I’ve been experiencing anxiety for a very long time now; as long as I can remember actually. But what is anxiety in this context? While you can feel anxious, this anxiety is so much more than getting nervous for an exam. It’s constant worrying of what may be. It’s never being certain of anything you say or do. It’s caring about every little thing someone may think of you. It’s never feeling “good enough”. It’s having irrational fears no matter how knowledgeable you may be.
For me, my symptoms are often chalked up to me just being weird or “stush” (pompous). This is what people think, when in reality sometimes I’m literally too scared to socialize or speak to someone. I constantly imagine myself making mistakes and being laughed at afterwards. Sometimes I’d go as far as avoiding social situations purely out of fear. Away from the aspects of social anxiety, I’m terrified of earthquakes, plane crashes, elevators and a host of other things that I know have low chances of resulting in my injury. Yet still I continue to imagine how these ordinary things may somehow lead to my demise. I tend to overthink every outcome of everything I do, be it an ordinary situation, an examination or a seemingly simple phone call.
Blogging has both helped me and hindered me in terms of my anxiety. I’m more comfortable with expressing myself through posts than I am in real life, thus I’m now able to get my opinions across. On the other hand I’m always worrying about what you all will think or say about what I write. This post in particular was a little tough to write. I’ve never been particularly open about my experiences with anxiety or how it affects me. But I’m attempting to help myself through it and wish to show others that mental health should not carry such a stigma. We should not call the quiet kids weird and treat them with disdain since we do not know what they are going through. We, in 2017 should accept that mental illnesses are real and are just as deserving of attention as a physical one. We need to learn to read the signs and recognize when our peers need help and point them in the right direction. There is absolutely no shame in seeking help; I’ve done it and so have countless other people. I would truly recommend it to anyone who feels that they need it.