“I am not my anxiety”

I would definitely say that I am lucky enough to have lived a very happy and fortunate life. I have the best family and great friends that I wouldn’t trade for anything. However, when I was about 16-17, I went through a very tough time. I saw what I hope to be my darkest days and was in a slump that I at the time, never really thought I’d recover from.

I’ve dealt with anxiety my whole life, as I’m sure most people do in varying degrees, but there was a solid few months where I really struggled. I couldn’t go out with friends and have fun without something else on my mind, and anticipating the future really got me all worked up. I
literally felt my heart beat what seemed like 100 mph for weeks. Life itself made me so anxious, all I wanted to do was sleep. Everything caught up to me all at once and I had no idea how to deal with it. My whole life I pushed my worries aside and was extremely care-free, but that all came back to bite me. I spent days straight in my bed and didn’t ever have any desire to get up in the morning. All of my worries and thoughts finally bubbled over and crashed on me all at once.
It was especially tough because not only did I think I had issues and would never be “normal,” but the last thing I wanted was for my family to see me in such a big mess. However, I was wrong for not wanting to share my problems with them because all they wanted to do was help. Which is exactly what they did.

Lucky for me, this gloom only lasted a few (long) weeks. Through the process of ridding myself of debilitating worry, I’ve come to realize that not only is anxiety a very tough thing to deal with, but it’s really always there. It’s how you deal with it that makes you strong enough to not feel it. I tried to power through it, I tried therapy, I even tried meditation, but the two things that worked, and continue to work for me, are my family and music. I am back to my full self again due to those two things.
During that time in my life I would say that anxiety defined me. Now I’d say that’s a bunch of hooey. Anxiety may be a powerful thing, but I am more powerful. Never again will I let worries take over my life. I am not my anxiety, and no one else should be either.