Let’s Talk About Anxiety.
Hi everyone and Welcome to my place!
So today is Wednesday, which means a new random thoughts post \o/ I had a different post in mind, but for that I need to work a little more on it. I mean, the idea is in my mind, but… I still wasn’t able to grab the computer and write it (It is one of the kind that will take more time to write you know).
As I mentioned before, since the time I was able to overcome anxiety in general I always told to myself that if in any given time or space I would have any kind of people following my thoughts I would write about my experience with anxiety and how I overcomed it. In the end, I just want to help everyone and if my words helps at least 1 person I will be extremely happy. Since I passed the 80 followers this week, I think this is a good time to start to write about it.
(Arthfis from the future here!) I just ended the post and this is going to be a long post! Like 2000 words long, but bear with me… It’s difficult to talk about this theme >.< Also, I went with straight text… It is a serious matter and well, I don’t think putting funny gifs as I normally put is the way I want to go! Maybe in the next posts I will insert some gifs… At the end I want this to be a “light” reading and taking anxiety a little bit out of the mind for the ones that are suffering from it. But, since this time is my story, I will let it like that.
To tell you the truth I still don’t really know how am I going to write about this. The problem is that depending in the phase I was in my anxiety I used different solutions and different hmm… You could call them “hack” I don’t know, to calm myself and to get better. The only thing I know is that this post is going to be only to tell you my story, no tips yet! Sorry guys 🙂 But I do think (And for me it worked) that when you are feeling anxiety, seeing other people talk about their story and see that in the present they are healthy (at least sort of) helps a lot! So, for now, it is going to be my story, in the future I will have an idea how to better organize my thoughts and how to express my advice (It is really one of those kind of posts I don’t want neither to fail, neither to be all over the place!).
Now… I am not prepared to talk about my background, mainly because it involves more people besides myself (and I still think that I am not ready to fully go back there again), this way I will not explain you what were the motives that made my anxiety to kick in. But, in reality it doesn’t matter because you can have no problem at all in life and develop anxiety. It’s a little bit like depression (maybe a LOT).
(Arthfis from the future here!) Ah, just remembered that I didn’t tell you what type of anxiety I had! It was general anxiety. As the name indicates, it can really kick in anytime, anywhere… There is not a factor that makes your body to feel anxiety, such as social anxiety for example… So I had anxiety in many cases, but the main fear I remember having was dying… It started to be fun at times because I always though to myself “I’m not living because of my fear of dying… Owo! Such sense, so smart!)
Let me start with, having anxiety is like breaking a leg… I know it sounds stupid, but it works! What do you do when you break a leg? You go to the doctor. What is the doctor going to do? Probably give you some painkillers and send you to physiotherapy (Let’s forget about the cast ok?). Well in this case it is the same. You first of all go to the doctor and go to a psychologist. The meds and the physiotherapy… They both are needed. The second is going to heal your brain (leg) the other will help you with pain along the process.
Well, let me start with my anxiety story. In reality, even though I only really started treating myself in 2016, I have anxiety since my highschool senior year – 2011 (?) maybe even earlier. The thing was… I though it was normal.
So for a long time the anxiety expressed itself with over thinking… I always made a big deal with everything (internally) although more than half of the things I thought didn’t really happened, of course. But that’s how I was and I thought it was normal! It was normal to not be able to sleep at night thinking in all the random situations that could happen (with almost 0% of probability) – I thought I only had a overworking mind… That’s all! (Even more because my mind always was a night owl). More than that, I thought that feeling anxious, like higher heart rate beating and over-breathing and things like that were just normal and how, as a person, responded to things that made me feel out of my comfort zone.
I had some panick attacks in my highschool senior year, crying ones (for me those are the best ones) but since I was going through a lot of problems in that time and I never cried , ever, I just though it was only normal that my body had to burst at some point. Let me just add that I was excellent hiding the having anxiety part (even without noticing it), so even people who could have picked that and tried to explain me and help me would not be able to do that. How did I do that? Well, I was a popular guy in highschool because I was always happy (probably overcompensating) and my grades never really went down. I never had a negative mark in my life (until college of course) and in my senior year, probably the year in Highschool I was more hmm f’ed up(?) I entered in the excellence board for having an average mark higher than 18 (in 20) – It’s like having all A’s if we speak in american english.
After HighSchool I pretty much had one of the worst years of my life. I entered college, one of the best for computing engineering, but I hated it! I dropped in the second semester and everything I did was stay at home playing games… I didn’t even made any fullfiling friendships… I nnow realize that the problem was mine and not the “I don’t fit in” excuse I used. However that is more in the depression side, not the anxiety part… After that I went, again to one of the best schools in management here in Portugal (I’m speaking about being good colleges not to brag about myself, but to show that sometimes you can have anxiety and don’t really show in your studies / work) and I promised to myself that I would be different this time.
I loved the degree, went many times out of my comfort zone and I just loved the experience in general (it was also the time I met my boyfriend), we can fast forward that part to my senior year where anxiety really kicked in. I’m going to tell you about the first of many panick attacks I had, I remember like it was yesterday and thinking now, it is a damn funny story!
So I was again with my sleep schedule f’ed up… I don’t really remember the time of the year it was but I was getting to go to sleep at 6A.M. which was pretty usual. Before going to sleep I started a Youtube Video (One of my hacks to silence my mind when I want to turn off, I still use it today) and I went to the kitchen and grab a packaged milk to drink… I really don’t know how you call it in english, but it is one of those kind that come in small packages and you drink it with a straw… Smart as I am, I went and drank it while laying down in bed, in reality I just wanted to sleep and that’s when it happened. I choke on it! It was really one of those hard ones, like spitting milk through my nose and it started… I immediately started to panick. I just thought I was going to die! I felt a little light-headed from one moment to another and I immediately remembered a documentary I’ve seen like a decade before about children which drowned in silence, basically what the documentary talked about was about kids that choked many times while in the water, but only after many hours they would die without really showing symptoms (To be honest I don’t even know if it is true, and if it is it must be really rare – let’s face it, parents wouldn’t let children go to the pool otherwise). So I called my boyfriend in panick he tried to calm me down (he majored in pharmaceutical sciences so he knows a lot about diseases and things like that), however when I was almost starting to relax I had another panic attack and that was it, I went to the hospital right away.
After this incident, I started one of the most difficult years in my life (although I was able to finish my degree and it was one of the years with best grades)… Basically I was never relaxed! NEVER! It was just so damn difficult. There were many episodes and many panic attacks that I will talk in later posts, but I had everything, from manual breathing to be afraid of going to sleep with the fear to die before morning… Yes, it was DARK! PSYCHOLOGICALLY DARK! To be honest, I had times I just wanted to give up! I just wanted some peace, but fortunately I am too much of a good person to just give up! I mean how would my mother and brother react? And my boyfriend? And my best friend… And everyone that I made an impact in their life and that liked me… So, no! I fighted it with all my strenght and with the help with many people. By going to the psychologist, meds and doing my homework, as also living a healthier life (going to sleep at 6A.M. is out of the question at the present)… And you know what?
I BEAT IT!
It was hard and there were many times that I felt powerless and let me tell you most of the time I felt I had no control in my life/emotions. My mental health (in this case not so healthy) was taking control of my life and it was damn SCARY! But I showed her where she belonged and in a really hard year I was controlling my life again!
If you are feeling anxiety, or any mental problem, know at least this! I was able to get healthy and so can you! I really went to the gutter and thought to myself ” well that’s it, I’m never ever going to be good again” and you know what? I did! And, even though I had a lot of support which I’m really grateful and it was important, it was me that had to fight it, even while living alone and while having many problems in my life occurring at the same time. So, there is no excuse! You CAN do it!
That’s it for today, I really didn’t want to write a long post, that’s why I’m going to talk about it in parts, but… I ended up writing a long post non the less. Next week I will talk about some situations I experienced when I was at the peak of my anxiety as also some tips that helped me to relax and be able to slowly get better! I can tell you that at the moment I am mentally healthier that I ever been in like a decade!
If ANYONE is experiencing this and don’t have anyone to talk to, please send me a DM through Twitter, you can find me @Arthifis. I may not even be able to help you, but at least know that there is someone out there that is willing to hear you (in this case read you :D)
That’s all for today! 😀 Everyone please fight your struggles always with your head up, life is not easy, but hey we only have one (at least that we have certain of) so it is worth to fight for it! Even in those times you feel it doesn’t, in the future you will look back and feel that it was worth it 🙂 MORE IMPORTANT! Stay Calm you guys and girls 🙂
See Ya Soon! 😀