Anxiety, the Little Bitch That Kills

I once cried trying to write a Mary Wollstonecraft essay. I can laugh at it now, but I was so overwhelmed that I eventually brought myself to tears in my room while my friend patted my back and tried to console me. I was so overwhelmed. I moved out to attend college, making it the first time to depend only on myself, which I gradually learned was a huge step for me in becoming independent. At that moment though, I didn’t know. All I knew was that I didn’t have anything written and it was due in less than ten hours. I knew that I obviously should have made little goals to accomplish ahead of time, but I did the worst thing possible: I napped, hoping that somehow when I woke up, my tasks would vanish the next day. They never did. I obviously knew this, but I fell in a vicious cycle in which I’d do the same thing over again every time I felt overwhelmed.

I’m smiling as I’m writing this because looking back, I never knew what I know now – that it got so much better with time. It’s something that seems so obvious now, but it was something that was so hard for me to truly believe in when I was sitting at that desk, so awfully worried. Obviously, taking more classes improved my writing skills, but it’s really how I treated myself that showed results. I used to be so hard on myself, only accepting A’s as a good grade and blaming bad outcomes on myself. If someone wasn’t nice to me, I thought possibly that there was something wrong with me. I used to be so anxious of handling my to-do list that I saw things with a distorted view, even though weirdly enough I knew what I was doing was wrong. I think that with time you develop confidence in yourself if you know from the beginning that you can commit to what you love and you trust your skills. You have to just let go at some point and trust yourself to believe that it’s going to be ok. Sometimes, it doesn’t work. Sometimes, things don’t work out. And fuck, even though that hurts, even though disappointment gnaws at you inside, you tell yourself that it’s ok because that’s what you’ve got to do. I knew this all along, but stress buried my inner knowledge so that I procrastinated all the time. I never turned in anything late or failed, but it would’ve been nice if I could’ve saved myself from all that stress. Sometimes you just got to grit your teeth and do the things that you don’t want to do. It’s a basic fact that even little toddlers know, but it hit me when I was in college. People would say that it develops character and makes you stronger, but for me doing it just took away my anxiety. I know that sometimes I can’t just tackle a task just so that I can get it done and feel better – it doesn’t work as simple as that, but the necessary component that you need is faith. I’ve graduated from college now and I’m feeling anxious and overwhelmed again with the future, but I want to believe again in what I’ve learned – that with effort and time it really does get better and anxiety subsides.

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