TRIGGER WARNING: In this post there is an in-depth description of the not-so-bright side of anxiety. If this can upset you in any way, please don’t continue.
Hi. So this post will be a bit different from my other blogs. It’s not something that was really even meant to be broadcasted on the internet. Actually, it is something that was never even supposed to leave the inner workings of my mind. This post is actually from a letter that I was going to send to a close friend that I wrote during a time in my life where nothing was going right. I never planned on sharing it with anyone else, not even the person that the letter was originally for. But now that I’ve had enough time to reflect on it and see how much I’ve changed, I decided to let this small corner of the world get a glimpse into the mentality behind generalized anxiety.
So, here it is, my written panic attack :
I’m sorry that I’m not me.
That sounds weird. But, it’s true. We both know its true. I’m not the girl that you met. I’m not the same person that was brimming with joy and love. I don’t spend most of my time doing things to make others happy. I don’t even do things to make me happy anymore.
For the past few months, I’ve been empty. Things that used to make me smile don’t anymore. Conversations with old friends don’t bring me joy anymore. Even listening to my favorite song or taking a bubble bath or even doing those stupid breathing exercises that all of the self-help blogs claim to work wonders won’t fix this. I feel like in the place where I used to have all of this bright and swirling happiness there’s just nothing. And it’s stupid. I’m stupid.
I used to be happy. I had so much hope for where everything in my life was heading and I had so much love. Love for people, love for nature, love for myself. I had spent so long building myself up from the dark place where I used to be, and now suddenly it’s gone.
The love, the happiness, the feeling of being able to go into social situations and not wanting to cry. Its gone. And I didn’t even see it go. I think that’s the most terrifying thing. That you can spend so long fixing yourself and working on your mentality and then you wake up and everything that made you feel at peace is suddenly something that petrifies you. How is that even possible? How does everything in your mind change and you don’t even notice until it’s too late?
I truly felt like everything was okay. I thought I had my anxiety managed. And I wanted to have it managed, not just for me, but for you. For any person that is going through anxiety and wants to see a glimmer of hope that one day things will be alright. I wanted to show you that when you get older and when you’re able to surround yourself with people that support you and want you to be okay–you will be okay.
But that’s not the case. Things don’t get magically better. Even when you become older and are given the tools to handle your anxiety, it doesn’t help. Nothing helps.
I’m sorry that I filled your head with false hope. I’m sorry that I acted like I had anxiety all figured out like it was this manageable thing. I’m sorry that I’m not me anymore. I know that I disappeared and shut in on myself. I wasn’t replying to anyone, I wasn’t trying to be in social situations– it’s just half of the people in my life were making more anxious, and the other half were people that would want me to talk about it. And I can’t.
My mom told me that when I was a baby, whenever I would get upset I would get so angry that I would hold my breath until I would make myself pass out. And now, I do the same thing with my words. Whenever something is hurting me mentally, if someone tries to talk to me about it, I’ll hold it in until I explode. And that’s what I’m doing now. I’m bottling everything inside even though I know I shouldn’t just because I don’t want everyone to see how far I have fallen. I feel like I’m supposed to have it all figured out– but I don’t. I don’t think I ever will have it all figured out.
And for that, I can’t be more sorry. I wish that I could tell you that handling anxiety can one day lead to being okay forever. But that’s not the case. Life can still suck. Words sometimes won’t come out. And the sadness can stay for months at a time. There are no simple tips and tricks to fix it. I wish that there was.
But in reality, anxiety is like getting your gas pedal stuck while driving down the highway. You can do small remedies to try and fix it momentarily the car is still flying at an uncontrollable speed and everything else around you kind of blurs while you sink into the feeling of panic that nothing can be done to save you from the feeling.
I wish someone would save me from this feeling.
And that’s that. That’s the letter that I wrote to one of my closest friends and never ended up sending. I chose not to send it for several reasons. The biggest reason being that I knew she is struggling with anxiety too, and I didn’t want her to see me fall. I felt like me giving her what was going on in my mind and showing her how life wasn’t as good as I made it out to be would be damaging for her. The other reason was because it felt too raw. The night when I wrote that letter, I was in my second week at a college hundreds of miles away. I hadn’t made new friends, I was still mourning the death of a close family member, and all of the change that was happening at that point in time was too much to handle.
But with time, things got better. I got adjusted to college, found a group of friends to feel more at home even though I was nowhere close to my actual home. I also chose to distance myself from things that gave me more anxiety and I have forced myself to ask for help.
I just want to make it clear that I didn’t post this to make others who have anxiety to feel discouraged. Yes, anxiety is a lifelong journey that has many ups and downs. Yes, you will have times where you feel like the ups don’t exist anymore. You might find yourself spiraling in the way I was when I wrote that letter. And that’s fine. But the important thing is that you keep in your mind that there always is hope for a brighter tomorrow. Just in the way that you may wake up and suddenly feel down, you can also do that and feel okay. The tips for helping your anxiety might not always work, and some days you might want to lock yourself away from everyone else. But just remember, you’re not alone. You’re not the only person that has felt that way. And if you ever need to talk to someone about the mess that can consume your mind due to anxiety– you can always confide about it on the internet.
Thank you so much for reading through this whirlwind of a post. Leave a comment below if you have ever went through something similar to this, or if it has given you more of an insight of what anxiety actually is.
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