My Pest, Anxiety

Spring

I’ve always felt this invisible hand reaching into my mind and twisting all of my thoughts into a distorted mess of paranoia and discomfort.  It has a name too.

I’ve always hated diagnosed labels; I used to be so afraid that they would take over my life and be a hindrance to the intrinsic motivation that I had spent so long building up. My mom eventually convinced me to go to a therapist after multiple meltdowns my junior year.  After a couple of visits, my therapist told me that not only was I clinically depressed, but I also suffered from anxiety. I hate those two words so much. Especially since those two words had intangibly taken over my life.

Because my father suffered from manic depression, I was incredibly afraid that I would one day develop a similar mental detriment.  And maybe that had been one of the root cause of my issues – my constant effort at maintaining stability.

I cringe to think about the feeling of anxiety itself. It is so incredibly hard to explain, although its effects are so visible. Last year, my mother was severely ill and I had to drive her to doctor appointments every week, as well as attend extra curricular activities and keep up with work from the five AP classes I was taking. I was also trying to save an already damaged relationship while at the same time breaking it down (apparently you can’t turn a toxic relationship into a good thing).  I was extremely overwhelmed with trying to make life steady.

My anxiety would act up during the most unreasonable times, like when I was trying to study for a test (I am an awful test-taker and I really have to put in extra effort), or when I was trying to finish artwork for my AP Studio Art class, or even when I was reading a book. I would start uncontrollably crying, frustrated with my lack of focus. Then I would start screaming, and curl myself up in a ball. Eventually I would fall asleep. This happened too many times to count, especially when I was I was upset with my boyfriend (which was often). Once, reality shook me up from one of my anxiety attacks when I heard a knock on my door. It was two cops. I was screaming too loudly.

I try very hard to seem like I have it all together. I like being smart, hard working, efficient, and boring, even, and maintaining that positive image in front of others.  I can’t be that all of the time, though. My anxiety has reduced a little bit, starting with the release of my constant attempts at being perfect, at stifling any source of instability in my life. I can’t always make an A on a test, I can’t always mix the colors in my palette perfectly, and I can’t always understand all of the words in a book.  I certainly can’t pretend that bad things are good for me.

My life isn’t totally anxiety-free and I am not sure if it will ever be. Sometimes I require extra patience and tolerance towards myself.  My ultimate goal is to be able to see my future without anxiety getting in the way at all – now, and then.


Photograph: http://christinenoelk.tumblr.com/post/76148088315

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One thought on “My Pest, Anxiety

  1. Have you read the New York Times article “Why Teenagers Act Crazy?” Interesting read. Relates back to this article well (don’t let the title fool you). Very nice anecdotal piece and very honest. Great job.

    Like

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