To The Girl Caged By Anxiety

To The Girl Caged By Anxiety

"Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries."
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I never thought I would be writing a response article to myself, but I cannot stand to look like a hypocrite.

Sometimes it's easier to say that you have control of your disorders in order to give yourself a false sense of hope and make everything appear "okay" to the public. Even though it very well may not be.

This was the case for myself last semester. I wrote an article where I spoke about how I don't let my anxiety or OCD define me and even my eating disorder that I didn't mention. Meanwhile, they were all eating me from the inside out even as I typed those words.

My first semester of college was what I like to call less than ideal. However, if you look on my Instagram page you might try to argue that it looked like I was having the time of my life. I was going out every weekend, joined a sorority, had lost weight, all the things that you would think make a new college freshman happy.

That's exactly what I wanted everyone to think. The things not featured on my social media were the panic attacks I was having every night, the entrapping anxiety I felt anytime I walked through the hallway, the false reality that I experienced that every person close to me was against me, and the days I would go without eating because I was so stressed and lost within my anxiety that I only wanted to sleep.

Sleep was my get away. When I was asleep my heart wouldn't race, my chest wouldn't feel like its imploding, I wouldn't be worried about how much I could mess up a friendship or relationship or have time to over-analyze anything I saw on social media.

My emotional, mental, physical, and social health were on the brink and no one knew but me. I was living a lie because I was too prideful to admit that there was something going on inside of me that I could not fix on my own. My family could not help me. My friends could not help me. I could not help me.

But none of this you could see from my Snapchat, Twitter, or my Instagram. And that was how I liked it. I was essentially living a double life and using my outward appearance as a security blanket to hide my internal feelings.

I could not beat the game that was going on in my head and I felt trapped within myself. Simple high school drama that I used to be able to brush off my shoulder became the reason I wouldn't get out of bed. I gave other people the power to destroy me because I wasn't strong enough to realize I had all I needed in my life. I let other miserable people push me further down my spiral. Any amount of negativity I was surrounded by, I absorbed. I let other people avoiding to deal with their own issues further the intensity of my own.

It wasn't until I was home for a month and away from any ounce of negativity that I had felt relief for once. I was surrounded by people who loved me and supported me with their whole heart and wanted me to get better. That was when I swallowed my pride and sought help. Just by talking to someone other than my family or friends showed me I wasn't crazy. I wasn't able to control what was going on in my head because it is not easy to control anxiety. You learn to deal with it and how to not let it affect your everyday life. Slowly but surely I let go of pointless anger. I stopped caring what one person may not like about me and spent more time learning to re-love myself. I started yoga which also taught me how to breathe through my panic attacks and start each day with a reason to smile and be grateful for life.

It wasn't easy. It wasn't fast. It wasn't without a lot of tears, but it was worth it.

To the girl who feels entrapped within her anxiety and has no idea what's going on in her head, where to turn, what to do, and who just wants to break down, I know how you feel. There is only one way out of this slump and it is through. You will make it through. Take it day by day and find the positives in each day. Value those who value you. And never forget that family is forever. Anxiety feels like a silent monster that creeps up on, grabs a hold of your thoughts and all of you and you cannot shake him. But you can and you will because you are strong and you are resilient.

"Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries." -Astrid Alauda

Cover Image Credit: http://mac.h-cdn.co/assets/15/46/980x490/gallery-1447432234-landscape-1447428802-anxiety.jpg

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I Ghosted My Old Self For 5 Months In An Effort To Reevaluate My Life

My life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

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BREAKING (not fake) NEWS: It's true, you have to hit your lowest before hitting your highest.

I want to share my lowest with you, and I'm almost ashamed to say it had nothing to do with the loss of both of my parents. I like to think I handled that like a warrior.

Turns out I didn't, and the hurt I've been burying from that hit me all at once, the same moment my life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

My life flipped upside down overnight back in August. I had my heart broken shattered, lost two very important friendships that I thought were with me until the end, lost my 9-5 job, my health took a hit stronger than a boulder, and I was absolutely lost. For the first time, ever, I let go of the reigns on my own life. I had no idea how to handle myself, how to make anyone around me happy, how to get out of bed or how to even begin the process of trying to process what the f*ck just happened. I was terrified.

Coming from the girl who never encountered a dilemma she couldn't fix instantaneously, on her own, with no emotional burden. I was checked out from making my life better. So I didn't try. I didn't even think about thinking about trying.

The only relatively understandable way I could think to deal with anything was to not deal with anything. And that's exactly what I did. And it was f*cking amazing.

