I’m sure we’ve all been looking for solace in writing about the situation we’re all dealing with. I know that for those with anxiety, depression, or any other mental illnesses are feeling much more stress than usual. I myself deal with anxiety and have really had to adjust to this situation.
My birthday is coming up this month. In the past I’ve enjoyed celebrating my birthday. But the last few years, every birthday has been accompanied by feelings of anxiety and apprehension.
Growing up, my family always had a stigma over mental health. I grew up believing therapy was for “crazy people” and that if you feel depressed or anxious, you should just spend more time with your friends or go do something outside instead of taking medication or talking to a therapist.
As the new year (and decade) started hitting, like most others, I began to reflect on 2019 – what went well, what didn’t, what I accomplished, and what I want to improve. And in talking with my therapist recently, I’ve decided the big overarching thing in my life that I want to improve is my anxiety.
A few months ago, my anxiety was at a peak. I was dealing with stress and dissatisfaction at my job and was stressing over money after having just moved. I’ve been a regular yoga practitioner for years, but never got much out of the meditation side of it. But I needed something to calm me down.
The past few months, I haven’t given any time to writing music, which is something I used to be very passionate about. Music used to be a big coping mechanism for me for dealing with my anxiety. Any negative emotions I felt could easily be expressed through writing a song.
My entire life I’ve been comparing myself to others. In college and high school I was constantly judging my value based on my peers’ value. I put so much thought into how people around me were doing in their lives and everything they had rather than focusing on how I was doing and what I had.
Ten years ago I was in middle school, going through my awkward adolescent phase. I wasn’t particularly interested in school, but I wasn’t a bad student. I just kind of showed up, went through the motions, and went home. What I started feeling around that time was like nothing I ever felt before. After years of being told by other kids that I was ugly and stupid, I started to believe it.