By Ahtiya Liles
Plain and simple.
I thought about leaving this article at that and not writing anymore, but then I decided against that. The truth is: I have no clue how to deal with my anxiety. I have no clue how to handle the feeling of not being able to breathe, or not feeling content in any position, or not being able to focus on anything, yet honing in on everything at the same time. I don’t. Even as I write this article, I’m having anxiety, and I’ve been having anxiety off and on for the past 4 hours or so. I thought writing this article would help.
I try sitting still with the lights off and focusing on my breathing, but that just makes me panic. I try listening to music, and sometimes this works, but sometimes it also makes it worse. I try going to sleep, but the mere fact that I want to rush to sleep only works against me and causes more anxiety.
And most of the time, these hour long anxiety periods are caused by the mention of one little thing or nothing at all. Anxiety from being in a subway car disappears once I’m off the subway. Anxiety about an essay vanishes once I stop working on the essay. Anxiety about an impending event evaporates once the event comes and goes. But it’s the anxiety about nothing that really gets me. It’s the anxiety that has no meaning that freaks me out and just causes more anxiety. Maybe this is because I’m the type of person who likes to know what is going on around her and I always have a plan, so anxiety where I can’t pinpoint the source just doesn’t align with my way of thinking.
But whatever it is, it sucks. And I wish it didn’t happen. And I wish I could make it go away or rewind to before high school when I didn’t notice my anxiety, when I didn’t understand what anxiety was because I had never felt it. I can’t go back to the past.
This article is more so a reminder to myself that there’s always an end of an anxiety attack. There’s always an end to a panic attack. There’s always an end to a bad time. And whether or not a good time comes after the bad time is up to me. I can focus on how much having anxiety sucks or I can make the most of my anxiety-free time, since I never really know when an anxiety attack will rear its ugly head again.
So this is for the people who suffer with anxiety. And I know you know this because I’ve heard a thousand times and I’ve said it to myself over and over again: just breathe. Just keep breathing. It may not make the anxiety go away immediately, but there’s always an end to anxiety. It’s the middle part that’s the worse, but just focus on the end.