My Struggle with Anxiety

I know things have been quiet over here on my end this week and I apologize. I've being going back and forth with myself about whether or not I want to post this, and maybe that is exactly why I should share it with you. So brace yourself everyone, things are about to get pretty personal.

Anxiety is something I struggle with every single day of my life. But it is definitely something most people don't even know about me. I am an ardent and determined person, yet sensitive and very nervous at times. I am a strange contradiction. To others I may appear confident, for I have strong opinions and views. But in reality I am more of an introspective and often even cynical character.

My anxiety can perhaps be linked to a few causes. For instance, both freedom and security are equally important to me; this is often a conflict in my life and can lead to some indecisiveness. As you know, I am always searching for truths, and instinctively knowing that there is not only one, I am often left frustrated and full of self doubt. I think my anxiety can also be linked to how I was raised. I have two very loving and supportive parents who taught that I could do and be anything I wanted. Which is great, as a child. It allows you to dream and to see the world in all it's beauty and humanity and want to dance in it;  to see the world in all it's nastiness and hate and want to change. But when society, the media, and even people around you tell you that you are not good enough and that you can't make a change it eats at you. I often feel inhibited. I wish I wasn't inhibited by the limitations and capacity of my mind. For I want to know everything. It’s overwhelming; knowing how much I don’t know, knowing how much I’ll never know.

And I don't know why I do this to myself. For the most part I don't know what causes my anxiety. I just get in these ruts, these huge ruts, that are so hard to climb out of. I just sit at the bottom, looking at how great the world is up above. I tell myself I’m not good enough. I tell myself that everything I do is a waste of time because it’s never going to get me anywhere. I tell myself that I’m not worth anyone’s time. That none of my friends really care. And then I let myself be alone. I tell myself that no one wants to spend time with me, but it’s all my fault. I let myself slip away. I just fall farther and farther down in my well. And I get lonely. And I sulk for days. And the littlest things make me cry. And then, I even have the decency to blame it on stupid things, like the weather, or how awful the world is, or how mean someone was to me this one time forever ago. Yes, that is what is making me so vulnerable in this moment. I allow myself to succumb to myself. To this monster inside myself.
img found here. I can not find the original source/artist for this. Please let me know if you know!
Everyday is different when you are living with anxiety. Some days I feel great and confident and ready to face anything that is thrown at me. I may have my reservations and nerves, but I'm not going to let it shake me! And I'm definitely not going to let anyone notice! Some days it’s just really hard to get out of bed. And no matter how hard I try, I just can’t really wake up. Even going out to the mail box seems impossible. And attempts to cheer myself up, like listening to happy songs, just makes my heart hurt. My social anxiety is the worst. I stress about seeing people or talking to people, no matter how nice and casual the conversation. It is irritating and frightening .

For those of you who don't suffer from some form of anxiety, a moment with anxiety may feel something like this:  I’m not numb, I’m the opposite (I've been numb before and I'm glad it's not that). I feel everything. I get so overwhelmed; my body shakes, my stomach turns, my vision blurs, my heart pounds as if wanting to escape. It creeps up on me. It happens everywhere and often; waiting in line at the coffee shop, walking the aisles of the library, riding in the car, laying in bed. I swear I can feel the weight of everyone around me. And if I’m alone, I can feel the weight of the billions of air particles. And it hurts. But I can't stop thinking about it because I don’t think this is normal, whatever this is. I worry about everything. I question everything. Should I? It can’t be ignored; I try. I think too much, too. About everything. Everything. I don’t even know everything. I don’t know anything. I don’t even make sense to myself. I wish I wasn't so shy. I wish I wasn't afraid. I wish I knew what I wanted. I wish I could tell people what they mean to me. I wish I could tell people how significant they are. I wish I was happy. I wish I slept normally. I wish was okay with myself, with who I'm trying to be.

I have come to the realization that I can never just ignore this and beat this. It keeps coming back and it always will. Things are good, and then they're not. I can't stay content. I hurt because I know that no matter what I do, it will never be enough. And maybe it sounds silly, but that’s what eats up at me everyday. There is so much wrong in the world; I can’t change that fact. I have been told that when I have these feelings, when I don't want to go on, it is important and probably the most human thing to do, to remind myself over and over that other people feel this way too.

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Most importantly I need to remind myself of this:

"The fact that you’re struggling doesn't make you a burden. It doesn't make you unlovable or undesirable or undeserving of care. It doesn't make you too much or too sensitive or too needy. It makes you human. Everyone struggles. Everyone has a difficult time coping, and at times, we all fall apart. During these times, we aren't always easy to be around — and that’s okay. No one is easy to be around one hundred percent of the time. Yes, you may sometimes be unpleasant or difficult. And yes, you may sometimes do or say things that make the people around you feel helpless or sad. But those things aren't all of who you are and they certainly don’t discount your worth as a human being. The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved. You can be difficult and still be cared for. You can be less than perfect, and still be deserving of compassion and kindness.
- Daniell Koepke

So what do I do? I keep fighting, I suppose, such is life. I have eyes, eyes that see this world and its problems and its filth. And I have a heart, a heart that beats and feels and hurts for everyone that hurts. And I have a mind, a mind that thinks and longs for understanding and learning and truth. Just know that I’m just trying. Because my eyes, they also see blurry. And my heart, sometimes it beats too fast and nervous. And my mind, my mind is a mess. Just know that I want meaning, I want my life to be real, and that I try to be considerate. I need to have more confidence that all my efforts will be worth it in the end. I just want you to know that I will never give up.

Tips and Things You Can Do To Be A Little Happier and Become Anxiety Free:
  1. SLEEP REGULARLY: Go to bed early and wake up earlier. Doing so will allow you to get more sleep and having a set schedule will help with anxiety.
  2. EAT WHOLE FOOD: Providing your body with whole, healthy food versus processed food will give it the nutrients it needs. An instant mood booster because you'll feel a lot better.
  3. EXERCISE: Hello, endorphins. Exercising regularly also helps with keeping a routine and keeping anxiety at bay. Also, getting through tough workouts is a real confidence builder!
  4. ORGANIZE: This is a necessity for me. Organization helps keep me on task and I feel much less anxious when things have order.
  5. DRINK LOTS OF WATER: Your body will be happy for. You will be happy for it. I have water with me, always.
  6. LISTEN TO MUSIC: Obviously. Music can affect your mood drastically so make sure you always are playing some good vibes.
  7. READ: Let your mind and thoughts completely escape you for awhile. Dive into a completely different world. Your problems will still be there when you are done reading and I guarantee they won't seem so large anymore.
  8. BE PRODUCTIVE OR GET CREATIVE: Spending time accomplishing things or getting creative or solving problems are all great ways to boost your confidence.
  9. BE SILLY: It's hard to be sad or worrisome when dancing around the kitchen or playing with your pups on the floor.
  10. GO FOR A WALK OR A CASUAL BIKE RIDE: It is a great way to relax and work things out in your head. The fresh air is an extra treat.
  11. DON'T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE: Speak up and do something if you want to do. You'll have a lot less to worry about if you just do it.
  12. BE PRESENT: Engage with those around you. Build relationship that truly matter, they will be what saves you if you ever feel like you can't go on.

P.S. My anxiety is also a part of the reason I started Oh Whimsical Me. To prove to myself that I could and that I was good enough. Now you know you'll just have to excuse me on occasion for a few days whenever I misplace my confidence.