I’ve been avoiding writing this because reflecting on what’s happened in this last year makes me nervous. I have so much to say yet I am hesitant. Last year I said I would kick 2019’s ass but turns out 2019 kicked my ass. Good things happened, I graduated from university, I got my licence, my writing got published in two magazines all while constantly having a black cloud hanging over my head. Although not many know that a storm is brewing over my head at all times, but it’s very exhausting pretending like everything is okay.
This year my anxiety symptoms were at its worst it’s ever been. It was this never-ending process of overthinking, over-analyzing, and catastrophizing. My thoughts went in circles and would lead to terrible anxiety attacks. Anxiety symptoms can take a physical toll on the body and I lost about 25 pounds because I couldn’t bring myself to eat. Loss of appetite is the number one symptom I have when I’m stressed. All anyone would tell me is, “You lost so much weight!” I went from a size four to a zero and I started cringing at the sight at myself in the mirror. I liked it when my clothes hugged my curves not hanging off of a stick-like body. When people questioned me about my weight I didn’t know how to explain to them that it was because of my anxiety. All I would say is, “I don’t why. I don’t know what’s going on with me.”
Everyone has anxiety but there are different levels of anxiety symptoms and I don’t know how to explain to others how bad mine is. It’s exhausting to wake up and go to sleep with anxiety, you don’t feel normal. You question everything and freak out about things that were never a problem in the first place. Having anxiety prevents you from completing daily tasks or taking the steps to reach the goals you made for yourself.
Altering the way you think takes time. Learning how to stop constantly speculating or making assumptions is very difficult. Teaching yourself how to address the facts only isn’t easy, especially when you have the habit of overgeneralizing. I’ve been told it helps to call someone to talk you down before you get a full-blown anxiety attack, but it’s just not realistic to call someone during the middle of a workday to make time to calm you down all the time. I had to learn to talk myself down and whether I succeed or not it’s such a lonely process. You try to distract yourself from your thoughts but feel guilty when you realize you haven’t done anything productive which only leads to more anxiety. You are alone with your thoughts whether you’re surrounded by people or not because you’re trying to calm yourself down and act normal.
I’m usually excited for the new year, but I’m ready for 2020. I’m scared of the new year, because I haven’t fully dealt with everything that’s happened in 2019. I still have lingering problems that I’m working on leaving in the past. In 2019, the combination of bad decision making and struggling with the intensity of my anxiety left me feeling fragile and weak. I’m not ready for all of life’s obstacles that are going to hit me in 2020 because I feel like you need to have thick skin and I don’t feel like I do. Sometimes you need to tackle the problem right away instead of freaking out about it until the problem gets worse and that’s something I’m trying to learn.
I don’t like being in a confused state of mind because that’s when my thoughts go in circles. In 2020, I want don’t want my thoughts to be the mastermind of my life I want to be the master of my own mind. That means eliminating anything that causes me confusion and practising understanding why I feel how I feel. All I know is that I never want to feel as awful as I did in 2019 again. I am scared of what’s to come in 2020 but I want it to be a year of self-growth. I’m determined to actively make the effort to better myself and to not allow people in my life who stop me from being my best self.
Feature Image by NordWood Themes on Unsplash
I feel like I can relate to this so much. In 2019 I have found the things that trigger anxiety, but am still working on ways to get through it. Thank you for sharing your story, it helps me feel like I’m not the only one.
That makes me so happy!
First off, you’re so brave putting this out on the internet for anyone to read, your vulnerability here will inspire others to open up about their struggles and find relief.
Anxiety is kind of my forte, so I’d love to give you a few of my favorite tips if you don’t mind!
-Have you tried magnesium? When I first started researching for relief from anxiety, magnesium kept coming up. The more I looked into it the more confused I was why EVERYONE didn’t take it. It’s the most important nutrient that our body doesn’t make. It’s essential for bone growth, hormone balance, dealing with stress, and brain function. And here’s the kicker, when you’re stressed out, you use more. So when you need it the most, it’s used up. Almost everyone is low on magnesium. It’s crazy! So go to amazon and get a spray, I use this one called “dead sea magnesium oil”, and I spray it on my legs before bed. It’s best absorbed through the skin. If you can take a bath, epsom salt is also magnesium (I had no idea!) and it will help you tremendously also. Yay for magnesium!
-Journal. This is another one we don’t realize can help us so much. I find good anxiety relief prompts and find great success, but the most helpful for me is when I drill down to the why of my day.
Why was today a bad day? Why was I so impatient and frustrated? My anxiety presents as anger most often, so this is where I focus much of my attention. Journal everything. Figure it all out. You can find why you’re anxious, you can see some possible triggers too. I found out that when I drink alcohol the night before I have significantly less ability to control my anxiety the next day. Even after just a glass of wine. I also realized that chocolate and sugars reaaaally set me off too.
-Reading. I love reading! My favorite big helper for anxiety is Feeling Good by David Burns. I saw him in a webinar a few years ago, and I found him so professional and helpful. His book is stacked with knowledge too. He presents you with Cognitive Behavior Therapy, which is AMAZING for anxiety, depression, and other unpleasant thoughts.
This is my best advice for you. Good luck with your journey, I know you’re going to have a better 2020.
Thank you so much for taking the time to give me these tips! You have no idea how much it means to me!
I can relate to your post so much! I deal with anxiety myself and have since I was a child (I just didn’t realize it until I was an adult). It has just gotten worse over the years, so I finally had to get some professional help about a year ago. It is still something I struggle with. Some days are worse than others, but it does really help to have someone to talk to. Especially if that someone knows what you are dealing with. If you ever need to reach out feel free to talk to me. Wishing you the best for 2020!
I’m happy you got help. It’s a constant struggle but help definitely makes things better.