There are two objectives behind this blog post:
1- to write a +400 words piece of self-expression (haven’t done that in a while).
2- to give you a hint of what anxiety feels like (from an unprofessional point of view).
I do realize now that the answer to the question I asked myself in the last blog post on why I am getting a bit insecure about sharing my current blog link, is because of the perception I know people might take. However, I keep pushing myself to write. Because deep down I know this is how the healing process would grow. The more I vent out the black layers of anger and bitterness covering my heart, may be I will be able to move on.
Many people you meet everyday might be having these feelings, but they will spend effort to hide it though. They either do not wish to show their vulnerability, or they fear being perceived as weak. Many people are persistently sad and anxious. They consistently think pessimistically about the future and most of the time they feel hopeless. Sometimes (or most of the time) they are so fatigued, easily distracted and are having a hard time in making decisions.
All people gets stressed and worried at many points of their lives, but according to science, it starts to fits into an anxiety disorder, say the broadest type Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), when having persistent anxious thoughts on most days of the week, for six months, that it interferes with daily life and is accompanied by noticeable symptoms. (Source:
People with anxiety might know very well that the things they worry about are ridiculous, or at least they are not as bad as in their heads, but being aware of it still does not give them the ability to stop it. And trust me, they do not enjoy feeling this way.
Weirdly enough, you can totally be an extrovert and a social person in nature, and still suffer from social anxiety. So you can suddenly be anxious about social situations that you were totally used to before. The amount of effort to look fine on the outside can be very consuming and tiring too. One can feel that the whole weight of the world is on their shoulders, even if it’s literally and figuratively not. And let’s not even get to the “panic attacks” point. A little trigger can get you feel like you can’t breath, and you will lose control over your own body in the most inconvenient places. And may be even in front of the most unsuitable people.
Really tough, isn’t it?
I believe though that in order to get over this, one has got to make consistent and true efforts that fits under three main points:
- Identify that a problem exists: it might like a given, but I feel that this is the biggest obstacle that face most people with anxiety. Many would try and keep convincing themselves that there is not a problem. Everybody worries.. life is hard.. it’s happening to all of us. While that might be partially true, worrying to the extent of not being able to function properly in your day-to-day tasks. And when that state of anxiousness continues to exist for more than a few months, then stepping up and confronting the issue is the best advisable option. There should be no shame about it.
- Seek support: Not only professional help is needed, but seeking support from family, friends and loved ones is very crucial. Knowing that someone out there has your back would really boost your confidence bit by bit, and gets you to believe that you can get over this. It’s a real challenge, and unfortunately there are many unlucky souls who would not feel understood or supported.
- Never give up: I know how life can be scary. I know how you sometimes wish that you accept defeat and just fall. Wouldn’t it be easier? You won’t have to fight everyday with all this. You won’t have to waste all that energy. I will admit to have personally given consideration to that thought many many many times before. Especially when you feel that everything is a constant battle. But at this point, may be having a certain faith or belief in something can lift you up. The hope that there is a good outcome on the other side will encourage you to take tiny steps into recovery.
As I mentioned earlier, realistically speaking not all people will understand what you’re going through. Mental health is often a mystery to many, and human beings in general tend not to believe in what they cannot see with their eyes (yet would believe in superstitions!). I personally think that what is regarded worse than constantly fight with anxiety and depressive thoughts is having fed by guilt or worry from people. Especially close ones. It is one thing not to have a full understanding on what they are going through, and another thing to ridicule it or not have enough empathy to support them.
I have a collection of things that I strongly believe they should NOT be said to someone fighting anxiety. “You’re making a big deal out of it. Stop destroying our lives.” is on the top of the list. They know that rationally things are not as bad as in their heads. But there come many times when their uncontrollable anxiousness would prevent them to see that clearly. Blaming them for it -in my opinion- will only make things worse. “You’re being ridiculous” is on the list too but may be worst of all, is yelling at someone suffering from an anxiety (including a panic attack!). I think nothing would topple that.
Lastly, I know that anxiety can feel like a lot of pressure. But that does not mean that people with anxiety do not have a lot to give. And those who stay long enough, will get to see that firsthand.
One last note: I’m not sure if you will be reading this, but I want to apologize to the friend whom I gave an irritable advice during a time when this was not the thing she needed to hear. She needed to hear that I will be there for her. I want to let you know that now I understand how inconvenient my advice was at the time.
If you need to learn more, please read the below links. Support your loved ones. Be there for them, and I promise you that they will repay you a thousand times in return.