mom is from Liverpool, and "Let it Be" is a song that I always associate peace and good memories with. Also, I love the lyric, "When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary calls to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be." It reminds me that there are things about me and this world that I simply cannot change, but I can find peace by letting it be.

4. "Lost in a Sea of Pillows and Blankets" by .anxious.

Go here to listen.

Go here for the full album.

I find this song, and really the whole album, to be extremely soothing. It literally feels like the comfort of pillows and blankets but in the form of music.

5. "1-800-273-8255" by Logic ft. Alessia Cara & Khalid

Go here to listen.

I love this song for many reasons during a panic attack. One, it reminds me that there are other people that have felt or are feeling what I am currently. Two, it reminds me that I have a purpose on this earth, and I am not a waste of space. Three, I just love the awareness it brings to mental illnesses.

6. "Up and Up" cover by Lennon & Maisy (originally by Coldplay)

Go here to listen to the cover.

Go here to listen to the original.

"We're gonna get it, get it together somehow." This main lyric reminds me that I can conquer this moment, and the only direction from this moment is up. Also, Lennon and Maisy's voices are mesmerizing. The Coldplay original is amazing too, I put both for you to check out!

7. "In My Blood" by Shawn Mendes

Go here to listen.

I remember the first time I listened to this; I was actually on the brink of a panic attack. I heard the first lyric, "Help me, it feels like the walls are caving in. Sometimes I feel like giving up, but I just can't. It isn't in my blood." Every lyric in here, which was beautifully written by the way, describes how it feels having a panic attack and having anxiety in general. It reminds me that no matter what, I can make my way out of it. I can win the fight.

8. "Free Spirit" by Khalid

Go here to listen.

Khalid's new album "Free Spirit" came out on April 5, 2019, and I am actually obsessed with it. I find myself immediately playing this album when I open my Spotify. When it comes to the song "Free Spirit," the music is enchanting to me; something about it just immediately calms me down. Not to mention that Khalid's voice is absolutely beautiful. Also, I just love the concept of being a free spirit. Not being tied down by mental illnesses or fear, and having this sort of euphoric peace.

9. "Intro" by Khalid

Go here to listen.

Once again, absolutely mesmerizing. I honestly feel like I'm taken to another world with this song. Something about the music just makes my brain feel so happy, peaceful, and calm. As for the lyrics, they remind me that I need to find my worth and put me first. Sometimes, I put so much of my emotional energy into other people that I have none left for me. I need to keep some of it for me though, because I know that I have worth, but I can never see it, so I need this emotional energy to be able to put myself first and love myself.

10. "Spiegel im Spiegel" by Arvo Part, Angele Dubeau, La Pieta

Go here to listen.

Not gonna lie, I'm a sucker for classical music. There's something about this song in particular that I feel like really captures the feelings of depression and detachment that I experience during a panic attack. It's just another reminder that I'm not alone in this.

11. "Raindrop Prelude: Op. 28 No. 15" by Frederic Chopin

Go here to listen.

Sorry, another classical piece... I just really love it. I feel like it shows the feelings before, during, and after a panic attack. Once again, it's a reminder that I'm not alone.

12. "Cello Suite No.1 in G-Major, Prelude" cover by Yo-Yo Ma (originally by Bach)

Go here to listen.

Last one, I swear! There's just something about this piece that makes me feel so calm and at peace... I don't know how to describe it. It's beautiful, and it makes me feel like there's hope of conquering my panic attack.

13. "Rescue" by Lauren Daigle

Go here to listen.

First, Lauren Daigle is simply amazing. This song in particular, though, reminds me that Jesus is always by my side, and he will never give up on me. He sees me in my trials, and he's fighting this fight with me. It gives me a lot of hope that someday I might not have to deal with these struggles.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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