Living with anxiety is one of the scariest things I’ve ever witnessed, and people around me take it as a joke.
Anxiety is a monster that will follow us, no matter how successful we are, or how many great jobs we’ve done. There’s always the scary “what if” in our minds, and we don’t know how to react to that.
I struggled a lot with mental illness while growing up. I went through depression in high school, I had panic attacks in my current jobs, and I hated life once or twice. Scary, isn’t it?
My days through high school
High school was hell. I don’t have any other words to explain those days when all I wanted to do was to give up.
I was studying in a school that I hated, the relationship with my parents was not the best at that moment, and I didn’t know what was going on with me.
Every time someone talked to me with a bad attitude, I wanted to cry and my heart beat so fast that it hurt. When people criticized me, I felt down and all I thought was “why am I breathing? why am I a waste of air?” and whenever I talked about my feelings they said, “you’re just seeking attention”.
When they told me that I agreed. I mean, I was feeling alone, why wouldn’t look for people’s attention. It was just a moment of sadness, I told myself.
In 10th grade, I tried to play soccer since they told me that practicing a sport helped with my “sadness”. But it didn’t work. The pressure of having to be a good player was not helping me. I was anxious whenever I had an important game, I had panic attacks in the bathroom and my teammates just said “she is a waste in the team”. Oh God, how it broke me hearing those words.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “did she go to therapy?”; the answer is yes. I went to seven different psychologists and one psychiatrist. At the beginning I thought I was crazy, so I didn’t trust any of them and never opened up. The psychiatrist didn’t ask me anything, he just made some exams and gave me some pills. Disappointing, isn’t it?
I graduated from high school, thinking I was crazy and having no friends. I never trusted anyone enough to tell them what I was going through, not even my best friend.
My college days
I was sure about something when I started college: all I wanted to was being a writer. I told you in this post how demotivational it was to study something that I hated, but what I didn’t you guys was how it affected me.
Demotivation can be your worst enemy if you’re living with anxiety. Every single day I woke up feeling like I was wasting my life, stuck in a major that I didn’t love. I was nervous in every class and there were moments when I had to lock myself in the bathroom so I could cry in peace.
Must of the teachers didn’t help. It0s a fact that, when you’re in college, it’s hard to find a teacher that truly cares about their students.
However, there was a subject in my second semester that changed my life. It was Int. to Psychology. The teacher talked a lot about mental illness and how it affected a big part of the population.
He spoke about awareness and about accepting ourselves because it was okay to feel that way. He taught me that I could trust psychologists, that they would help me and wouldn’t judge me.
After that day I scheduled an appointment with a therapist that nobody around me knew. I went to her consulting room and, Jesus, the way I cried that day would break your hearts, for real.
5 to 6 times visiting her were enough to see a difference, and I appreciate that in a way that I won’t ever be able to express.
Anxiety being a teacher
Being a teacher and living with anxiety are two things that changed me.
I don’t consider myself as a teacher that loves her job. I like it, I won’t lie to you, but I’m not happy when I’m in the classroom. At least not after I got a new boss.
My boss is the type of person that would call you “idiot” in front of everybody. He loves having power, and he doesn’t care about others’ feelings.
A couple of times he made feel like shit. I had so many panic attacks because of him that lost count. I hated so much being there, that I wanted to quit a couple of times.
My boss made me feel like in those high school days. He reminded me that people around us were not always nice if we had any mental illness which is something that has to change.
Living with anxiety made more conscious of my surroundings. I’m always aware of what could trigger me and try to look for solutions right away.
It taught me that I have to be more comprehensive with people. That I have to pay attention to my words. It taught me so many things that I’m grateful for it sometimes.
However, it also taught me that the world is a cruel place where people sometimes don’t care about your feelings, and make you feel ashamed for having something you can’t control.
Just remember something: everything is going to be okay and you’re bigger than your mental illness.
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