What I've Learned From My Anxiety Disorder

What I've Learned From My Anxiety Disorder

"It's better to have four quarters than one hundred pennies."
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I really don't like to talk about myself. I like talking about what I've accomplished or things I'm proud of, but I don't like to talk about what I go through on an almost daily basis. I feel like it makes me seem weak--and who wants to get advice from a future psychologist who can't even help herself? But I think it's time to share with all of you what I've learned from having an anxiety disorder for almost eight years of my life.

Honestly, I can't tell you the lessons I learned before high school; but I can share some of the things I've learned from freshman year until now, almost 3 and a half months until I graduate high school. One of the biggest lessons I've learned would have to be that you can't let people's words hurt you. Even if they say you take everything too seriously or you're too sensitive, you just have to remember that it's not your fault at all. You cannot help that your brain tells you to take the context of someone's words into a whole new meaning. You cannot help that you feel pained from them telling you that you're too sensitive, or that you need to stop getting so offended about every little thing that bugs you. Listen, I understand that I'm sensitive--there's a good side to that and a bad side to that. The good thing is that I care about a lot of people (contrary to popular belief, apparently), but the bad thing is that I think about a single sentence for three, four, five hours.

Another thing I learned from my anxiety was that you can't let people stop you from doing what you love the most. I can't tell you how many people have criticized me for writing my articles, "friends" even. They say that I take things too far or that I care too much. But how can someone care too much? I want to dedicate my life to helping people get through the same things that I have gone through--caring "too much" is definitely not in my vocabulary. Often times, I thought about quitting my creative writing hobby. But I don't think I will ever quit sharing my feelings and thoughts on particular subjects just because someone doesn't like what I have to say. If you don't like it, don't worry about it. And I know people think it's weird that I'm down at the counseling office almost every week to help with the bullying and mental health awareness motive, but I learned to stop caring and to do my own thing. I've learned to not let what people think--I know that what I am doing within this school is benefiting at least one person and that's all I need to know for self motivation. You should never stop doing what you love to do just because someone else doesn't like it.

You also cannot waste your tears on worthless crap. Use your tears for happiness, not for someone who never did and never will give a shit about your feelings. Forget them and move on with your life. If you know what kind of person you are deep down inside, you do not need validation from anyone else to tell you who you are or what you need to change about yourself. I've made the mistake too many times of apologizing for something I didn't do. I'm over that from this point on. It screwed me up by doing that and now I'm trying to build myself up again.

The last valuable lesson I've learned from having anxiety is that you can't be friends with people who try to change you. It's not healthy. Yes, I've made my mistakes of not being a good friend, but I can own up to this. But I should not be constantly reminded of a moment where I messed up, people should be able to grow up and forgive and forget. I've done my apologies, I've said what I needed to, and if people are still on me about something we've already discussed, I've come to the conclusion that they just want to pick a fight and create drama. I don't have the time or the patience for that. As my mom once said to me, "It's better to have 4 quarters than 100 pennies." I agree with this so much - it can be of greater value to have a small, kind group of friends than to have many, valueless friends.

As easy as it is to push your feelings off to the side and say "I'm fine," you have to come to a point in your life where you must be honest with yourself and others. It can sometimes make the problem better or, at least, make you feel better about yourself. If you're going through something similar, just know that you will learn valuable lessons from it that you will have with you for the rest of your life.

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Dear Anxiety, Thank You For Everything You Do And What You Make Me Do

My anxiety definitely isn't an easy thing to handle, but I wouldn't give it up for the world.

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I've always been a worrier. As long as I can remember, I've spent hours upon hours overthinking even the simplest of things, like whether or not something I mentioned in passing twelve years ago could have upset someone. Even ask my mom, she'll tell you all about the times I used to worry about silly little things since I was able to really worry about things at all. Now, worrying about literally everything that crosses my mind may seem like a hassle, and it is, but I truly don't think I would be where I am today without it.

Anxiety is a bitch. There, I said it. Short and sweet. It sucks, in all honesty, and is one of the hardest things to overcome that I have ever experienced in my lifetime (Not that it's been all that long, but you get what I mean here, right?) I spend so much time worrying that I barely take the time to sit back and look at how much I have accomplished rather than how much I have left to do. For example, I have four assignments and exams standing between me and summer but am I focusing on how little that is to do? Nope. I am spending every waking hour panicking about when and how I'm going to finish that work when I know full well that I have more than enough time to do so.

Yes, my anxiety keeps me from seeing the positives sometimes, but it really does motivate me. I mean, why else would I be up at three in the morning writing a paper that's due in a week when I work at 7 a.m. and have more than enough time in the next week to do it? Thanks to anxiety, I'll be exhausted for the next 24 hours, but hey, that work that doesn't need to be done for a long time is done and I can sleep later. Or so I think right now. I'm sure some little assignment or task will pop up that I have to finish by June that I feel the need to cram for right now.

So I guess this is my thank you to my anxiety. Thanks for motivating me by causing daily breakdowns over dropping a bobby pin behind my mini fridge or a page long paper that I have to turn in in two months. Thank you for keeping me on my toes constantly and pushing me so hard that I somehow ended up so far ahead in my classes. Where would I be without you? Probably a lot calmer, but with piles of assignments to finish at an appropriate time.

Thanks for everything you do - and make me do.

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