For the first time in four years, I had an anxiety attack.
It completely caught me off-guard, despite the fact that I had been nervously calling my girlfriend, my sister, and my mom on the phone for an hour before it had happened. Also despite the fact that I’ve been practicing some negative daily habits for weeks as a result of a Vata-imbalance.
For me, that entails following my whims: I fall asleep whenever I want to (AKA never a reasonable hour), I sleep in late, I create ideas but I don’t bring them into reality, I stress-eat, I distract myself with interminable episodes New Girl (which is a great show), and I lack a routine for diet or otherwise.
Anyway, right before the anxiety attack, I was driving during one of the phone calls with my girlfriend, and my answers to her questions quickly became hysterical to the point where I couldn’t breathe and I had to pull over. It was horrible.
The last time this happened to me, I was preparing for midterms as a first semester, first-year student at a large University. I was also recuperating from an awful breakup, I was homesick, and I was just…learning how to flourish when everything was incredibly new and overwhelming.
I was afraid of failing my classes, nervous that I wouldn’t be able to make friends, and worried that I wouldn’t be able to succeed in college.
While my circumstances are completely different now– I’m a graduate of that University, I overcame homesickness, and I have an amazing relationship that is so much better than I could have imagined– I am now learning how to flourish as an adult. It’s incredibly new to me and it’s overwhelming.
I published a post recently about my fears, but they’re rather surface-level. My more deep-seated fears include being afraid of making a “wrong” decision, nervous to embark on something “too risky,” and worried that I can’t succeed in the real world.
All of these fears have ultimately culminated in the stunting of my growth. My fears have become my reality because I haven’t been challenging them…instead, I’ve been holding myself back to prevent myself from my perception of disaster. Then I’ve been blaming everyone else for holding me back.
After my anxiety attack, my sister pointed out that I have a difficult time making a decision because I have all these “ideas” but I hardly execute them. She also informed me that I doubt and second-guess myself consistently. How can I expect to move forward if my energy is so self-destructive?
Prior to the post about my fears, I wrote about manifesting and persistence. While they are extremely vital methods toward success, they are insufficient if the way I treat myself is negative. So, more importantly, how can I channel positive, confident, loving energy toward myself to raise my vibration and ultimately attract other high-vibe opportunities that would enable me to achieve my goals?
Well, this anxiety attack was a wake-up call that I’m not okay with holding myself back any longer. Now is the time to break this cycle and challenge my fears. Now is the time to take risks that may not always be successful, but that’s part of learning! Now is the time to try.
It’s ironic how happy I look in this photo considering that graduation has not been an entirely happy time. Granted, I took this photo a day or two before the graduation ceremonies and the drama occurred.
During the first of the three commencements I attended, I was just trying not to cry the entire time. The second two ceremonies were less emotionally intense, despite the pouring rain, but afterward, my sister went to the ER during dinner due to a potential concussion (which thankfully, she didn’t have). This caused my mom to stress out excessively. Then I moved home, which was exhausting although my grandparents helped out tremendously. The next day, I went to a family dinner with my parents and my sister, which ended in tears on my part and my mom stormed out of the restaurant. She ignored me and my sister until the following evening. Lastly, my girlfriend got an internship, which is incredibly exciting but I’ve cried a ton because of it. The last part of these dramatic days is what I really want to talk about now because the other stuff has been resolved.
I am afraid of being alone this summer, which seems like it’s going to happen anyway. This has caused me to spiral into sadness when the people around me are successful. Pretty much all my friends have jobs and/or are moving out of state/out of the country. No one is going to be local to me except for my sister, but even she has a job. I mean, yeah, I have a part-time job until mid-August that allows me to work remotely, which would allow me the time and flexibility to
- Research PhD programs
- Apply for jobs
- Study for the GREs
- Organize my life both physically (my room is a mess) and mentally (I’m a mess)
- Do my month-long, intensive yoga teacher training
So yeah…I need to be alone to do most of these, if not all, of these activities. Therefore, I will have plenty of time to accomplish these goals because I have a part-time job during these critical summer months. On the other hand, though, I wanted to do fun activities and trips and because not even my girlfriend will be local to me now…I feel like I can’t do them unless I want to go on my own.
My girlfriend said she is going to see me weekly, and I believe her but when she’s not seeing me, she’s going to be working and having fun where she’s at. Everyone is going to be having fun where they’re at. Meanwhile, I feel worried that I’m just going to be at my parents’ home, alone studying or something…which isn’t bad…I have different goals than her and everyone else for this summer but…I don’t know what my problem is. I’m jealous of everyone else, I’m comparing everyone else to myself, and so I feel bad about myself for no reason.
She said I need to change my perspective, which I agree. I definitely need to do that.
Maybe the interests and goals I have for my life will cause me to feel a little isolated from everyone, even if my friends and girlfriend were around. If I am going to be doing a PhD program, these feelings will probably continue because I’ll be spending a lot of time studying and working on the weekends, whereas my friends who get jobs with their Bachelor’s may be able to go to brunch on Sundays and mingle more.
Regardless, this gap year or two or three that I am taking sucks. I feel stagnant and alone in that. I want to find a job but I haven’t been looking even though my girlfriend and mom send me job listings once in a while…I want to figure out a PhD program I’m interested in but I haven’t been looking at that either, although I’ve talked to my thesis advisors about it. My girlfriend said I’m avoiding things and so…yeah, I am. I’m unsure why though.
I know in the past, avoidance is a method I practice when I’m either depressed or anxious. Perhaps I’m feeling a little bit of both right now. Possibly due to my graduation blues.
Do people talk about how awful graduation is? Aside from the overwhelming emotions that arise during the ceremonies, afterward is so much worse. Suddenly, you go from having tons of friends within walking-distance to having no friends nearby. All your friends become busy with their adult lives and you’re stuck living at home with your parents, who ask you daily about getting a job (if you don’t already have one, like me). The possibility of getting a job, being able to move out, and make friends/have friends feels impossible. Not only does that feel impossible, but so does working toward a doctorate because there are 100,000 steps I have to take before even applying for a program.
Maybe I’m a little depressed and anxious and I didn’t realize the depth of it until now. Regardless, it’s manageable and I’ll overcome it. Right now, I’m unsure how and I’m unsure when this will happen. I may end up having to take two years off, which is okay although undesirable. But worrying about how long things will take is not what I need to be doing right now. So first thing’s first…
- Focus on myself!!! I have a part time job for a couple of more months and I’ll be busy doing the YTT. In the evenings, I’ll need to study for it in addition to doing the work required for the other goals I have listed below.
- My path is not anyone’s path. I will find a job if I actually look for one and apply. I will figure out what doctorate program to do if I actually look at them. I will be prepared for the GREs if I actually open the book and study for them.
- I will do fun things this summer with my girlfriend and my sister. Maybe I can challenge myself a bit too by doing fun things by myself. I can’t rely on anyone but myself. I must be there for myself and not allow people’s inability to hang out with me deter me from having a good time.
- Be at peace with myself.
I may need to repeat these things like a mantra until I relax. I was able to do this two summers ago. During that summer, I was lonesome but at peace with it. I didn’t write much during that time so I don’t remember what I was doing exactly…I was taking a summer class and working part-time but that was it. I probably read a lot and watched TV. I don’t know how I achieved that state of mind but I will figure out how to get back there.
Anyway, tomorrow I’m leaving for Disney so I’ll try my best to enjoy myself and maybe I’ll plan a little bit about how I’m going to manage my days when I return so that I am busy daily. I’ll let y’all know how that goes.
Happy September 1st!
Jeez, I can’t believe it’s already September though. My senior year officially begins on Tuesday, which has caused my anxiety to spike tremendously once again. Unfortunately, my anxiety triggers cold sores on my lips at least once every season…they’re super painful and because tea tree oil is the only effective remedy to treat them, (tea tree oil, if used as frequently as possible throughout the day, tends to prevent cold sores from going through the whole two-week healing process and reduces it to a week or if you’re lucky to catch it early enough, a mere couple of days), my lips become super dry. Every year, I feel like I get them more and more easily, which is frustrating. I used to get them only if I didn’t sleep but now I get them whenever I go from calm to hella anxious and worried. Anyway….
Yes, I’m anxious because of school. I’m also anxious because I just came back from the dermatologist…I got a biopsy and now I have to go back in three months. My mom is currently at the doctor for her cancer…health issues are incredibly anxiety-inducing.
Additionally, it’ll be one year since my cousin passed in two days. I always think about her, but over the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking about her more frequently and I have been wanting to talk to her more than I usually do. Her parents planted a tree for her in the city where she was killed yesterday…I wish they had told us about that because I would’ve liked to go. It must’ve been a nice ceremony.
I just returned from my family vacation to Europe, and it was a wonderful time. We went to Barcelona, Paris, and London. It was for two weeks, so pretty much the entirety of August thus far. I was nervous about going on a vacation that was so long and being isolated to with my family the entire time, but it ended up going really well: I didn’t confront any conflict with my family and although traveling had its ups and downs, overall, it was a nice vacation and I got to explore and see different things.
I prepared a lot for any emotional challenges I might face during my travels. I brought lavender oil with me, my Kindle, my journal, different colored pens, PlayDough, chocolate, and all of the DBT packets from my therapy group this summer. I didn’t use all of these tools during my trip, but when I did need something, they were very helpful. I tended to use the lavender oil and my Kindle the most. I journaled twice with my colorful pens.
Anyway…so I’m back to working my super-flexible job and I’m starting to plan how to plan for the rest of the summer and for my second to last semester.
Second to last semester! It’s so incredibly crazy…I’m going to be graduating in May.
