I am diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It means everything stresses me out.
On a good day, I struggle with every choice I have to make. If I have a project, I will stress about the project so much that I just procrastinate it. Then I stress about procrastinating. If I work on it ahead of time, I worry that I should have done better. If I wait to work on it, I worry that I should have done better. I worry that it’s not what I was supposed to do. I worry that it’s not on the right track. I worry that it’s a good concept, but poorly executed. I worry that it was too easy. I worry that somebody else will do the same thing and I’ll get accused of cheating or plagiarism. I worry that I accidentally did plagiarize. I worry that I missed the deadline. I worry if I finish too early.
On a bad day I can’t make decisions. I can’t enjoy anything. Everything is stressful. Even a choice as simple as what color to paint my nails or what to watch on Netflix can reduce me to tears. It takes all my focus to put one foot in front of the other. All I can do on a day like that is make myself comfortable. Introvert myself as far as I can. Wait for it to pass.
I can feel the episodes coming. My chest tightens up. I can literally feel my brain spinning. My vision ripples, like watching dripping water. And I care less and less about anything. My most primal instincts kick in. I want to hibernate. I can’t eat. I’m not hungry for anything. Chewing takes too much effort. Breathing is an exertion. I have to focus on it. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Never getting enough breath. Always a little lightheaded.
On a bad day I remind myself how amazing I am. I am almost ready to graduate with two degrees. I have my own apartment. I have my own car. I have a job I love. I have a cat who loves to snuggle. I have friends who support me unconditionally. I have a family that has loved me through every low moment I have EVER had. I am strong. I am powerful. I am beautiful.
On a good day I can smile. I can make anybody laugh. I have never met a stranger. I’m so creative. I’ve written a play. I’ve created logos and brands. I’ve learned how to interpret Shakespeare. I got hired on the spot at two different jobs. On the same day. My friends trust me with their secrets and insecurities. They come to me for comfort and support. I can spend hours watching the wind blow through leaves on a tree. I’m confident and outgoing and fun. I’m a leader. A social creature. An extrovert. I’m the kind of person I would have looked up to as a child. I’m taking 18 hours in school, and excelling in all of them. I’m balancing three jobs. I make time to be with the people I love. On a good day, life is so wonderful, it makes me a little lightheaded.