Monday, March 5, 2018

Discovering The Source of Anxiety

Anxiety is most definitely something we all find ourselves dealing with to some degree, but when the anxiousness starts to become overwhelming, gradually growing to the point where your every thought turns into a worry and your life is being taken over by constant fear and doubt, how do you take care of the situation? How do you take care of yourself? How can you make a change? Truth is, those are still things that I'm still figuring out. 

"It seems like there are so many things I need to correct in my life, so many things I need to improve on, that I'm just not sure where I need to start first."

Since the launch of When The Wild Things Grow back in November, I've made an effort to speak out about a topic I'm incredibly passionate about, mental health. More specifically, I've made an effort to speak out on anxiety, an issue I find myself dealing with quite frequently throughout my daily life and as of late, the past month or so, I've been dealing with some issues that I've considered to be worse than the usual.

Last night I grabbed my old journal that I purchased back in August of last year. I hadn't journaled in a while, with the way I've been feeling, I haven't really had the energy for it. I began flipping through some of the older entries, admiring all of the beautiful pages I had created in the beginning, but as I continued to glance through, the pages became more sporadic. Some were left unfinished, with blank pages in between, and some were almost blank with no decoration, just long paragraphs in the form of frustrated scribbles...But there was one, in particular, that caught my attention. 

This entry was from late October, a few weeks after my twenty-first birthday. The first page was covered in a piece of ripped scrapbook paper, with a sticker stuck down in the middle of it that read "Life is fragile, handle it with prayer." and on the other side, was a full page I had written about how terrible I was feeling about myself in the previous weeks. I described how I felt lost in my newly found adulthood, I described how I felt like I hadn't found my purpose in this world and spoke about how I was beginning to become doubtful that I had any real reason for being on this planet, to begin with. Not only did I describe my emotions and all of the fears I had inside me at the time, I also described exactly how I've been feeling this year, down to every little detail.

As I sat back in my desk chair silently pondering what I had read, the words suddenly managed to hit me like a stiff punch to the gut. "Have I made no changes in my life? No real improvements from the time I wrote this?" I thought to myself. "Surely I've had to, right?" The more I thought about it, the more I realized I hadn't made much of an effort to change how I'd been feeling, somehow I got stuck in this bubble of insecurity and self-pity with seemingly no way out and after thinking about my situation for roughly twenty minutes straight, I had finally came to the conclusion of why that was.

What seems to be causing the most anxiety for me at this stage in my life has been two things, my "Atychiphobia" which is much more commonly known as the fear of failure and then, the very idea of growing up and becoming an adult. The two, unfortunately, go hand in hand. I've been so afraid of adulthood because, for the majority of my life, I've deemed myself incapable of almost everything and anything. Confidence has never come easily for me, between learning disabilities and lack of self-esteem, I've found myself completely unwilling to try new things, terrified of receiving confirmation of what I already feel is true, "I just can't do it." I absolutely hate to admit that I do this, I hate even more to admit the fact that what once was a little self-esteem issue, has now become a terrible problem in my adult life.

Truth is, I'm somewhat relieved to have discovered the source of where all this anxiety has been coming from, but at the same time, it's going to lead to the very stressful first step of figuring out what I need to be doing about it. I feel so overwhelmed at this point, it seems like there are so many things I need to correct in my life, so many things I need to improve on, that I'm just not sure where I need to start first.

If you would have told me, that roughly two weeks after writing the above, I would be feeling the happiest I've ever been, I'd have thought you were crazy. But, fortunately, it's true! Sometimes it's easy to forget, that so much can change in such a short amount of time. I've spoken about this throughout social media in the past, but I have been working for a cleaning company as my day job and since yesterday, my cleaning-partner and I finished up working at a very large office building that was beginning to be a little too much for us to handle, and were able to replace our time there with a much smaller building accompanied by a slight increase in pay.

With that blessing, I'm also in the process of obtaining the first cleaning job that I will be doing solo, two nights a week. I'll miss having my cleaning-partner during those nights, but I feel this is a solid step in the right direction for me, beginning to feel more like an actual adult and with feeling a little more secure finically, I'll be able to put my focus on one of my biggest goals this year, learning to drive...More on that in the future!

If you were able to relate to the problems I had been dealing with in some way, be sure to take a moment to share this article with some other women who may be in need of some encouragement! Also, feel free to follow me on social media to stay up to date on future blog posts. I absolutely love chatting and making new friends, so don't be afraid to reach out! What has been your biggest source of anxiety?

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