So, it’s anxiety. Being anxious if I won’t become someone. Being anxious if I can’t make my parents proud. Being anxious if I can’t achieve many things that I want to achieve. Being anxious when I feel like I’m falling behind because I didn’t do much. Being anxious because I’m unable to finish a few things in a day, or a week, month, or year.
It might be started when I was around 12, but I never really realized it until around high school. Many people said that someone should get a consultation or even therapy if the person is feeling not like himself, but at that time I have no money. I was just a high schooler, with limited pocket money (I even sold things at school so I will have more pocket money), and I lived in Asia where many people still think that needing consultation for mental health = crazy. It was just impossible to tell my parents that I need a consultation with a psychologist. Besides thinking that I was just saying nonsense, I’m sure that at the time they would say that they have no spare budget to take me to a doctor where they could use the money to pay for my tuition fee and living cost. I totally understood that, so I took the initiative to self-learn about mental health.
I don’t say that I definitely had symptoms of depression/stress/anxiety because again, I’m not a professional, but I dare enough to say that I had several signs that shows me that I was not fine enough. I mean, mentally. And because I self-learn many things about mental health, I also tried independently to cure myself. Not by taking medicines, but by reading more about self-help, self-improvements, self-development. I learned about mindfulness, being present in the moment, taking control over my head and thoughts. I did all of that slowly but surely. I tried my best to get out from the dark alley inside my mind.
Most of the time since 2016 or 2017 I think, until now, I managed to stay sane. From a suicidal mindset, easily give up on things, being very pessimistic and negative, to a more cheerful, positive, and sometimes stoic mindset person. Up until now, I can proudly say that I managed to stay alive without any help from the professional, just because I don’t have that much spare money to take myself to see a doctor, not because I think that I don’t need that. I don’t say that it is the right way to self-treat myself, but at least I managed to get here.
But there is one thing that stays a long way until I recently realized. It is anxiety. I always know that everyone could get any mental health issue, and it could appear anytime, so I always tried my best to take care of my mental health. Never have I thought that I would still have the anxiety deep inside my mind. I always thought that it is normal to be worry over something, we are human and of course we tend to make many things as good as possible, so that’s why we worry about things. I always thought it is normal to want to be productive and busy all the time, because I want to make the most of my life, so that’s why I worry when I didn’t do anything (because I somehow feel like a lazy person). I always thought that it is normal to look outside and see how other people are doing, because I want to benchmark and take them as my inspiration, so I often look outside and compare myself with other people to reflect on how I am doing right now and what needs to be improved.
All of these things, I thought it was all normal to be done by any human being, because we are human and we are living… but I never thought that by doing those things, I end up having difficulty with sleeping sometimes, having a sudden increased heartbeat, having guilty feeling when I take my time to relax and rest during the day, and having a slight insecure feeling for doing even the most normal thing to do.
I think, I haven’t perfectly recovered and become my best version of myself yet. I still have a lot of complexion which I need to fix slowly, and anxiety is one of them. By being anxious when I can’t perform my best in my daily life (and what I mean by ‘my best’ is ticking all of the to-do-list and all of the things I want to do in my head – productive all the time without rest) means that I still can’t accept and live in the present. By being anxious whether I will be successful or not, it means that I still not confident enough with my current self-worth & self-value, and I still think that myself now is not enough. By being anxious when I see someone doing better than me, it means that I still think myself is less good than them. And none of it are good.
I don’t know how to cope with that, and I don’t know how to reduce the anxiety in me. All I know now is to live side by side with it, and live my life as normal as I could. Anxiety is a part of me. Maybe I couldn’t get rid of it a hundred percent, but I could try my best to control it, to take myself more seriously and higher than how I do it now. Anxiety is a part of me, and instead of getting rid of it, I will try to befriend more with them.
From someone who is trying to cope with anxiety,