Take time for you

Illustration by Abigail Stanley

I have never come to terms with the fact that I have anxiety.

I’ve never wanted to admit that some things are harder for me to endure.

I never wanted special treatment because I couldn’t “handle” my stress.

And as I’m sitting paralyzed and shaking as the pain travels up my left arm into my heart, I’m harshly reminded of it. As my chest begins to tighten, tears blurring my vision and I start gasping for air, the panic attack strikes back.

For a long time, I attempted to hide my disorder, I always thought nobody would want to be friends with the kid with anxiety.

All through high school, I held this mentality. I pretended to be strong and forced myself to try and live what I thought would be a “normal” life.

When I came to college I was determined to not put myself through that mental hell again.

I started going to counseling on campus and made the decision to go on medication for my ADHD to help with the anxiety.

I met people who also had anxiety disorders and we became friends, but for some reason, I still couldn’t find it in myself to have an anxiety or panic attack in front of them.

I would lie to them and run away and hide.

I felt like if I showed my illness that I would’ve lost a war that I had been fighting for eight years.

However, I realized that seeking help is one of the best things you can do. Which is something that I recently came to terms with a little over a week ago.

I realized that the people that stick with you at your lowest are worth enough to see you at your highest and vise versa.

It’s not fair to never show your feelings to your friends, family, and significant others because how are they supposed to help you if you don’t allow them to.

It’s important to let those people into your world. Let them give you a hug, pass you a tissue and tell you in a world of turmoil that everything is going to be okay.

Although I may never come to terms with the fact that anxiety is something I will always deal with, knowing that I have a support system is a security that’s needed.

And for that to happen, don’t be afraid of going to the counseling center.

Take time for yourself and talk to the people there.

They never pass judgment.

And even if you’re like me and you don’t like to acknowledge that part of who you are, you still owe it to yourself, the people around you and your mental health to talk to someone.

Anxiety is something that many of people in university deal with and you’re most certainly not alone on this journey. Don’t force yourself to be.