Recently someone told me that they had been diagnosed officially with anxiety, and I have to admit I didn’t fully know how to react. As someone a fair bit younger than me I think mostly I was just so sorry that she should have to know that officially so young. Sure, when you’re young you have those anxious moments… and I guess that’s what I want to say today.
The point of my blog is to help anyone in any way I can through the experiences I myself have had. And as someone who has and still does deal with anxiety and panic attacks I want to make sure that somewhere down the line I use those experiences not as something holding me back but as something I can use to help someone forward.
I still have panic attacks. No longer because of other people, but I just get them a little randomly, in varying degrees of intensity. None of it is nice, but I can survive it. I still feel anxious, and have anxiety for a fair few situations in life. But I’m only 17. As old I would like to say I am, I’ve still got a heck lot more to go, and I know it can only get better.
The myth that anxiety only affects you when you are 11 or 12 (i.e. pubescent) is exactly that, a myth. I know that some of the strongest people I interact with on a daily basis are people who also have to battle their inner anxieties. For myself I used to just class it as being “awkward”, that the reason I didn’t do things was obviously because something was lacking in me, and thats kind of true, but it wasn’t because I’m awkward. I lacked the knowledge that you are 100% allowed to feel anxious, and then you are also allowed to tell your anxiety to bugger off, and conquer it.
It gets easier the more you do it. I used to be a fairly anxious driver about six or seven months into driving. But once I started doing it everyday to and from school, to the gym, to the supermarket, wherever I realised I had nothing to be anxious about. I could do it, I just needed to remind myself. Another thing for me is speaking up in class, and this year I have decided to more and more just take those opportunities – you know those ones where you know the answer but you’re too nervous to say? I speak up now even when I get it wrong. And because of that it means when I do get it wrong its okay, because I know I also get it right a hell of a lot of the time. Plus, in a class discussion right and wrong are subjective.
Acknowledge your limits, but dont let them define you. I know for a fact I cannot ski, and I get so anxious about the idea of skiing down a mountain (to the extent I walked down a ski lift in Germany!!), but I also know that I am willing to jump into a discussion in another language (German, again) and keep my anxiety at bay. I know when its worth it and when its not.
I wish I knew how to say all that and more in a sentence or so, but I don’t. All I can say is that you have nothing to be ashamed of, and that it will get easier and easier. Now is only temporary, and is not your forever. If I look back at the now of me even a year ago who faced panic attacks almost everyday I know that I am so different, and that things 100% got better.
Be you. Be proud. Be your own strong.
As ever, and especially now I would really love to hear your thoughts. And if you have any messages for the girl I mentioned at the beginning I would really love if you could leave them – I will be sure to pass them on! Who knows, I might even be brave enough to show her them, here? 🙂
Until next time, and have a great weekend,