The Truth About My Anxiety

The Truth About My Anxiety

Anxiety isn't easy to deal with, but you can get through it.
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Trigger Warning: descriptions of everyday anxiety and panic attacks.

I have always been a pretty anxious person. When I was younger, it would show itself through tapping feet, fiddling with pencils and obsessively stroking a single piece of hair. I was – and still am – overly emotional and would get stressed if I had trouble understanding something or had a lot on my plate.

About once a year I had what I would then call my “big breakdown.” Something really stressful would happen in my life – maybe I did badly on a test or had a big argument with a friend – and I would completely break down and cry for hours.

Around this time I had another one of my “big breakdowns” after my then-boyfriend broke up with me. It was very sudden to me and it was the first time I had gone through a breakup away from home. I expected to be upset about it but I did not expect for it to go as far as it did. I went into a deep depression. It became hard to get out of bed every day or pay attention in my classes. I broke down crying at least once a day to the point of shaking and hyperventilating. My friends were worried about me and my parents were concerned they would have to pull me out of school.

One day I was listening to music while I took a shower and the song “I Wanna Get Better” by the Bleachers came on and suddenly I was bawling. It wasn’t as if it was an emotional song, but the words “I wanna get better” made me realize that I did want to get better. What I was feeling wasn’t normal and I couldn’t continue to let myself live this way.

That was the beginning of taking ownership of what was going on in my life. I asked a friend to go with me to the counseling center where was asked me to fill out a form rating my feelings a scale of one to ten. After explaining my situation to the doctor, she finally put a name to these feelings: generalized anxiety disorder and a mild panic disorder. She explained to me that my “big breakdowns” were actually panic attacks and recommended that I start taking medication to help with my symptoms. I’ve been taking medication for more than a year now and it has made a huge difference.

Living with anxiety is not easy. Anxiety is being afraid of being the first person to be done with a test because you don’t want people to look at you when you go to turn it in. Anxiety is when you have to have things a certain way because it makes you feel more comfortable that way, and if anything gets messed up, you can’t focus until it’s fixed or you might go insane.

Anxiety is the constant worry that you’re being too loud, too quiet, too messy, too annoying, talking too much, talking too little, not working hard enough, working too hard, feeling like a failure, fearing that you’ve forgotten something.

Anxiety is filled with constant questioning: Do my friends really like me? Does anyone really like me? Are my parents proud of me? Am I ever going to make anything of myself? Will I be enough for someone? Is anyone ever going to love me? Am I going to be alone forever? And you experience this every day, it’s not an “every-now-and-then” kind of thing.

Sometimes all of the feelings and questions become too much, or maybe something didn’t go the way you planned, and then the world starts to feel like it’s crashing down around you and you feel a panic attack coming on. You feel like you’re drowning and you start to gasp for air, but it feels like someone is standing on your chest. And, if you’re like me, you might start to cry.

You feel uncomfortable in your own skin; you want to rip it all off. You curl up as tightly as you can so that you can protect yourself from everything outside of yourself until you start to tremble. And when it’s all over you are left physically and emotionally drained. You have to pick up all of the pieces of yourself and attempt to put them back together again.

Anxiety isn’t a cry for attention or simply being over-dramatic. It’s real, and it’s something that millions of people have to live with every day. Everyone deals with their anxiety in their own way.

What I find helps me deal with everyday anxiety is to write things down in a journal. Whenever I feel particularly anxious or nervous, I write down four things: the situation, my thoughts about it, something positive that happened that day, and then I rate my anxiety on a scale of 1-10 at the top of the page. I feel that putting my feelings down on paper pulls it out of my head and puts it out into the world.

I’ve also learned how to calm myself down from a panic attack using a “grounding” technique where I list facts about my life. For example, I repeat to myself “my name is Morgan, I am 20-years-old, I’m from Alabama…” and so on. It’s not a perfect remedy but it is working for me, for now.

Anxiety can be a scary thing, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t manageable -- and it certainly doesn’t have to control your life (or mine). If you are feeling anxious, reach out for help and then accept it. Take it one day at a time. Talk about it. Share your struggles and your triumphs with others. And, hopefully, all this talking and sharing will lead each of us to be a little less anxious and a little more educated on the topic.

Cover Image Credit: http://allisonseto.tumblr.com/post/99936753499

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65 Truths College Students Need to Hear Right Now

Truth every college student needs to hear.
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1. The best memories are ones you actually can remember.

2. God isn’t going to ask you if you were in a top-tier sorority or fraternity at the gates.

3. You failed a test, not your life.

4. Numbers don’t define you.

5. That includes the number you see that is your grade.

6. Also, how much you weigh.

7. As well as if you are a “7/10” on a so-called “hot scale.”

8. Or if you can bench press 200 lbs. (@ all the guys at the gym, please chill.)

SEE ALSO: 7 Reminders Every College Student Needs To Hear Before The Semester Ends

9. Innocence is nothing to be ashamed of.

10. Neither are mistakes.

11. But learn from your mistakes. Mistakes can be lessons, which can be the biggest blessing.

12. Your metabolism isn’t what it used to be and that is okay.

13. You may not always understand what God is doing, but I promise He has a plan.

14. Every person you meet is battling their own struggles.

15. Life isn’t always great moments.

16. But you have to walk through the forest to get to the mountain top.

17. Your heart isn’t damaged. It is temporarily broken but it will be fixed.

18. However, the only one who can fix a broken heart is the one who created it.

19. So a cute boy or hot girl can’t put the pieces back together.

20. Neither can ice cream.

21. But ice cream can totally help.

22. Stop texting your ex. He/She is your ex for a reason.

23. Loving Jesus means loving people.

24. Loving Jesus also means loving the image of Him in the mirror you see.

25. Stop hiding your emotions. Stop crying in the bathroom or behind a locked door. You have people in your life who care about you.

26. Suicide is never the answer.

27. Breathe in, breathe out.

28. Do you feel your heart pump? Do you feel the air exiting your body? That is a sign you are here for a purpose. Your life is no mistake.

29. Just because you doubt, doesn’t mean you don’t believe in Jesus.

30. However, when walking on the water scares you, look to Jesus and keep your eyes on Him.

31. If you have the opportunity to go to school go. There are young girls around the world who would do anything to sit at the desk you are complaining about.

32. Don’t pick a career based on money.

33. However, I promise you can use any passion or gift to serve a purpose bigger than yourself if you allow yourself to give it to the One who gave it to you.

34. You don’t need pretty prayers to please God.

35. Talk to Him like you are talking to a friend.

36. Look for the good in everyone.

37. That includes the mean girl who no one likes. Chances are she is mean for a reason. Someone was once mean to her. Kill her with kindness.

38. Pray to have the Lord’s eyes. See people with love.

39. Try to have the Lord’s hands, always be reaching out to others.

40. Each morning, pray to have the Lord’s feet and go where He calls you.

41. It is a bad day, not a bad life.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Be A College Student In April

42. You don’t need a six-pack to find a man who loves you.

43. You need a spouse who will be able to look at you when you are 80, and wrinkly and maybe a little chunky, and you need him to love you then. If he loves you for your body and your hair, I promise he doesn’t actually love you. Looks fade, but love is eternal. Find someone who loves you like Jesus.

44. Do some squats.

45. But squat so you feel good about yourself, not to attract the opposite sex.

46. You are never too old to find a new hobby.

47. You were beautiful before someone told you.

48. If you don’t know if you are in relationship or not, leave. You deserve clarity, not insecurity.

49. You deserve friendships that are mutual.

50. The best Friday nights are spent with a puppy and food. It is okay to not always be social.

51. Stop worrying about whether your crush will text you back.

52. Stop over analyzing everything in general.

53. Pray for your future spouse.

54. However, also pray for your future bridesmaids/groomsmen. Some of the most influential people you may have in your life you may not have even met yet.

55. Storms bring strength.

56. And storms bring rainbows if you are patient and observant.

57. Stop Pinteresting your dream life and start living it.

58. The Bible is actually extremely relatable. Open it up. Read it.

59. Romans 8:28 “and we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God is on your team. He wants you to have moments of celebration. He has a purpose for you greater than your bad day.

60. Never forget what Jesus did for you on that cross. When he died for you, it was painful and brutal. It was ugly. It was love. Don’t let that truth ever become numb to you no matter how many times you have heard the story.

61. There is nothing wrong with carbs.

62. Study. And don’t wait for the night before.

63. Find someone who you can look up to.

64. Also, never forget that there is always someone looking up to you. Act like someone you would want your future children to be. Act in a way that reflects wisdom.

65. Smile more, you are loved by the one who hung the stars and painted the sea. He created puppies and carbs–yet still loves you more. That is something to celebrate.

College is tough and life is hard. You are going to have moments where all you want to do is celebrate life with your best friends, but you will also have moments where you just want to lock the door, ignore everyone, and have a good cry. Never forget that your worth comes from something greater than your Biology grade, and from Someone greater that the one who broke your heart.

