OFF MY CHEST: My struggle with anxiety - Daily Nation
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OFF MY CHEST: I am drowning but I fear reaching out

Thursday November 8 2018

The thing with anxiety is that it hits at the most unexpected of moments.

The thing with anxiety is that it hits at the most unexpected of moments. ILLUSTRATION | IGAH 

By ANONYMOUS
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It’s 1pm on a hot afternoon. I’m at my workstation. I feel exhausted and hopeless, hence my decision to write this piece – it is more of therapy to me.

Rarely do I have the courage to share my personal stories and experiences.

Most of my colleagues’ days have just began. Most are out on assignments, as it is at the beginning of the week. But not me. I’m tired, mostly emotionally. And that, for me, translates into physical exhaustion.

TEARS IN MY EYES

I woke up vibrant and energetic in the morning, ready to get into action to achieve my goals of the week. I had meetings set for all morning, and I looked forward to them. But I was not happy—I haven’t been in a while—yet I was hopeful for a good day, and an even better week.

The thing with anxiety is that it hits at the most unexpected of moments. It has no sign. It just happens. And again, for me, it has no trigger. And this might be the worst episode yet.

So what was meant to be a productive matatu ride to the city centre, listening to self-help podcasts, became an emotional rollercoaster. I am still unsure of where the tears came from but there I was, listening to all the emotional songs on my library.

Of course, as always, I started overthinking. Whenever I do, past events in my life cloud my thoughts and I become lost in the moment. I start thinking of why I did something, or how worthless I am, or how nobody cares. This is anxiety for me.

Anxiety for me is all the trips I have taken to the bathroom today to let the tears down, and to listen to a familiar voice in my head, my best friend’s. It’s her asking me worriedly what happened to trigger the anxiety and I have no answer to that.

Anxiety for me is starting a day as I did today, hopeful; and within hours, not wanting to do a goddamn thing.

Anxiety is me wanting so badly to talk to my boyfriend, but deciding not to because he has already seen too much of my emotional and ugly side. Also, all I ever really want to do these days is to be alone.

LOSING MY MIND

Anxiety is me not reaching out to anyone else because I don’t want to overwhelm them with my issues. I also don’t feel like having conversations with anyone.

Anxiety for me is losing my breath, almost as if I am being suffocated, or I have been forced in a small space with no air.

It’s me choosing coping mechanisms that don’t seem to work, but to be fair, I really do not know what to do about it. It’s me not knowing what’s wrong or right anymore. 

It’s about the constant headaches and stomach aches – a clear sign that the ulcers are back, and worse.

It’s me worrying every second about what’s going to happen next.

Anxiety is me knowing that I need help, but it is also me being too scared to let my parents, or anyone around me—except my best friend—know about it.

It’s me knowing that it’s time to seek professional help because it’s the worst episode it has ever come to. I’m not sure I am ready for that though.

It’s me choosing to write about my feelings instead of talking to someone.

Anxiety is me trying everything – even journaling and meditating – with the hope that things will get better for me emotionally, yet here I am, back to square one.

It’s me feeling as if I am losing my mind to my emotions. It’s me asking myself when I will ever evolve past this stage and feel normal again.

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People with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations, and this could interfere with daily activities. - Mayo Clinic

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Off My Chest is an open forum for anyone who wants to share their story or write letters they have always wanted to write.

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