It is a feeling of fear, worry, anger, sadness, disappointment on oneself and people in life. This all-in-one feeling will come attacking you during unexpected hours and in unexpected places. With a little bit of cold sweat and heartbeat racing inside your chest, making your lungs suffocate and impossible to grasp for air. Your pupils will expand and sometimes you will also experience nausea.
When the anxiety comes, you’re never alone. Even though you are hiding under the blanket in the dark or while driving back home from work, there will always be ‘the other’ you. You will be haunted by thoughts that have been haunting you for so long or sometimes your head is clear but you will hear voices of yourself saying all the negative things you didn’t do in the past. Blaming you, consuming yourself into another demon. Panic attack.
You will start to be frantic all of a sudden. You can cry. You can shout. You can shield both your ears with anything, but those thoughts and voices will still be there with you. You keep denying. You push them away as hard as you can. You put a huge barrier around. Until there is nothing you can do, but let them come and kill you off. Again. Once they are gone, you will be exhausted like you were running a marathon but really all you did was nothing but hoping they might stop. But wait, they will return and you will always try to fight them.
How did you know?
Anxiety has always been my enemy since two years ago.
What causes anxiety?
Anything, really. Situations. Environment. Society. Politics. Religion (that sometimes is related to politics). Economy. Human beings.
Sometimes another human being can be the most dangerous predator than animals.
This will be my first time opening up about my anxiety or GAD.
I am not exactly sure yet about having a GAD, but I have the qualified symptoms. I have been contemplating about going to psychiatrist or anyone for help really. But here is the thing, I have never gone. Why? Because I am scared of the truth and to be honest I am a little embarrassed. My biggest mistake. I needed help. I have only been talking to my closest friends that I trust the most, that I think my ‘secret’ will be safe with them. But they can’t always help me through all these panic attacks because they have no experience in handling people like me. They only can help me by providing great pieces of advice that sometimes I rebuff even though I know they are right because anxiety will never let you be normal.
Here is a little of the story of my anxiety.
I never really realized I had it until one night this huge and unbearable panic attack came. I have experienced a nervous breakdown before, like when I was about to talk in front of a bunch of people, but it was never really this severe. It was late at night, I was having insomnia as usual whenever I thought I was fine but actually, I was having anxiety inside my head but always denied it, I was listening to some music while playing Buzzfeed quiz (by the way, this is fun you know). There was nothing wrong, yeah I had some bad thoughts inside my head but I didn’t let them get into me by using my headphones and setting the volume quite high (kids, this is dangerous if you do this very often). My heart started to beat faster and cold sweats started falling down my neck. I was suffocating and my heart jolted several times making my chest hurt.
I was lying on my bed inside my room alone, in the dark, but everything became the opposite. Like I was in the middle of crowds, in a blaring light.
I started to panic. These demons, these thoughts started to get into my head because my power had been weakened and the music faded even when the headphones were still in their place.
“It was your fault he cheated on you!”
“You were never good enough for him, that’s why he left!”
“You are nothing compared to other girls! You’re not thin enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re weak, you’re just a piece of trash!”
“He never loved you! He even confessed he regretted dating you in the first place…you know what is worse? when he said it to the girl that you will never be able to compete! You should be ashamed!”
“You let all those bad things ruined your life in the first place and you never did anything about it, it’s your fault that your life is worthless!”
“You will never fit in anywhere!”
“You’re a fool! That is why they know you’re an easy prey to kill!”
“People hate you. Nobody likes you because you’re too much to handle.”
“Stop making dramas out of nothing!”
YOU ARE THE ONE WHO DID EVERYTHING I DID! as I screamed to my own self.
I cried and cried, I kept blaming myself. Until I no longer had the power to, I finally collapsed into lucid dreams that brought me into a deep sleep with pounding chest trying to rush in the oxygen that was being captivated in my throat.
What caused my anxiety?
Some people in my past that I no longer keep. A job that I no longer work at.
There are guys I fell in and out of love before in my life. But there is this one guy that turned me into someone I was never before. That triggered my biggest anxiety. I was always this careless girl. I was always an ignorant person. But this guy turned me into a whole new person. The opposite of my old self. Why did I change? Because I wanted to be good for him. Even though I had given all of me, EVERYTHING would never be enough. If I could give him my soul, I would. That was how much I used to love him. I thought I was happy, but it turned out to be otherwise. But you know what, I kept denying and denying. Deceiving myself, telling myself I was happy. But since the day I fell in love with him, I started to keep questioning myself “am I good enough for him?”. Then I found out about him cheating on me for enough time (say it started in the first month of our relationship. Hey, I have my sources so I know). Then, every night I always cried and cried asking harder “am I really good enough for him?” and I started having anxiety and panic attacks. I would wake up in the middle of the night just to cry myself to sleep, started losing weight, and my chest hurt from the oxygen I didn’t receive. Those demons were finally born inside my head at that time and stay there until now.
