I once wrote a poem about Anxiety (See below), but I should probably tell you all about my anxiety and what inspired the poem. In terms of anxiety, I do not suffer greatly. I know that there are many other people who suffer worse than me, some people I know personally. Anxiety is really nothing you can simply get over. It’s something you have to cope with, and we all have our triggers. People with OCD suffer from it, people living in stressful situations suffer from it, normal people living everyday lives who seem to have no problems whatsoever suffer from it. Just a feeling of helplessness triggers it. We can’t escape anxiety. It’s a terrible feeling that we all will feel.
Usually, I’m pretty untouched by anxiety. I go about my days, going through the motions and enjoying each and every experience that I can. Every once in a while though, I experience things that trigger my anxiety. Most recently was graduation. I’m pretty sure everyone gets butterflies during this time, and for good reason too. I really wasn’t bothered by the ceremony until I started thinking about walking across the stage. Not getting my diploma, not worried about if I was qualified, not worried about my name not being called or anything. I just did not want to walk across the stage. It got to the point where every moment leading up to it was more worrisome than exciting. I walked, and it passed, and then it was over, and that was that.
By all means, that one experience really pales in comparison to the degree that some people are affect by their anxiety. One friend of mine has social anxiety so bad to the point where she didn’t come to graduation at all. There was no consideration on her behalf or even hopes of talking her out of it. She simply said that she isn’t going from the day that I met her, and she did not. She rarely came to school (though she is very smart and still managed to keep a relatively high GPA) for this reason, and though her life isn’t ruined by her anxiety, it definitely was a lot different than what it would have been if she didn’t suffer from it.
As you can see, anxiety can have a tremendous impact on a person’s life and their decisions. There have been many occasions, more than I’d like to admit, where I’d set out to do something with an end goal in mind, and ended up not carrying out my plans because I suddenly got very anxious. It’s very frustrating and it makes me feel weak, but I am doing better. Coping with anxiety is difficult, but it is possible. To all of you who suffer from it, your anxiety does not define you. It is simply an obstacle that one most overcome, and I am confident that we all will be able to do just that.
Before I forget, this is what inspired my poem (which is on my poetry blog): I was sitting my AP calculus class when I suddenly had a slight panic attack. It was the first time that I had one during the day while out and about. Up until then, I was only affected by it at night. It didn’t last long, but while I had it, I decided to write the poem you see below to help me deal with it.