Foreword: This post has taken me a while to write and has taken a lot of time for me to come to terms with accepting that this is an issue that I’ll continue to face. The high stress environment of Junior Year really tested my abilities to cope with it—especially September and November thanks to getting the feel of a heavier workload and a relationship I got caught up in. But regardless, my coping mechanisms (fitness, side writing, and baking), really helped me become much more physically and mentally strong. I’m well aware most colleges don’t want to hear about ones problems, but my anxiety is something that I’m actually pretty proud of because of everything it’s done for me and the person it’s enabled for me to become.
I’m 17—a rising high school senior, with mild to chronic anxiety that has given me stomach ulcers(just once thankfully), multiple colds, a viral infection, and enables my body to literally break down in times of extreme or uncontrollable stress, stimulus, fear, etc. typically in the form of crying then sleeping.If it wasn’t for my anxiety I wouldn’t have picked up interval running. If it wasn’t for my anxiety, I wouldn’t know how to bake. If it wasn’t for my anxiety, I wouldn’t know how to help and show sympathy to others in similar situations. If it wasn’t for my anxiety, I wouldn’t be half the writer I am today. If it wasn’t for my anxiety, I’d be a work-a-holic. If it wasn’t for my anxiety, I would have been a lot more sleep deprived during my Junior Year than I already was. If it wasn’t for my anxiety, I wouldn’t know how to problem solve through real life situations as well as I do now. If it wasn’t for my anxiety, I wouldn’t be plus 20 pounds lighter than I was last year. If it wasn’t for my anxiety, I wouldn’t have known of my caffeine sensitivity or be well informed about stomach ulcers and antibiotics.
Just because something in my life makes it more difficult for me with the occasional panic attack or emotional breakdown, doesn’t mean it has no purpose in making me more capable of problem solving or (attempting) to relaxing and taking a step back to look at something through a new perspective.
If I’ve taken away anything from dealing with a stressful Junior Year with my anxiety, it’s if your math teacher can look you straight in the eyes and state: “You’d probably show up to school even if you were dying.”, you know you’re committed to your work despite all the breakdowns, colds, viral infection(s), and hours of sleep lost.
To my fellow anxiety sufferers: it will get better if you learn to deal with your emotions….trust me, I know—those same emotions get me to exercise and bake and write. They will fuel a fire you never knew you could light if you take advantage of it. Don’t let the emotions and stress eat you up. Release it.