During my senior year of high school, my Anxiety was at its breaking point. I was nervous about my grades, applying for college, and my volunteering duties took over my life. I was constantly trying to please everyone, and I felt like underperforming on anything meant that I was a failure.
During this time, my Anxiety started affecting my body. I would feel queasy and sick, and started eating less. Because my stomach never felt like eating, I got headaches, would feel weak, and started losing weight dramatically. I also felt pain in my arms, which prevented me from doing school work and made me feel even more stressed out. When I went to my GP to talk to him about it, he thought that I had tendonitis and I wore arm braces. When the braces would do nothing, or even make the pain worse, he told me that it was probably stress related. He recommended that I seek therapy to try and deal with my anxious feelings.
So I started going to therapy. I quit my volunteer work. I let go of the expectations that I was setting up for myself.
Everything ended up fine. I got accepted to the University that I wanted to go to. I maintained my grades. I let people down, but in doing so, I lifted myself up.
Now, more than a year later I’m doing great. I’m still going to therapy, but I’ve made such huge strides in coping with my Anxiety. I was able to handle an academic year at a fast paced University. I became more outgoing and managed to make friends even though I was a freshman commuter. I’m taking summer classes and happy to be learning new material and gaining credits towards my degree. And most of all, I’m more happy with myself.
I’ve also managed to take matters into my own hands. Before, I used to feel like I had no control over what was happening in my life. I was passive and depressed with how things would turn out. I wasn’t happy with my body or my eating habits, but I wasn’t doing anything about it. Now, I go to the gym almost every day. I feel happy that I’m putting weight back on and that I’m eating more. By feeling more in control of my life, I’m happier because I can take action and actually see results.
There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. Often times we convince ourselves that we will never make it out of the darkness. But the only person keeping yourself in that dark place is you. You can control your life and your happiness. You don’t have to put yourself down to keep promises to other people. The thing you should be most focused on is your own happiness, before worrying about the happiness of others.