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” -Mark Twain
My therapist recommended I try a counseling group that focuses on behaviors and emotions, and I went to my first session last week. It’s only been a week as I write this, but it’s been insightful thus far. Our first assignment is to practice mindfulness because it is helpful when it comes to reducing suffering, increasing control of your mind, and experiencing reality as it is.
Unfortunately, this assignment has gone to the wayside a bit since my dad had to go to the ER last week and spent three nights at the hospital. That would’ve been a prime time to practice meditating because I was consumed with anxiety and the thoughts I used to have after my cousin passed resurfaced…I was experiencing very intense emotions. I tried working out in the morning, which did help a little bit but…I didn’t deal with my emotions sufficiently I guess. It all blew up in my face a couple of hours later when my mom was nagging me to text my aunt. I erupted and we got into a dramatic fight…and she stormed out of the house. Then I yelled at my sister until I finally broke down and cried uncontrollably.
Anyway…I forgot about this assignment but I will work on it every day going forward because practicing mindfulness would help regulate my mood swings.
I have practiced yoga twice in the last two weeks, which is a method for practicing mindfulness though. I watched the Yoga with Adrienne videos that my good friend, Lana, recommended on her site. I think I would rather learn the moves enough to do it on my own but for now, watching the videos and following along has been a little helpful.
Thankfully, my dad is doing pretty well and he’s home from the hospital, so my anxiety surrounding medical issues and death has decreased. Instead, I’ve been having a lot of anxiety about my future. I think as far ahead as a year from now, which is ridiculous because then I miss out on enjoying the present moment.
June has been quite eventful thus far: I saw The 1975 with my friend for the second time on the first. Then that friend flew out to Illinois which is where she is moving for her first full-time job. My girlfriend volunteered to pick me up from the train station two towns away from my hometown after the concert, we got pulled over by cops for a non-functioning taillight, and then…because it was so late in the evening and the drive back to her house was far, she crashed at my house. This in itself isn’t significant…she practically lives with me when I’m in my apartment at school. What made it significant to me though was that we were in my family’s house…and I lied to them.
I’m bored with all of the books I’ve been trying to read and with all of the shows I want to watch so I decided it was about time to come on here and write again. So…yeah..I’m ending my Fall-Out-Boy-esque-hiatus now. My hiatus was not five years nor did I release an underrated, killer record before going on break and then proceed to get married, launch a solo career, or have children during my hiatus…but this has been the longest break I’ve taken from writing on here, and in general, since…my sophomore or junior year in high school. It’s a little unfortunate I didn’t write because I like to document my life, thoughts, and feelings…but everything seemed so…heavy at the time and the idea of writing anything…I didn’t perceive it as therapeutic.
During the last month or so, however, I have been documenting random thoughts/feelings into a journal by hand to at least get them out there and then I would organize them into the different Bullet Journal prompts I had going.
Anyway! I am going to resume writing again. I’ve been having an urge to write creatively over the last week or so…hopefully I can do some of that because I miss that. In the meantime, I’ll blog a bit about what’s going on and I’ll start with an update since a bunch has been going on!
I’m having surgery again tomorrow, but unlike last time, I’m not afraid because I already know what to expect. Nonetheless, I’m not particularly thrilled about it, although it will be better to go through the surgery than to avoid it.
The surgery I had before, and the one that I’m having again, isn’t super serious; it’s purely a dermal procedure to ensure that I don’t have skin cancer and that I don’t develop it from what’s been considered atypical. Despite this, the fact that I have to get surgery “to be safe” and “to check” for these things has confronted me with mortality more than before. Then, a month after my first surgery, my cousin was killed, which was devastating in itself while also further contributing to these thoughts about mortality.
I don’t feel well…I’m so anxious and high-strung about this surgery in a couple of hours. I’ve been like this all day…I stayed up until 4:30am then slept in until 11:30am. I lounged in my pajamas all day, sitting in the same spot for twelve hours trying to focus long enough to do homework but failing miserably. I stink, my mom has been coddling me more than she usually does…everybody has been extra nice and it’s weird. Any little thing will piss me off right now…and I got into a fight with my mom earlier about doctors and my surgery.
I feel so inadequate…I kinda fucked up. I don’t tell my mom anything and she’s mad because she thinks I should’ve detailed her my doctor’s appointments to have possibly avoided this melanoma scare. I am pissed for being made to feel inadequate and I’m pissed because she’s partly right. I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. I can’t focus on anything..I got maybe an hour of homework done today despite having sat with it in front of me for twelve fucking hours. My irresponsibility when it comes to both my health and my academics is just making me…want to disappear into the night. How nice would it be to run off somewhere right now? But running away doesn’t erase any problems…it would make things more complicated.
God, I want a cigarette. And drugs. Anything would be nice right now…anything that would make this morning zip by and that would fuck with my consciousness. Because I feel terrible. Maybe I feel a little better than when I first started this post, but I still feel like my insides are twisting and choking me from the inside.