13 Wise Revelations I Made After My Anxiety Diagnosis

13 Wise Revelations I Made After My Anxiety Diagnosis

Some good can come from it!

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Anxiety puts us in a position to view the world in a different way, and that can be a good thing if we allow it to be. Our eyes can be wide open and we can be so perceptive and empathetic. There's also an element of wisdom to it because of how self-aware we have to be.

I was diagnosed with anxiety when I was 15 and that helped me change my outlook on life and I'm thankful for that.

1. I have to put myself first.

I know I'm not alone in this battle, but no one's life depends on my happiness but mine. I have to be conscious of that. My success is reliant on me and my mood. No one has to care about how I'm feeling. Some people will and that's great, but for me, it's required.

2. I want to be needed, but I need to be wanted.

This might be more of a personal/ Libra thing, but a lot of it is driven by anxiety. It feels so good to be needed and it's nice because someone will always need someone for something. I'm constantly offering my help because I'm such a people pleaser. But there is a really fine line between being needed and being used, and it's difficult to see when it's been crossed. That's why I really need to be wanted more than I want to be needed. Part of dealing with anxiety is being able to be there for someone else, but not get taken advantage of.

3. Communication is key!

When we have anxiety, we have to be deeply honest with ourselves and the people we care about. Sometimes, it's brutal and not easy, but if we bottle everything up it eats away at us. Anxiety doesn't care, so we have to care about ourselves enough to be truthful and hope others will too.

4. Confrontation is a huge part of that!

Confrontation is part of communication and there's nothing I hate more than that. It's the brutal part of honesty that burns and sucks and it's arguably the most crucial. It's make or break with anxiety and it takes so much out of me to go the length it takes for me to deal with things in a healthy way.

I've always had this rule for myself that if something is important enough to me to work out to get past, then I'll be confrontational about it. But if I feel that I can let it go and just cut ties with whatever or whoever is bothering me, then I'd do that. I know that isn't the best way, so I'm working on it, but it was the only way I could get past things that ate away at me.

5. I can't please everyone.

We hear this all the time and for most people, they can accept it and move on, but anxiety adds this extra layer of disappointment to it that makes it harder. I'll risk my sanity or whatever else it takes so that I'm the only one who's left unpleased. I step around feelings until I get mad or upset enough to blow up, making it that much worse. And it all stems from this idea that someone has to get the shitty end of the deal — which is true.

So, we're left with this choice to either please whoever we can or let everyone down. I've picked the latter and I can see that sometimes it works just as well. It's this mentality where, "if you can't please everyone, why try to please anyone?"

6. Music doesn't solve everything, but it helps a lot.

Music is cool because you can listen to it and feel as though you're actually the one who's being heard. I could list for hours all the songs that make me feel something when there's a sense of nothingness taking over me. Hearing the stories of people whose lives are so different yet still so similar to mine leaves me in awe. The way it is all-encompassing yet so diverse is inspiring. Anxiety makes me feel like the world is so small sometimes, but music helps me see there is no end and everything is bigger than me and my issues.

7. I have to know so much about myself to be able to take care of me.

My body gives me cues when I've had enough. It tells me when to cancel plans or when something is a bad idea. It is so smart and every part of my body seems to work together against whatever in my mind causes this anxiety. I bite my lip when I'm tense, my legs and hands shake when I feel uneasy, more of my hair will come out in the shower. I know these are the moments when my body needs to regenerate. It isn't pretty and I hate it, but I am so thankful that I see it. I can tell when I need a face mask and a nap, or when I need to be active, or when I just need to cry.

8. Wanting to be alone can be a good or bad thing!

Too much alone time can mean anxiety is in the driver's seat and I have to take it back and go out into the world to recharge. But I also need the me time sometimes to figure things out and decide what I need. There's a happy medium and it can be hard to pinpoint, but it's there. I can't cancel all my plans and lose all excitement, but I can't overuse energy I don't have.

9. Coffee isn't what's keeping me awake.

I have no idea how many times I've tried to claim coffee is what's keeping me awake at night. It's a weird thing to be in denial about, but I constantly lie to myself about why I'm sleep deprived. I'll blame the coffee I had in the middle of the afternoon for why I haven't fallen asleep before 5 a.m. in days. I've had to come to terms with the fact that my inner thoughts are cutting into what I need. It's a greater problem that goes back to picking up on cues.

10. A long shower can have all the answers!

I'm not going to act like it's healthy to drown all problems in a long, hot shower. Medical attention is necessary when getting things sorted out, but when there isn't enough time for that and nothing else is working, my quick therapy is sometimes just leaving it all in the water. It's allowed me to only focus on the root of an issue and come out with a real solution. I have felt like no therapist is ever going to fully understand what I need.

11. Everyone isn't going to get it.

My first time in therapy I remember the counselor telling me that whenever I feel overwhelmed, I should flick the hair tie on my wrist. She noticed I always had one on me and it would be a quick fix to my anxiety. I have never felt more misunderstood than I did in that moment.

She was the "expert" and I was new to these problems I was having, so I trusted her. But I realized there is no "quick fix" to anxiety. I'm still not an expert almost five years later, but I haven't flicked a hair tie since a week after the therapist told me to and I don't think that's why the anxiety is still present. She just didn't understand what I needed after speaking with me once. I realized that week that not everyone is going to get it.

12. Some days anxiety will fully take me over, but I'll bounce back!

Depression is a close friend to anxiety and they have a grand plan to take over when they get together. I know what rock bottom looks like and what it feels like, but I've never been there for too long. It all comes back together and I've lived to tell about it, which I'm immensely proud of.

13. My anxiety isn't all I am!

This is the cliche thing I say all the time, but the reminder helps, so I just keep doing it. Shit happens and we get set off. We also laugh and smile and feel like we're on the top of the world. We're allowed to go through and get through whatever comes at us at whatever pace it takes.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Well, Here I Am Again Writing An Article At 2 AM Because My Anxiety Is Not Letting Me Sleep

My anxious thoughts late at night are horrible.

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Life is crazy and rough and sometimes sucks. My anxiety has been at its worst this semester, and if I'm being honest - it's driving me insane. I have lost sleep because of it. I have missed classes because of it. I have skipped out on being around friends because of it. The last one is the one that always confuses me, though. I'm at my happiest when I'm around people. I love it, but lately, there have been multiple days where I would rather curl up in a ball and cry.

I struggle to breathe. I struggle to keep up with life. I have all of these thoughts racing through my head. One after the other, trying to see which one will be victorious. However, all of them are victorious because they all have me wide awake. I haven't had a decent night of sleep in a while. At this point, I could probably say its been almost a year since I slept well.

It's yet another night. 2 a.m. and I'm wide awake, crippling with thoughts I want out of my head.

It's constant. It never really stops. I can hear it early in the morning, as I eat my lunch when I'm walking to class, and especially late at night. Right now, the thought screaming the loudest is "No one likes you. That's why you're here and not there." I know it's not true.

My anxious thoughts late at night are horrible. I hate them. They irritate me. They keep me up all hours of the night. I toss and turn for hours on end wishing for all of these anxious thoughts to end. I think about things from years ago. I think about things from yesterday. These things never seem to end.

My anxiety has been horrible lately. I haven't been able to get a proper night's sleep in months. I've averaged 3-4 hours a night. I hate it. My mind won't turn off. The racing thoughts never seem to end. I am sick of it. I want to get out of this, but I just can't. Why is this happening?

I have not been able to breathe properly in weeks. I have to physically stop, breathe in deeply, and practically yawn to catch my breath. Why? Why is this happening? I hate it. I'm so stressed from life. This needs to stop.

My body is weak. My mind is no longer concentrating. I want to run away from all of this, but I know that is not how I should handle it. This needs to end. My days can no longer be filled with hopes of a class being canceled or pretending like it is so I don't have to go.

Anxiety has overtaken my life, and I am sick of it. I am ready for it to leave. It won't though. It will continue to reside in my body. I hate it. I can't breathe. I want to cry, but I just can't. I'm sick of this. Anxiety can f*ck off because it has no business taking control of my life.

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