Anxiety isn’t the most fun thing to have. You get worked up easily and often don’t know how to handle yourself. There will be times where you think you have everything under control, but then out of nowhere, you get this anxious feeling that feels like all of your nerves are pulsating and ripping apart. This is the best way to describe how I feel a majority of the time, and if I am being honest, it sort of sucks.
I know I have had anxiety all my life. Of course, when I was younger, I didn’t know what it was. I found myself always nervous about trivial things or getting myself sick because I was unsure of the situation and how it would play out. I remember one time before I went to Disney for the first time in first grade. I got myself so worked up the night before that I had a fever and was freaking out. Back then, I wasn’t sure what to call it. Now, I know that it was anxiety, and I know that from living with it for 19 years, it has become a part of me that I am not ashamed of. However, I don’t often tell people that I have it (so surprise!).
The first anxiety attack I remember was when I was in the fourth or fifth grade. I was on the way to this church trip with my best friend at the time when I noticed I didn’t feel well. My heart was racing and my stomach was aching. I thought, “Maybe I had too much cereal this morning.” However, this feeling of uneasiness and panic wasn’t any normal stomach ache I had had. Looking back on it now, I realize it was an anxiety attack. The thought of meeting new people and going to see a movie had freaked me out so much that it made me sick. Another anxiety attack that I remember was one day before school while I was showering. I couldn’t tell you what made me freak out, but all I remember was seeing stars and not being able to breathe. It felt like I was going to faint and my heart was going to beat out of my chest onto the bathroom floor. I stumbled out of the shower and sat on the tub, soaking wet, trying to regain my breath and my composure. I would like to say that now I am almost a pro at anxiety attacks, although each one hits me a different way whenever I get them.
After being officially diagnosed as a sophomore in college, it feels good to be working towards bettering myself and understanding my anxiety and the bumps I often face with it. I know, I’m sure you’re wondering why I didn’t get checked out before. That’s because I’ve never really known what it was that was going on with me. I now know, and I’m able to react to it better and understand how to help myself in ways I never thought possible.
Surprise, I have anxiety. 40 million other people have it too. It’s best to talk about it and become familiar with it, especially if it begins to affect your schooling, work, or any other aspects of your life. Don’t be ashamed of your anxiety.