A Day with Anxiety (In High School)
This is my representation of how anxiety affects me at school and how it affects my actions and thoughts. While it should be considered, everyone's anxiety is different, and this is my individual experience.
Nauseated. I wake up nauseated. It's 6:34 AM. Every day, it's 6:34 AM. I lay in bed thinking of all the events to follow—all of the almost panic attacks, almost crying, almost puking—lying in bed feeling nauseated.
It’s exhausting to wake up every day with little to no motivation except to go back to sleep because all the challenges that will come later in the day are exhausting even before they happen. The worrying is exhausting; trying is exhausting.
I lie in bed, my stomach turning, curled in fetal position. The morning air is brisk and runs goosebumps up my arms and legs. All these thoughts fill my head: knowing I'll have to get to school just before it starts, having to focus in class, having to ignore all the judging eyes. I sit up off the side of my bed, feet dangling, and look out the window, why even try?
Walking to the bathroom I see my acne, My red, irritated, oily skin flakes from picked pimples. I rush to the shower to grab a towel. Furiously scrubbing, my face goes numb, then I'm allowed to continue with the rest of my routine.
When all is finished, I sit in the car. I can feel my hands starting to sweat, my eyes blurring up, biting my chapped lips so hard I draw blood, picking at my nails till my cuticles bleed. But, before I know it, I find myself walking to the front entrance of the school.
As soon as I step into school, I feel my eyes well up. I yearn to curl into the fetal position so I don’t have to see all the fluorescent lights and judging eyes scheming to create lies for their own satisfaction. I know, consciously, that this is all in my head, and everybody is just as self-centered as I am, but inside my body I'm drowning in eyes.
Usually, I survive the first two periods, but when lunch comes around my heart beats out of control, my brain fogs, and all I can think about is, what do they think, what will they think if I move, what will they think if I sit alone, what will they think if I breathe? It’s a constant voice in the back of my mind. A voice always second guessing every move I make, every word I say, every little thing.
Once lunch has ended and I've become over-stimulated, I desperately search for a quiet room to curl up on the floor and remind myself that it's all in my head. Nobody is judging you for breathing, you are allowed to breathe, it's okay.
After twenty minutes of coping with the fear, I walk back to class, but my heart is pounding, my palms are sweating, and a black cloud hovers over me. At this point, I have lost all focus and pull at my eyelashes to stay calm.
Then the bells rings. I almost fall over from the exhaustion of holding myself together, but it's not over yet. I still need to get to the bus while finding a way to avoid all the eyes. So keeping my head down, barely holding back tears, eyes watering, I walk up the steps and find a place to sit, all while faking a smile.
When I'm home, it all comes out. I bolt to my room and lay on the floor crying, holding my breath, letting out whimpers because the pain is sharp and fills my whole body. I feel needles all over, and allow myself to exit my body. Blankly, I lie looking at the mushroom-colored walls, take a deep breath, and prepare for the next day as the black cloud looms over.