What Anxiety Really Feels Like
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Health and Wellness

What Anxiety Really Feels Like

Anxiety is hard to understand if you do not struggle with it, but this is the best way I can try to explain it to you.

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What Anxiety Really Feels Like
Kayla Reese

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Matthew 6:34

So many people think that anxiety is a synonym for the word "nervous," but anxiety is so much more than that. I have struggled with an anxiety disorder for many years now. I thought that after seeing a therapist, getting on medication, and joining countless activities, I’d be able to fix my issues. I realize now, I will never be the same person I was before my disorder took over my life.

Anxiety feels like an internal battle between the outgoing girl I can be, and the monster that is holding me back from being that girl again. When I have an anxiety attack, my heart races, my face turns bright red, my body shakes, I pace back and forth, and I cry; a lot. Sometimes during an anxiety attack, I can't pick myself up from the floor because I feel like my legs will give out on me. I sit in the bathroom while I get sick, because the anxiety stirs my stomach and makes me vomit.

Some days I wake up feeling very hopeful and excited to begin a new day.

These are my favorite days because it's easy to smile at my friends and go to class. I always work out extra hard because I think about my future and how healthy I want to keep myself, and I always eat right. I pray to God and thank him for everything he's given me, both good and bad, because it makes me stronger. I think back on the last anxiety attack I had, and tell myself "never again, you're tougher than that." And for a while it works.

But other days I wake up feeling hopeless.

These days are the worst, and it's even more painful that they happen the most. These days I wake up, chest tight, heart already racing. I go to the gym these days because I know if I don't get my mind busy, I will have an anxiety attack over who knows what, and I will wake up the people around me. These days I indulge in the most unhealthy meals and go home after I eat only to cry because I am ashamed of the way I look and feel- but then I snack again because it gets my mind off of other things. I question why I even go to college, why I even exercise, why I even try to maintain relationships when they haven't been successful in the past. I ask myself all these questions because my anxiety tells me that no matter what I do, it won't be good enough in the end.

Anxiety makes me feel crazy.

I have always been a leader, and I am known to take charge in group projects. Sometimes, though, I need to lean on someone. It's hard going through these thoughts every day, because I feel crazy for thinking them. I feel crazy for pondering my life so deeply at the oddest hours, and I feel crazy sobbing uncontrollably when I have just one overdue assignment. I need someone to lean on, but I'm ashamed to tell them why. I'm ashamed to call someone periodically throughout the day to tell them about the anxiety attack I just had in the bathroom, or to tell them I wish I hadn't still been crying about something that happened a month ago, so I carry on pointless conversations to steer my mind from the pain.

Anxiety tries to take me away from my friends and family.

I have a voice in my head constantly telling me why I should be worried about things that my friends and family tell me isn't important. My anxiety tells me to lash out on other people when they say my stress isn't worth it, because the smallest things to most people are the end of the world to me. It makes me even more upset when people tell me that others have it harder than me, because I know that. But saying to me while I am panicking, "just remember, other people have it worse than you!" feels similar to telling me that light blue can't be called blue because there are darker shades of it. When I am having anxiety over school or friends, I take it out on my family, and when my anxiety is about family or school, it gets taken out on my friends. I know it isn't fair, but I can't help it.

Anxiety feels like a roller coaster I can’t get off of.

I feel like my mind spins in circles and it makes me sick to my stomach, but as hard as I try to pull myself off of the ride I’ve been trapped on, I can never seem to fully get off.

Having such a high level of anxiety is by far my biggest struggle, but as I’ve grown up, I have learned to either hide it or control it better. I have also learned to lean heavily on God rather than other people which is extremely important so that I don’t become too dependent on another person. I just have to remember that I am loved by God and my family, and not all situations are as dreadfully awful as my mind makes them out to be so often. I also remind myself daily of my favorite bible verse, Matthew 6:34.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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