My Fight Against Anxiety

Lily Galnares, Staff Writer

  An invisible monster has lingered in the background of my life for the past five years. It watches me daily with its jagged teeth barred, and its devilish eyes staring into my soul, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. It stalks me as I walk through the halls of school, and it stalks me while I sleep. This monster is not a legend, nor a folklore. Not a movie or a myth. This monster is anxiety disorder, and it is very real.

  I was diagnosed with severe generalized anxiety disorder back in the fall of 2016, and to a certain degree it has impacted me daily ever since. Some days it’s not that bad, leaving me with rapid heartbeat and extra worry clouding my mind. Other days it can be much worse, where the world around me fades away as an array of negative thoughts flood my mind, and my heart pounds in my chest.

I was diagnosed with severe generalized anxiety disorder back in the fall of 2016, and to a certain degree it has impacted me daily ever since

— L. Galnares

  Believe me when I say that I’m no stranger to anxiety attacks. It’s a feeling like no other, but anxiety attacks are different for everyone. My anxiety starts when my blood suddenly runs cold as a I feel as if a rope is being tied around my neck. Soon enough, every muscle in my body locks up, and I start breathing as if I were drowning in frigid water. I can’t decide if I want to stay still, or run as fast as I can to escape the danger that’s not even there.

  “It won’t leave me alone,” I would cry to my parents when it would strike late at night. They would try so hard to help me, but they didn’t know where to start.

  My experience with anxiety hasn’t been a complete downward slope. With all the battles I’ve lost, I’d say I’ve had even more victories. What helped me the most is talking to people, especially professional counselors. Generalized anxiety is not something you can fight completely alone, so talking to any trusted person will help. I also spent a lot of time getting along with myself, learning about my strengths and weaknesses, and learning how far to push myself in every situation I’m in.

  I feel like people who suffer from anxiety disorders see themselves as weak, which is something I feel from time to time, however, it takes so much willpower to fight anxiety. Putting this amount of pressure into daily life can wear down the soul, so I would go as far to say that people who have anxiety disorder are stronger than most.

  My advice to students with anxiety is to not rush your progress. You don’t need to feel like you have to improve your mental state as soon as possible. It’s okay to not be okay. Allow yourself to feel the pain without beating yourself up or second guessing yourself. Deal with anxiety in healthy ways like talking to counselors or learning mindfulness skills.