I went into hiding for a week, then went on a week getaway with my family, regained that feeling of being loved unconditionally, and realized that's all I need. They are all I need. Friends? Nah. Family. Only. Always.

On that vacation, I got a call from the school district that they wanted me in for an interview the day I come home. It was for a position that entailed every single class, combined, that I took in my college career. It was a career that I had just gotten my degree for three months before.

I came home and saw my doctor and got a health plan in order. I was immediately thrown into the month-long hiring process for work. I made it a point to make sunset every single night, alone, to make sure I was mentally caught up and in-check at the same exact speed that my life was turning. I was not about to lose my control again. Not ever.

Since August, I have spent more time with family than ever. I've read over 10 new books, I've discovered so much new music, I went on some of my best, the worst and funniest first dates, I made true, loyal friends that cause me zero stress while completely drowning me in overwhelming amounts of love and support, I got back into yoga, and I started that job and damn near fell more in love with it than I ever was for the guy I lost over the summer.

But most importantly, I changed my mindset. I promised myself to not say a single sentence that has a negative tone to it. I promised myself to think three times before engaging in any type of personal conversation. I promised myself to wake up in a good mood every damn day because I'm alive and that is the only factor I should need to be happy.

Take it from a girl who knew her words were weapons and used them frequently before deciding to turn every aspect of her life into positivity — even in the midst of losing one of my closest family members. I have been told multiple times, by people so dear to me that I'm "glowing." You know what I said back? F*ck yes I am, and I deserve to.

I am so happy with myself and it has nothing to do with the things around me. It's so much deeper than that, and I'm beaming with pride. Of myself. For myself.

I want to leave you with these thoughts that those people who have hurt me, left me, and loved me through these last couple of months have taught me

Growth is sometimes a lonely process.
Some things go too deep to ever be forgotten.
You need to give yourself the permission to be happy right now.
You outgrow people you thought you couldn't live without, and you're not the one to blame for that. You're growing.
Sometimes it takes your break down to reach your breakthrough.

Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

My god, it's so f*cking good.

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I'm Chronically Sick And It Made Me Appreciate The Little Moments In Life

My doctor's office became a second home to me, but never gave me the answers I needed.

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People get sick all the time, a cold here, the flu there. It doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary to get sick a few times a year - I wish that was the case for me.

I have always been the kid in class who seemed to get a cold every couple weeks. It never caused an issue in school, I always pushed through.

As I got older I got sicker.

If I look back at the last year and compare the times I was sick to my friends, you would be amazed. One of my friends would get a cold and it would pass in a few days. I would catch the same cold, and it would stay with me for multiple weeks. This happened every time someone around me was sick, it didn't matter that I had had the same virus two weeks prior. My body couldn't shut out illness.

I remember the day I came into the editor's office at the magazine I was working for and everyone froze at the sight of me. I had mono, strep throat, and a sinus infection - all at the same time. I looked like a walking ghost. To make it worse, I had already had mono and strep throat previously that winter.

My doctor's office became a second home to me, but never gave me the answers I needed. Everything was just a little annoying until it got serious.

Halfway through fall semester at Washington State University, I faced the scariest medical moment of my life so far. I started getting stabbing pains in my left side. They escalated over the next couple weeks, but I didn't have the time to get it checked out. School, work, my friends, and my boyfriend at the time kept me busy.

It got to the point I couldn't stand it anymore.

When I finally went into the hospital the doctors were amazed I was still as active as I was. I had developed a massive infection in my left kidney. My doctor ordered a rush CT scan to ensure I didn't have to have surgery. In the meantime, I was on multiple painkillers and medications, bedridden for over a week. The results finally came back and I was in the clear. With that said, I now only have half of my left kidney function and it is unclear if I will gain it back.

I was lucky that I didn't lose my kidney from that infection. With that said, I lost my job, my depression levels rose and I barely passed my classes last semester due to the complications. My sickness had finally caught up with me, and that was the final straw.

Once I recovered from my infection I started seeing an immune specialist. We discovered that my sinuses had been stripped of all needed particles that filter out viruses and that my body was a boundaryless breeding ground for bacteria.

I'm defenseless against getting sick.

To this day we still do not know what is going on, but we are constantly doing testing to try to make my life as easy as it can be medical wise. I will always be sick, but the experiences I have had have only made me appreciate the little moments in life more. While I hate the fact I'm getting sicker, and it makes me struggle with self-love, it is something I'm constantly learning from.

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