Anxiety Isn't Simple or Dramatic, It's Real
A post I wrote my final week of high school. Wow, it seems so long ago.
Staring down the final week of high school is both exciting and terrifying. Sitting here, the anxiety has officially hit me hard. My stomach is starting to feel fluttery, my heart is beating harder than normal (at least I can feel it on an intenser level), my breathing is getting tighter and tighter, my hands are shaking, and I can feel random muscles tightening. All signs of my anxiety starting up for no rational reason.
I have had anxiety all my life. I can remember needing the week's schedule repeated many times until I felt better. I need things laid out, I need things clear, I like to know what's coming and where things are going. Not the easiest thing in life, especially now that I'm entering a world that knows as little as I do.
Over these past years of high school, the anxiety has increased tenfold. I have struggled with both social and general anxiety but mostly a world that doesn't understand. No, I'm not being needy when I ask if we're friends or if you're sure you want to hang out. I'm solidly afraid I'm being a burden and you're just appeasing me. I worry about the little things but at the same time, I don't. I'm outgoing and extroverted at times (I'm actually an ambivert, both an intro and extrovert). Something I really need to stress is the fact that I am more than aware of the irrationality surrounding my anxiety. Anyone with anxiety most likely knows it too! Knowing something you do is irrational doesn't always mean you have the ability to change it. If I had the powers, TRUST ME, I would not be acting so irrational. But mental illness does not always allow for rationality.
It took until a solid downward spiral for me to get help. I was in a dark, dark place and I was hurting people that I cared about. I started going to therapy every week, worked into my deeper issues. After a little time, I started taking medication to help my anxiety and sleeping issues. I would sit up for all hours of the night with the anxiety running through my head as words of worry. It wasn't helping my mental state to be so exhausted. I hit my lowest point at about two and a half to three hours a night. Little crazy, right? Let me just tell you all, medication is not an easy science, especially with illnesses that are unique to each person. I went through a few different medications until we found what works for me. Hopefully, it'll give you some hope to know my medications make me feel so much better comparatively. It amazes me!
Of course, I can't give all the credit to medication. Getting healthy takes a lot of work. I am so very lucky to have a family that supports me so much and went through the hard times with me. Slowly but surely, they have learned with me as I found different ways to express myself. Praise Pinterest and the internet for helping me express myself! I am currently the healthiest mentally I have been in years. That doesn't mean I'm magically cured, doesn't mean it's gone away. It means I've learned to cope and taken power back from my illness. It doesn't control me anymore.
That being said, it still shows up plenty. I am ready to graduate high school but I'm still terrified, as I'm sure many people are at this rate. But it was just a few moments ago it all hit me. There is one full week left (most of which doesn't entail much). Then I have a few days of finals and I don't come back. I'm free. But that freedom scares me. I go from hall passes to optional attendance. From family home to personal dorm. From studying for fun to studying for survival. But that's the system we live in.
This was a very impromptu post but I wanted to try to express my anxiety to everyone. Hopefully, this also shows you why it is such a giant step for me to go to Hawaii for college. This is taking all that I have and I'm okay with that! Even with all this anxiety, I know it's normal and for the better. Wish me luck and I'll talk to you all soon!