You aren’t too cool for Christ in college. Christ is a necessity for you in your life. He can hold your hand during your heartbreaks and failures and celebrate with you when you get the text back or a passing grade in foreign language. He loves for you and cares for you more than your sorority or fraternity ever will.

So buy your books, do your homework, but never forget when you are walking to you 8:00 a.m. you regretfully signed up for, to look up. Look at the clouds and the sky and thank your creator that in a big big world with many beautiful things, He still loves our messy hearts even more. So this one is for the boys for the King. This life is for the One who laid down His life.

I promise college is more fun when you dance with your Savior. Follow His lead and let him take you on a journey where you can find your purpose. You may not know where you are going, but you do know who you are following.

So never forget that although classes may be hard, and your metabolism may be slowing down–God is still good. He turns our ashes into beauty and our trials into our testimony. Do life with your creator and I promise you that you will have more than you need.

Romans 8:28 “And we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Check out my website for more articles on self-worth <3

Twitter: gracev96

Instagram: lemmebeyourvalentine

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The World Reminds Me How Broken I Am, But God Reminds Me That I Don't Have To Be Whole

We do not have control over the things that break in our lives, but we can take our broken pieces to the one who will accept us just as we are.

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If I am being honest, I am broken.

I've been trying to hide it because a lot of positive things have been happening in my life recently. For example, I am back on track for nursing school, I have three wonderful animals who fill my heart with joy and peace. I have friends and family who would drop everything for me, and I have a fiance who loves me unconditionally--and when I say unconditionally, I mean unconditionally. While I truly enjoy my life, I am still depressed, and anxious. I am still broken, and I am frustrated because of it.

Oftentimes I get so anxious that my head clouds over, I start to shake, and my eyes cannot focus. Sometimes nothing in particular even brings these symptoms on. Like right now, for example, I'm sitting here writing this article and I am shaking. I can hardly focus, and my eyes are blurred over, and I'm not sure why. I love writing, so it doesn't make sense that I am anxious about it right? Wrong. I am in fact not anxious about writing in particular, but about everything else that is going on in my life.

Last night my 95-year-old grandmother, who calls me her little angel, fell, for the third time in two months. At home, I am continuously stressed because my parents act more like a divorced couple than a married couple. I have been working my ass off to try and save up money, but it seems like I will never be able to save enough, especially now that Micheal and I are trying to plan our wedding. It seems that whatever I do upsets someone close to me, in some way shape or form. Whether it's going to a different church, getting married so young, or getting tattoos and piercings on my own body. With all of this stress and pressure from the world and the stress and pressure I put on myself to please others, especially my family members, I often end up feeling anxious, depressed, and ultimately broken.

And I have finally realized that because I live in a broken world, I am broken. I live in a world where people are still discriminated against for the color of their skin. A world where people shoot others out of rage or fear or just because. A world where being a cop is scary, and being a person of color is even scarier. Our world is so very broken that family members stop talking to one another because they do not agree on which political candidate to vote for. I live in a world that puts so much worth into what a person's body looks like, they forget to look deeper than their skin. I have realized that because this world is broken, so are many of the people who live in it.

I know that it does not matter if someone has a good life because depression does not look at how good someone's life is before it chooses to become a part of their life. I have learned that just because a person seems to have everything under control does not mean that they are never crippled by the weight of anxiety. Ultimately, I have noticed that as I look around, that I am not the only broken one.

But just because I and so many others are broken does not mean we are weak.

I have fought like hell every day to keep going, to stay optimistic, to comply with my meal plan and to breathe. Just like so many others who do the same. While the battle never seems to be linear, sometimes, if I become silent for just a moment--if I sit quietly in my chair at church while the congregation worships God so loudly, I can feel it. I can feel peace. I feel it deep in my heart. It feels like my entire body releases. My shoulders drop and I feel my heart smile. It's as if God is right there next to me, sitting quietly in my presence, smiling ear to ear because although I am broken He loves me regardless. When I feel peace in my heart, I accept myself just as I am, broken and shattered pieces included because God does the same. God accepts me, regardless of my brokenness because He loves me, and he loves you too. Regardless of failures and sins and shattered pieces. He picks all of that up along with us, right where we are, and He welcomes us home.

Sometimes I get so caught up in the brokenness of this world that I forget the peace that being still in the presence of God brings me. In the world, I will always be reminded of my brokenness, but in the palm of God, I hear His quiet whisper that says "come as you are, I am happy you have come home".

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