I’m not writing this in search for sympathy, or a “there, there” with a pat on the head; I want to share my struggle with anxiety so that if other people are going through the same thing, they know they’re not alone.
Although it’s becoming less taboo to talk about, it’s still a subject that not many people understand – especially those who haven’t experienced it first hand.
It’s also the reason why I haven’t posted anything in a while. Well, that, and school, but mostly because I’d find myself in an “attack” and not know what to do.
So, here it is.
I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
I was officially diagnosed on Monday by my GP, and since then, it’s been a lot easier to discuss it with other people
but up until Monday, I was a mess. I’m still a mess, but I’m learning to cope and accept what’s going on in my head. It might take me a while, but I’m on the right track.
I felt trapped in my own apartment, as if the walls were closing in on me; I would find it hard to focus on just one thing, and would need constant distractions; I created situations and scenarios in my mind and was convinced that they were true, which led me to worry, stress and panic about things that didn’t really exist, in turn making me more anxious than ever. I jumped to worst case scenario in every single situation I was faced with, which of course causes me to panic and stress more.
My motivation was gone. My priorities were backwards; I was becoming preoccupied with things that weren’t important, but the things that were important didn’t matter.
It became debilitating.
After talking with a few of my closest friends, I decided my best option was to do something about it. I needed to see a doctor and see what my options were.
I left the doctor’s office with a prescription and a referral to talk to a psychiatrist.
It’s almost been a week since that day, and no, I’m not completely and magically okay now. I still wake up anxious every morning and often go to bed anxious, too. My stomach is in knots, my hands and feet decide it’s best to keep moving to get some of that anxious energy out, and my appetite has gone on some sort of vacation. I still find myself worrying about things that aren’t true, and I still jump to the worst case scenario.
So, no, medication is not an immediate fix, but it does help calm me down.
It’s been a struggle to keep things together the last few weeks, and I fear that this is impacting my relationships, so without getting too personal…
To those I’ve talked to: Thank you. So much. You have no idea what it means to me to have you listen and vent all of my anxiety and express my fears about everything. It might not seem like it, but you’ve all been a big help in helping me through the metaphorical mud.
To you, specifically: I may have sobbed on your shoulder or said things I shouldn’t have, but I just don’t know how to balance this with my life, and every single minute you’ve sat there and just listened and taken it all in means more than anything could right now. I can’t thank you enough, but I just need you to know how much this means to me. I don’t know what else to say, but.. thank you.
To those of you struggling with anxiety: You are not alone. Don’t let it get to the point where it’s taking over your life. Talk to someone – anyone – about it. It’s hard, but it’s not impossible. And it’ll probably make you feel more anxious to talk about it, but in the long run, you’re doing it for yourself.
Mental health is important.
You are important.
Though it might not seem like it at times, I’m just going to have to constantly remind myself that I will be okay.
And even though my anxiety about posting this and letting everybody out there in on my struggles is through the roof, I know that by sharing my story I’m opening doors for people to discuss their own anxiety.
So don’t take pity on me, or feel like you need to walk on eggshells around me; I’m still me.
And I’m okay.