When most people think of anxiety they tend to think of tests or public speaking. When I think of anxiety I think of the everyday battle I have with my mind and body. For me "feeling anxious" isn't just a phase during a certain situation. For me "feeling anxious" has become such an integral part of my life, I don't know what causes it. For me "feeling anxious" is just another thing I have to check off my to-do list every day.
Living with anxiety has proven to be an incredibly tough challenge that unfortunately too many people nowadays can relate to. Sure meds can help, and boy do they help, but they won't make the monster disappear for good. There have been too many times that I feel my heart rate grow at an exponential rate, and my breathing just doesn't cooperate. There have been too many times that I can't stop shaking or moving my legs up and down. There have been too many times my nails are bitten to stubs. There have been too many times that I have lost control due to that ugly monster.
Can you just calm down?
No. Telling someone with anxiety to calm down is like telling the sun to stop shining. It just doesn’t happen. There is a higher force which controls our minds and bodies. Believe me, we try to calm down. We try not to let the vicious monster affect us but it is way more difficult than one can imagine.
It’s all in your head.
Thank you, Captain Obvious. Anxiety roots from the amygdala in the brain which controls emotions such as fear and anxiety. So yes anxiety is all in our heads, but then it is in our bodies. Anxiety is like another voice in your head trying to control your life. When you think you're doing your best, it tells you you're not. When you think you're happy, it gives you reasons to be sad. When you're talking, it tells you you're being annoying. When you're feeling relaxed, it gives you stress. When you feel comfortable, it gives you reasons to be uncomfortable. It is the voice you can’t ignore.
After finishing my freshman year, having to deal with anxiety in college is honestly something I would never wish upon my worst enemy. Sitting in class and randomly being so anxious you need to leave. Writing paper in the library and looking around feeling trapped. Being surrounded by a group of friends yet not feeling relaxed. Walking from class to class and trying to breathe regularly. Living in an unfamiliar environment far from home and trying to survive. These are just some of the challenges I have faced and I know I am not alone.
I am just another runner trying to sprint through the marathon of anxiety, where I am constantly falling into a slow jog. So to all of my fellow runners out there, keep running. You can do it.