Summer already seems so far away at this point. Once school starts again, I feel like routine sneaks back into my life instantly. I must admit, at the end of the summer I am actually looking forward to school. Especially this year, because it was sort of a new beginning.
It’s probably a bit weird, but in many ways, I like school. And yes that probably makes me a bit of a nerd 😛 But I like to learn new things, to develop myself, to have new challenges. I don’t know if it’s the case for everyone, but I just need to have my goals. They keep me going, and somehow growing.
I was never ambitious in high school. School sucked and pretty much everything else. I went to quite a tough school, where being good wasn’t good enough. I just didn’t care. The first year of college, I still had that same mentality. Sort of. There wasn’t a drive, a motivation. It’s kind of cliché, but I didn’t know who I was, who I wanted to be.
That year was very hard for me. I quit college after two and a half months. I had a complete breakdown. At some point I didn’t leave my house anymore, lost contact with my friends. My days were composed of sleeping, sitting and eating a bit.
I told everyone I was sick. I was afraid to say how I really felt. I still am today, I never told my friends what was really going on. After attending the doctor a couple of times, we came to the conclusion that my ‘illness’ was an anxiety disorder.
People who have an anxiety disorder are scared of being scared. And I know this sounds odd. But I can randomly and less randomly get anxiety ‘attacks’. If you get these at first, you really think something is very wrong with you. I felt completely lost and sad.
I’m still at a point where I have to convince myself this isn’t something to be ashamed of, because I still am. I feel like people will laugh at me, or think I’m weird. So this post is sort of a very big step, although I’m quite nervous about possible comments or thoughts.
Why I want to tell you? In first instance because I do this for myself. To get out of the ‘being afraid what others think of me pattern.’ Secondly, for me it felt as a big relieve to find out what I had, what it was, and most importantly… I wasn’t alone.
So how does this all work?
Anxiety is in essence a GOOD thing. It keeps us alive and focused. If you are walking and suddenly there is a lion in front of you, your body gives you two options: either you fight or you run. Unless you are Tarzan I would say RUN.
Now your body pumps adrenaline into your blood. It will pay less attention to your digestion and focus on running fast, to say it in a simple way. This is anxiety. But you don’t notice that you get a bot nauseous, sweaty, dizzy… your focus is on USING the adrenaline to run or fight.
Chances you run into a lion in Belgian are rare. Unless you go to the zoo. My point, anxiety is still there, will still save you, but the lions sort of have almost all disappeared.
So I am sitting on a bus. And my body thinks there is a lion. But I don’t see one. I only notice the physical aspects of anxiety. So my head says: huh, what is going on here? I’m getting nauseous, am I going to be sick? So now I am getting scared of my internal feelings. So I just added a second lion myself. Oh no, let’s add more adrenaline. More being nauseous, dizzy, a whole list of unpleasant things. Oh no, this is real! It’s getting worse! Not now! Third lion coming and so on… If you continue collecting lions, you can end up in an ‘attack’. Which is even more unpleasant.
So.. I don’t really know what my point is. But living with an anxiety disorder is not easy. I was very low at some point, luckily I found a way back up.
There is no secret recipe to this, it will never go over. It’s something you have to accept and live with. Worst mistake you can make, like I did, is to start avoiding everything.
By avoiding everything, you start getting these attacks in your own room, and you don’t feel comfortable everywhere. I was scared all the time.
Now it goes up and down. Moments like now, where I feel good. But also moments where I have to drag myself out of the house, and just get trough the day.
I didn’t mean for this to be a depressive or sad post. But I just wanted to have said it. I never wrote these kind of posts before and I’m not sure you will like it. I would appreciate some honest comments, this is just a tryout really. Could be that it totally sucks, then I just stick to the same old so… honest opinions… you are welcome 🙂 Let me know if you like me to write more about this specific topic as well. Thank you all and have an awesome week 😉