I Thought I Had A Brain Tumor

First of all, I don't have a brain tumor. But for a while there, I really was terrified that I did. It completely took over my thoughts during the day. And when I woke up every morning, I would have this brief, beautiful moment of forgetting before I remembered and it would all come flooding down on me again. It was awful. But as I write this, I realize I should probably give you a little more context for how I was feeling.

Back in March, I started feeling tired all the time. And this was the kind of tired you feel when you're on cough medicine, everything was very foggy and just plain weird. A few days later, I was laying in bed and the room started spinning, so I had to go to the emergency room. My blood test was fine, and they gave me a basic neurological test that came out perfectly fine too. Like magic, I started feeling better after that. Now, fast forward about a month later when I started to feel weird again. This time, it was almost like someone had a rubber band putting pressure on only the left side of my head. And this is how I feel right now. Now since I'm an anxiety-ridden mess and probably a slight hypochondriac on top of that, naturally I Googled my symptoms about ten times. On any given day you could find me looking up the symptoms of brain tumors, purposely shaking my head to see if I get dizzy, and inspecting my pupils to see if one was more dilated than the other. Yeah, it was bad.

This past Sunday I went on Web M.D. for the umpteenth time and searched "tension on one side of the scalp" and, lo-and-behold, the first five or six hits were all anxiety websites. I've been told plenty of times that anxiety has a way of manifesting itself into weird physical symptoms sometimes, but I never believed it. But there were plenty of people on these sites complaining of symptoms almost identical to my own. Being the person that I am, I have a habit of jumping right to the worst possible conclusion the moment that I start feeling weird. I had exams done and was told by a few different doctors that I was very obviously okay, but even now there are times when I overthink and get scared. It was evident from reading these websites that I wasn't alone.

Now think logically with me here: If a doctor tells you that you're okay, there's a 99% chance that you're okay right? A rational human being would notice the fact that they were walking, talking, and functioning perfectly fine and obviously think that they were alright. I'm a perfectly rational human being, but when the anxiety hits, the rational side of my mind doesn't have the floor. That's how anxiety works. It's this pile of shit that festers in the back of your mind. And when it sits for long enough, you think you're used to it, but wait, there's that damn smell again. I really hate that smell.

This whole ordeal has really forced me to take stock of what my life has been in the past few months. Since February I've dealt with two breakups, finals, one hospital stay, and two back-to-back car accidents; no wonder my head has been feeling the way it has. If you think about it, I could have taken everything a lot worse. I could have gone a much darker route with my life, but I didn't. I manage to get out of bed every morning and do a pretty decent job at makeup when I feel like it. And, more importantly, I still manage to stay happy. The irrational side of my mind had forced me to really think about my life on a much grander scale lately, and what my anxiety has been doing to me. It's a problem that I know is there, and it may be more of a problem than I originally thought. But, miraculously, I still have more good days than bad.

I'm a mess. I tell that to practically anyone that even attempts to get close to me. They probably think I'm trying to make myself sound more quirky and endearing, but seriously it's true. I am a huge, glorious, triumphant mess right now and I say that to people as a statement of fact and also a warning. Driving scares the absolute life out of me, I cry way more than I should, and a part of me still seems to think that I have a cancerous mass in my skull. Anxiety is not endearing. And that probably sounds like an old statement, thanks to all the teenage bloggers who seem to think anxiety makes then cuter, but it's true. This is not fun. For a long time now I've been thinking about how different I would be if I were on medication and I've been seriously considering calling a therapist. I don't feel cute at all.

The only upside to this whole situation is that I've really been thinking about death a lot lately. Yes, that is a weird and slightly alarming sentence, but just wait, I'm trying to be spiritual. Envisioning myself dying from some mammoth tumor has made me realize that I absolutely adore living. Through all the unnecessary fears, random bouts of crying, and nervousness, life has still been good to me. My family has been amazing throughout this entire experience, and I have a core group of friends that never fail to help me. And also, the fact that dogs exist is pretty cool, too. I'm sad right now. I'm sad and lonely and nervous and I fear death way more than I should. But I can never be truly sad, I like too much stuff.

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