I fear my anxiety.
To be blatantly honest, I’m not even sure I have anxiety or depression.
Wait, just hear me out.
I’ve never gone to a psychologist to get evaluated and frankly, I actually rather do that instead of continuing on not confirming whether my anxiety and depression is true. But I’m afraid. Afraid of having to face this alone and spilling out my deepest darkest thoughts and secrets to a random stranger (face to face at that). Afraid to know that my mind is as dark as it seems and that my anxiety and depression hasn’t been all in my head.
Truthfully, although I’m scared, I do want to do it, but the anxiety itself is holding me back. What if I end up breaking down or crying to a total stranger? What if I get the confirmation and it’s not what I want to hear? And if I do get confirmation (I think like 60% will), how would I react to it and where do I go on with it?
It’s been a year and a half since I’ve graduated my Diploma and I’ll be blatantly honest, I never applied for any jobs. I have searched for them, but never sent in my resume or even called to ask or apply.
It isn’t that I don’t want to work, who the hell doesn’t want to get a job that they love and support themselves? Every time I try, I get shut down, by myself.
And to make matters worse, people in my family are definitely not helping. They question and keep talking to me to get a job, a 9-5 job and just do it to earn money, to be content with it. But I’m pretty sure it’s to save their own face and not for my own benefit. My parents don’t even care that I’m working on my book blog or that I’ve actually written 3 first drafts for novels. They don’t care for my dreams.
I’ve heard a saying that artistic people cannot be tied down to a 9-5 job, and I really agree. We can do it, definitely, but we will burn out faster than the rest. As an INFJ, I want to inspire and change lives, I want what I do to have real meaning, but you need so many qualifications for something like that, and that’s not fair.
These one and a half years, I’ve spent them reading, wallowing in self-doubt, writing, and I knew that I had to move, but I couldn’t.
It sucked seeing peers move on with their lives as though nothing is wrong and I’m still here, picking up the pieces of the damage that has been done to me years ago. It’s difficult when people keep questioning how my life is and whether or not I have a job or we should ‘catch up’. Most of these people are those that I cut off from my life completely because I knew they were all toxic.
It’s not that I’m saying that I’m not toxic, I probably am, but if you mix two poisons together, you only get a deadlier one and we’ll just have a Romeo and Juliet tragedy all over again.
Anxiety and depression sucks. And I went on about with my life, not knowing what it was until 10 years AFTER I had my first anxiety attack. I could still remember the night when I was 12 years old, I was crying over losing something I barely knew and I felt like I couldn’t breathe and was dying. That gut wrenching feeling that made me sick to my stomach.
It disappeared 1-2 years after that and reared it’s ugly head again when I was 15-17 years old. And I thought that was the worse part, that was when I had hit rock bottom. I was dealing with stress from schoolwork, friendship, relationship and even my family. I can’t even keep count of how many times I would cry myself to sleep during that period and waking up early the next morning to pretend nothing had happened as I went to meet my friends to take the bus to school. When they asked about my puffy eyes, I could get away with it by telling them I didn’t have enough sleep, and I was lying through my teeth every single time.
My relationship was so toxic I almost resorted to self-harming (like 2 shallow cuts that never drew blood, but left scars to this very day) , hoping that my blood would be able to save the downward spiral of the relationship, but I was left to pick up the cinders when the fire was done burning.
When I finally moved on to being 18-21 years old, I was sure that life couldn’t get worse, since I had hit my rock bottom well before then, right?
Wrong. I hit rock bottom then, dealing with stress of not being able to get good grades (despite doing well academically wise when I was 15-17), toxic friendships and group mates.
I broke down so many times and the two worse ones were when I literally sat in the bathroom, crying on the floor and consoling myself that things would get better. But they didn’t.
I learnt about anxiety and depression at this stage and suddenly I realised that all those weird palpitations, breathlessness, cold hands, stomach clenching, nausea, lack of appetite weren’t normal. I thought they were, since they had been with me for years. And I was so angry, why didn’t anyone tell me that they weren’t normal? (This is why schools, irregardless of country should educate people about mental health.)
I literally saw a friend break herself apart while trying to cope with anxiety and depression.
The sad thing was that when I told her about my symptoms, she told me that they were all in my head. As someone who was going through anxiety and depression, I was hoping that she would give me her two cents and insight.
I was never angry at her for gaslighting me, I just wished that she would have told me to get it checked out.
Now I’m 22 years old and am still suffering from those anxiety attacks. They come at random times, but they take a fragmented part of me every single time it happens. This week alone I’ve already had 3 attacks out of 4 days.
I just wished that I could save myself. I want gather the strength and I DO want to get evaluated, but I know that it’s going to be scary because I would have to do everything alone. And my attacks always come when I’m alone. I would make a ton of excuses in my head as to why I shouldn’t go. It’s too far. I probably have to lie to my parents to get out of the house to go there. I have to get my identification card from my mum (yes, my mum still keeps it and refuses to let me or my siblings carry our own, which I don’t understand, it’s our name on the card, right?)
I’ve been wanting to write this post for a long time, ever since I chatted with someone on twitter over acne and scars. She mentioned that someone pointed out that her acne made her look older. And me, having gone through people pointing out my acne and scars was furious to hear that.
My acne journey was almost as though as my mental health. 13-16yrs old, I had clear perfect skin, when I was 17, I started getting cystic acne and my ex would actually point them out and I hated being in my own skin so much.
It went on for a while before I went to a GP to get treatment and it worked, for a while. when I was 21, the acne returned because I was so stressed out by my final project, and my team mates weren’t helping when they constantly pointed it out. It was kinda their fault that my stress was increasing anyway. Recently the cystic acne has returned again and I’m just trying to keep them at bay. After the final project, I had learnt to put make up for a violin recital and I resorted to using concealer to cover up my acne and scars because I felt ugly.
But after getting Medicube’s red erasing cream (not a sponsored post, don’t worry), I actually stopped using concealer when I went out. Why? It was partially because the scars were reduced, but I had also learnt to love my scars. They were my battle scars and each and every one of them proved that I lived through something that made me bleed (literally, when I pricked the pimples).
I hated that most people were insensitive and that is probably why I’m so quiet. If you don’t have anything nice to say, you just shouldn’t say anything at all. More people should live by that rule.
But at the end of the day, you aren’t your anything.
You aren’t your anxiety. You aren’t your depression. You aren’t your acne. You aren’t your scars. You are not your mental illness.
You aren’t your anything.
You are you. A beautiful soul inhabiting a physical body.
The problem is that people are too focused on the physical body to appreciate the beautiful soul within. They see us for our scars, our mental illnesses, they see us for everything that can only be seen with the eyes. (Which is ironic because mental illnesses can’t even be seen).
We have to learn to see things with our souls and not our eyes.
Remember, you aren’t your anything.
You are you.
Take care of yourself,