I am a very socially anxious person, I hate crowds and try to keep away from any attention diverted my way. I keep to myself at social gatherings and speak to select people that don’t make me uncomfortable, and when I have to speak to people that I’m uncomfortable with I smile, nod and try to get out of that situation as quickly as possible.
Naturally my worst nightmare is talking to large groups of people, I avoid it when I can and move quickly through it when I must. That is why I speak at 200 km/h and stutter and lose my train of thought so often to the point where I have to stop myself take a breath and continue speaking because if I continue without a break all that will leave my mouth is unrecognizable gibberish.
I’ve also been battling my anxiety with college, every time I have an exam or midterm I don’t sleep, I panic, think of the worst, I even cry out of frustration. Every time before I enter my exam room I feel worthless, like I will never pass anything, like I will keep disappointing myself and the people who love me. And every time I leave an exam room I feel defeated like I just want to bury myself in my bed and never leave my room.
But, and there is a huge but, I always try to tell myself that no matter how I feel in that moment, no matter how much I want to give up and cry, that that is just my anxiety, my insecurities talking with a powerful voice that I must overcome. A voice that, if I let it, will 100% ruin my life and even though I know this and push through most of my battles, my anxiety wins from time to time. And it is at that time that I know, that I have to be stronger and more determined or otherwise all my struggles will have been for nothing.
And I know this sounds so whiny and most people have stress issues when they are in college, in social situations, at work etc. but I can only speak from my unique perspective of my life. Ultimately only I know how I truly feel inside, and only I know how I feel when I have an anxiety/panic attack. And if someone trusts you enough to tell you their feelings and share their anxiety with you, don’t respond with “Yeah, I’ve been feeling stressed too” because stress and anxiety are too vastly different things. Instead hear them out, ask them how you can help ask them, if you can help or if they just need someone to hear them out.
Trust me sometimes all it takes to help someone is to listen, boy/girlfriend, best friend, spouse, mom, dad, sibling every little bit helps. It doesn’t have to be a professional, though sometimes that is the only thing that can help, to guide someone through a situation that they feel anxious about.
I’m very fortunate in that I have a soulmate that helps me through every situation, and sometimes when I give up, he is there to tell me how stupid I am being for letting my insecurities and anxieties get the better of me. He is there to remind me that I am strong, and that I can and will get though any situation and that he will help me through it. I am also fortunate to have the friend I have that support me and cheer me on and give me hope and strength as I try to do the same for them in their tough times.
In all honesty, if you know someone that has anxiety and struggles with it, try to learn about it try to find ways to help them. Educate yourself on the ways to prevent anxiety attacks or if they do happen what to do for that someone. Because I know that without the support system I have, I would have given up on everything a long time ago. Without them I wouldn’t have the strength to move forward and push through. So as much as this post is to help someone understand anxiety a little better, it is also a huge THANK YOU to all the people in my life that have helped me in one way or another. And in no means is my experience the only one, people have different degrees of anxiety and cope with them in a myriad of ways.
Thank you for reading and I hope this helps.