Such tragedy of love. That I thought fairytale love was real.
I knew deep down, deep inside my heart that I was never happy with him. I was never myself with him. I kept holding back. But even after I knew he was cheating on me, I still denied myself and telling me I was happy. Why would I do that? because if I gave in, that means the demons won. So, I always put on that fake smile every day.
On the other side of my life, my job was also such a pressure to me. I didn’t fit in there, the boss was an ass ( I am sorry for my bluntness). That job also made me the unhappiest I had ever been. But again, because I needed to be grateful for the job I had so I pushed myself to fit in. But the more I pushed, the more severe this anxiety became. As always, I denied myself telling me I was fine. It was not GAD, I didn’t have a mental sickness, I was happy and living my life to the fullest. I had a boyfriend that loved me (or so I thought) and a job that kept me alive. But everything was a lie, though as much as I knew it was true…I buried the truth deep in my head. The panic attack came more often. Coffee helps, it sets down my anxiety, so I drink more coffee every day. I know coffee probably is the worst medicine when having a panic attack, it increases the heart palpitations. But it eases the demons in my head and helps me focus on other things.
I used to have no friends to talk to because everyone seems busy with their own life. I couldn’t talk to my family because I didn’t want to make them worry and make them ask me to move back home. So I pushed myself, alone, until I couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to quit my job and finally spoke to my parents (they really asked me to move back home because they are worried). The relationship ended (it was him who ended it blaming me for being myself and him cheating with another girl for the thousandth of times). Then here I am, taking my Master degree and went back to living with my parents care. But still is being haunted by these demons, but now it becomes less and less.
The past is still haunting me. The terror stays with me. It has already affected me in so many things (and not in a good way). I suddenly have a trust-issue, where I never really had before. It actually ruined everything. I have so many new friends but it is just hard to know which one that I can really trust the most. I met a new guy there that I never thought I could fall in love with. But I did. But because I keep seeing the past, that terror, I am too afraid to move forward. Whenever I tried to convince myself that it is okay, the anxiety gets to me more often. I get so panic easily. My chest hurts almost every day from the rising heartbeat whenever those demons start to show up inside my head telling me all the negative things. I didn’t let the demons win, so I walked out of the love I thought would help to heal my past. This time, it was not him who ended it… it was me. As much as I wanted to be with him, as much as I loved him, I don’t want this anxiety to win me over again. The demons keep telling me, that he is just like the other guy who hurt you, he will leave you, he will do the same things and much worse. It still hurts to see him everywhere I go. I do love him and I am hurting. But walking away from him helps to slow down these demons. So, I decided to be better off alone for sometimes.
So, how actually to handle anxiety?
First, you have to know what really makes you happy. If you don’t like math, don’t push yourself too hard on that. Just because your anxiety tells you that you’re weak because you can’t finish some stupid equations that can’t solve itself, it does not mean you are weak and worthless. It means that math is not your field, is not your thing. Don’t push yourself to be the best at it. As long as you can pass your grade in math, you’re safe! But instead of coping yourself with negativity, you can always try to be the best in doing things that you love to do. If you hate math and suck at it, but you like biology and good at it, then you should be more focus on biology and expand your love in there. Be the best in your field, your anxiety will never tell you that you’re not good enough.
Second, surround yourself with only some people that bring you happiness and joy. You don’t have to be with a huge group of friends that only creates dramas. Just be with a handful of people that can make you at ease, that can help you in handling your fears, that you trust the most, that brings out the best in you. Walk away from toxic people! Because toxic people are the ones that will only worsen your anxiety.
Third, help other people. Sometimes helping other people who experience the same kind of experience as you will help. The advice you offer to someone, sometimes would come from deep inside you and it was all you need for yourself but you never find it until you give it to someone else.
Fourth, embrace your anxiety. Don’t deny yourself anymore. If you’re unhappy then believe it. Once you believe it, then you can help yourself. If you know you’re unhappy, you’ll find the core to what makes you feel that way. So you can ‘fix’ it. Be happy, find a cure by doing something fun.
Fifth, if you can’t handle it yourself or probably it is too hard to bear, then find a professional. Find a psychiatrist! Before everything becomes too late.
That is all for today. I am so sorry for the long post, I hope this post will help.