Journal Day #5 via Sometimes Sweet

Sunday, March 23, 2014

We all encounter challenges on a daily basis. You may consider yours something small, like having enough time in the day to accomplish everything you set out to do, or it may be a bit bigger- perhaps something you have to overcome mentally or emotionally, or even a struggle when dealing with a difficult person. Whatever the case, take a look at your daily life- what would you say is your biggest challenge? Or if you have a past struggle you were able to overcome, how did you do it? This week, write about a challenge you currently deal with on a day to day basis, or discuss one you managed to get past.
image via Tumblr

A struggle I currently deal with, and one I've been trying to overcome my entire life is anxiety.  And although I am able to say I've come very far since childhood, those old feelings do creep up on me from time to time. This is a really personal subject for me and something I've always felt insecure about, so I'm going to keep out all the hairy details and just explain this briefly.

When I was little, elementary and middle school age, was when my anxiety was at it's peak. And that's something really difficult for a kid to deal with because I didn't understand what it was and was too embarrassed/ ashamed to ask for help. I remember even going to school every day would make me feel so nervous, sometimes to the point of throwing up in the bathroom and not telling anyone. When another student would try to talk to me, or if the teacher would call on me to answer a question, I would feel shaky and my mind would just go blank. It was an awful thing to deal with every day and I was pretty miserable in any social situation, which lead to feelings of depression. 

Fast forward to high school. The summer before freshman year started I finally was brave enough to ask for help, I had gone through too much on my own I was done denying that anything was wrong to my parents. I was able to realize that I wasn't crazy and my problem was something pretty common, I just had anxiety. I learned a lot of ways to get passed these feelings and start feeling more normal in everyday situations. When school started I was able to make a few friends, had a boyfriend, and could talk to people in my classes normally without feeling nervous the entire time. I even remember I was able to say a speech in front of my class once without pretending to be sick that day or even getting too scared, a huge accomplishment for me. 

But even though I was able to take the edge off the anxiety, it still is able to find it's way back once in a while. After my first real breakup Junior year, I found myself feeling that way again. Most of the friends I had made were mutually through my boyfriend, and since I broke up with him they all took his side and stopped talking to me. I felt alone and friendless just like I had when I was younger. And going to school became hard again. This probably lasted a little over a month. But I had gotten so much stronger since it all started and realized, I do have my own friends. I don't need a boyfriend to cling on to to feel comfortable. I can make new friends without him. And that's how I knew I was stronger than before, simply because I was able to think positively about the situation, which made me able to change the situation. 

I really feel like that was the my "breaking point" in having anxiety. Finding out I was able to pull myself out of a shitty situation all on my own. And like I said, the feelings do come once and a while, and they probably always will when I'm dealing with a hard time in my life, but every time they do I feel a little stronger than the last time, being able to talk myself out of the feelings, and now having people I feel comfortable going to when I do need an extra hand.

3 comments:

  1. I like this post. I think a lot of people underestimate "mental" issues (don't like those words). It's not because you can't see it that it's not an issue. And I have my own share of those issues and they are really hard to overcome. So I always like to read how others overcome their fears and how they are handling it. It makes me feel less alone :)

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    1. I'm really glad to hear that. Reading other peoples stories online always helped me so I figured it couldn't hurt to talk about it myself.

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  2. I've suffered with anxiety pretty badly for the past few years. It has been a very difficult journey for me, and sometimes the anxiety still hits me really hard and stops me in my tracks. Like today for instance. I've been feeling foggy and lightheaded all day-- just mentally checked out. I also have anxiety attacks that make me feel like I'm about to faint. I've been able to cope and learn to deal with my anxiety, and I found that working out is the only thing that works for me. When I work out on a steady basis, the anxiety is nonexistent. It comes back after I stop working out for about two weeks.

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