As I’m writing this I’m overwhelmed with anxious feelings and stress. Today I’ve experienced my first anxiety attack and let me tell you, I wasn’t expecting it. I knew I was felt anxious but it never really went that far and it just made me realize how much anxiety can take over someone’s life and kind of become a part of them. There are so many searches and results for “how to get rid of anxiety” and “how to overcome anxiety” and to be honest I think it’s a load of crap. I don’t think you can just get rid of anxiety but I do think there are ways to cope with it and make it better. It’s funny though because before all of this, I didn’t really know anxiety was a thing and I really didn’t know I had it.
All through high school I felt like there was something wrong with the way I kept feeling like I was drowning. I would freak out over time which I still do sometimes. Like, all throughout the day I was scheduling my whole day within a timeline like I was going to get home at this time, eat till this time, shower at this time, then do homework till this time and if the bus was late it would throw off my entire little schedule in my head. I would worry about school and sports more than the others and it was just something I couldn’t control. It was hard but I just kind of assumed that it was something I had to deal with and that others felt the same way. Then, I went to college and that was where things got tricky.
My first semester of college was a whirlwind, I could’t really decipher my emotions because there were so dang many of them. I was excited because there were parties/new experiences, a ton of coursework, learning, new friends, being away from home, and trying to figure out how to manage my time. Then, my second semester I kind of got everything under control but realized things were tough. I was getting really severe acne, I couldn’t sleep, I was overeating, I was crying too often, and the stress of keeping my grades up were really getting to me. I knew I had to get some help because this was just getting out of hand. I talked to my parents and made an appointment with a mental health specialist at the NDSU Student Health Services. Let me tell you, that lady was a God send.
I had to take a test that asked me a bunch of questions about my anxiety and life in general and soon I went to talk to the doctor about the results. When I got in there, she made sure to get to know me which I really appreciated. She asked me personal questions and made me feel like I was really important to her, not just another patient. By the end of the appointment she told me I had a pretty severe case of anxiety that mostly showed up during performance type events like assignments, tests, and bigger events. I was stunned at the fact that I finally had an answer for what I was going through and there were actually ways to help manage it.
I left with a prescription for my first anxiety medication and let me tell you, that stuff saved me. I was able to have a little more fun and not be such a predictor for my life. Although the medication has helped my anxiety become more manageable I still struggle with it every. single. day. It’s not something that just goes away and some days are worse than others but it’s something that makes me, me. It’s something that I’ve had to go through in order to be the person I am today.
If you struggle with mental health problems feel free to reach out to me if you need to talk because I get it. It’s so hard to voice what’s going on inside your head when someone else just doesn’t understand. I know and I’m here for you. Know that it’s not something you’re making up and no it’s not something you can just “get over”. I know that for sure. Mental health is so dang important so treat it like it is!