Lauren Stafford

How does it work?
  • Lauren Stafford
    Published 6 months ago
    An Anxious Life

    An Anxious Life

    My mother told me that the earliest she noticed my anxiety was when I was just four years old. I was so small, yet so irrationally afraid. I do not remember my anxiety back then, but I do remember it in the third grade. The fourth grade. The fifth grade. The sixth grade (where it got completely out of control). The seventh grade, where I couldn't get out of bed. It followed me throughout high school, I switched on and off anti-anxiety medication and anti-depressants, had countless doctor's visits, and yet I am in University now and still struggling. Anxiety is not something that magically goes away one day. I know for a fact that I will struggle with anxiety for the rest of my life. It is debilitating, and frustrating, and so painful, but I know I am capable of pushing through. For me, anxiety is not being able to breathe. It is a pounding in my chest and the weight of a thousand pounds on top of me. It is sweaty palms, red skin, bleeding thumbs, picked at skin. It is crying in the bathroom at school, in my car, in public. It is embarrassing, it causes me to miss class, hyperventilate around strangers. I wish there was a cure. I hate that in moments when I should be doing nothing but enjoying myself, I am panicked and anxious and so angry at myself. What bugs me most is that I tend to become anxious in moments I didn't even feel were uncomfortable to me. I am angry that during my time off of school, where nothing should stress me out, that I have crushing anxiety while watching a movie with my family. It makes me feel alone, even when I am in a room of people. I am supported by the people in my life, and they say they understand what I go through, but sometimes I just want to scream. I want to rip my hair out and silence the noise. I have gotten on new medication, which seems to be calming things down a little bit, I have gotten into yoga, I meditate, and I have been trying to get more sleep. It sounds cheesy and annoying, but exercising has started to make my head feel a little clearer. Maybe one day I can run or stretch enough to shake the anxiety straight out of my body. Until then, I am going to breathe, believe in myself, and take one day at a time.