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a day in my life: anxiety edition

Every individual has a different story. Every individual is unique and interesting. Every individual has their struggles. Every individual has their achievements. The battle within feels like a never-ending marathon for me as the lactic acid builds up in my muscles making it harder to move every step of the way. I persevere and try to look forward even though I always peek back.

Allow me to share four situations I face as of today and maybe you would relate at some point of it or two.

Image was taken by the author.

On the road. As every step that pass before me towards my car, I just dread the thought of steering the wheel even more. I wished I didn’t have to. I wished I could be the passenger. I wish I hadn’t had a driving license. I wish I could avoid my stomach doing summersaults because I am worried, I may crash into a lamp post. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel fortunate to be able to have the opportunity that many others longed for, which was to have a driver's license and a vehicle to commute in. However, I can’t help but wished otherwise in my circumstance that it could be a little different. As every time I press the accelerator with a little more pressure, I go quick to assume that my head would go flying out the windshield. It would be stuck and hanging there with little glass shards crackling down my throat as blood runs out of my arteries and slides down the windshield glass that is still perfectly in place.

Class A to B to C to D. “Do I walk funnily? I will be so late to class. Why am I not walking fast enough? Why am I still here? Wait, this is the class, right? Am I walking the right direction? This seems unusual. Did they change venue? I really have no idea where I am going”. It sure does fear me. Even though we have a fixed timetable for the whole semester or even academic year, and deep down in my gut I know the exact venue and timing of my timetable, I still can’t help but have this wave of panic. That something bad may happen and harm is to come when I make my way to my intended lesson venue. Each step feels heavier than the last, and my heart quickens its pace with every passing moment. The bustling corridors, echoing voices and the constant buzz of hurried students only amplify my anxiety. Thought of whether I’m adequately prepared or if I’ll fit in among my peers race through my mind, creating a knot in my stomach that seems impossible to untangle. To sum that up, walking to my college classes often fills me with a sense of unease and restlessness, as the weight of impending responsibilities and expectations bears down on me.

Mirrors are not a good reflection. Every time I gaze into the mirror, I'm confronted with a turbulent sea of self-doubt and insecurities. The reflection staring back at me becomes a canvas for my inner critic, dissecting and critiquing every imperfection, real or imagined. I find myself fixating on the flaws and blemishes, amplifying their significance until they dominate my self-image. However, I soon realize that I begin to not recognize the person standing before me and looking right into my eyes. It scares me indeed. It's as if the mirror becomes a harsh judge, magnifying all my perceived shortcomings and demanding perfecting, an unattainable standard that I relentlessly strive for. My hair never seems to cooperate, my complexion is a source of constant frustration, my skin all bumpy and the eyes that always hurt from too many tears rolling down my cheek. Sometimes I really mind how I look especially when I go out to college because of the exchanged looks people might give you when they see you not dressing up to standards, but most days I feel sloppy which causes me not to care much but I don’t necessarily think that is healthy too. The quest for self-acceptance becomes an ongoing battle, and the mirror, continue to scare me the more I stare through it.

Ka-ching! Every time I spend a penny, my heart aches with guilt. Balancing the relentless demands of working multiple jobs on weekends and sometimes tirelessly after school until late at night is not a piece of cake. Especially when you are trying to maintain good grades in college feels like a never-ending high-wire act. The constant juggling of schedules, rushing from studying to school to job A to homework to assignments to job B to group projects to volunteering to extra classes makes me out of breath and makes me tend to forget to breathe. The pervasive sense of anxiety and worry about making ends meet is a constant companion as the weight of paying off some necessities to ease the burden off my parents and future spendings bears down on my shoulders. Yet, I push forward with determination in hopes that my efforts will pave the way to a brighter, more secure future. It's exhausting and often an overwhelming journey, but the vision of achieving my educational goals and gaining financial stability keeps me preoccupied in a way as well.

It hasn’t been easy, with all these thoughts that I have mentioned above and more that I have yet to share, buzzing all in my mind. Although, that is the case in my life I try to channel it in to good that something greater than I anticipate is to come. It is hard to believe, but if I were to believe in hope and faith, then hopefully it will believe in me too.

More obstacles are to come in my life, yours, and not forgetting the people around you too. While all these hardships and anxiety or worries follow you in your life, always remind yourself who you are and don’t forget that you are human too. Remember to love and care for yourself. Frankly, it is hard for me to indulge those last few words I have typed out, but I'm glad I am still in the midst of trying to normalise it in my life.

Submitted by: Natalie C.


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