Little leaves have started growing on my sunflower plant!! Opening the leaves to the cruel world is not that easy, so I am proud of it! To follow in my sunflower’s footsteps, I will open up about my anxiety disorder.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional.
Anxiety is something I have experienced for years, and it feels like it’s getting slowly but progressively worse. I honestly feel like that anxiety even has an influence on my sense of identity, as on the one hand, I feel like having anxiety has become part of my identity, on the other hand, I feel like anxiety has taken away part of my identity.
Let me give a short explanation as to what an anxiety disorder is:
There’s a difference between experiencing anxiety, which is something everyone experiences in stressful situations, and having an anxiety disorder. Some symptoms of an anxiety disorder are feeling on-edge, having difficulty concentrating, having sleep problems, being easily tired, and feeling that you cannot control your worry. It has an impact on your daily life and also possibly on your relationships, but anxiety is often not easy to see on people. It can even go as far as to affect you physically, giving you headaches, nausea or an increased heart-rate. Luckily, apart from an increased heart-rate, my anxiety is mostly mental.
How it feels like: a constant worry sitting on my heart and in the back of my mind. I feel like it’s hard to completely relax, even when I’ve earned it. I’m always thinking of things I might have forgotten, things I still have to do, and worst-case scenarios and how to fix it/react. Even after reassurance and knowing that my worrying is unnecessary, it somehow still has a hold on me. To give a small example of my anxiety, I always worry about car doors/normal doors being locked. A week or two ago, I met up with a friend who brought along a friend of hers. I put my belongings in this person’s car, I closed the door and I saw that she locked it. Even though I saw it with my own eyes and was sure that the car is locked, I started worrying that I didn’t close the car door properly and that my laptop would be stolen. Since it’s the first time I’m meeting this person, I didn’t want to come off as strange so I didn’t express my worries. But I wasn’t able to concentrate on the conversation, I couldn’t stop worrying about my laptop. After struggling with myself, I decided to just ask for reassurance from my friends, the worry of my laptop being stronger than the worry that this new person would find me strange. Luckily, she was very nice about it and didn’t judge me, and both of them reassured me that they saw me closing the door and that the car was locked. Moments like this make me feel quite stupid!
Other times, I feel like I am unable to do things due to my anxiety. It’s kind of a vicious cycle where I’m worried about something I have to do, but I am unable to act upon it. And the procrastination of the activity just gives me more anxiety. There are even times when I don’t have a reason for being anxious, but I am just am. Don’t get me wrong, I am perfectly capable of doing relaxing activities, but I just am not completely relaxed when doing it.
I’ve started correlating feeling anxious and being worrisome as a part of my character, when it is a disorder and not a trait. At least, I don’t want it to be a trait! I really want to find myself more outside of my anxiety disorder, and see how I would be without it, and gain more control of my life. So, next time, when I meet up with friends, I can enjoy myself fully without worrying about a car door I know is locked.
When one searches up what one can do to help anxiety, these are the most common answers: exercise, healthy food, good sleep, practiced breathing techniques, talking to a professional, etc. Reading this, I realised that my anxiety got worse this year because I wasn’t exercising like I used to, however sporadically that was, and eating a lot less healthy.
I will try my best to implement more exercise into my life, eat healthier, and sleep more. I know I’ll never become a fitness junkie or someone who lives on veggies and chicken, so I’ll keep the goals realistic. In other words, chocolate and other heavenly goodies are going to stay 😉 but I will lessen them and try more fruits and veggies instead, do more exercise, and definitely drink more water! In my next blog post, I will talk about the journey to a healthier lifestyle and whether or not I’ll see a difference.
Here you can find my next blog post: