Hey This Is Me- Anxiety, Insecurity and Other Things

Here I am, sitting here, not studying but rather writing this blog post, listening to "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen and wondering how much I should share. I've shared other personal thoughts on this space and while I've deviated from that in recent times, I want to go back to that part of me, that part of this blog to discuss things that aren't usually discussed.





Anxiety
I've always been to a degree anxious throughout my life and recently it's gotten worse. I don't hate it but it's gotten to a point where it's affecting me too much. Most of the time, I use anxiety as a tool to motivate me, to do better at school, blogging and the other things that I work on but sometimes, anxiety stresses me out. I haven't been sleeping well lately either and it just makes things worse.

Pushing myself
I feel like this goes hand in hand with anxiety but I've always been hard on myself and I've always pushed myself to do better. I lose myself in whatever I'm doing and sometimes I feel like I'm doing it to numb a feeling but honestly, it feel good to just focus on something and let go of the rest. Right now, I'm pretty sure I know what I'm trying to numb-- the feelings of insecurity, a nagging problem, and other issues.

Insecurity 
In high school, I was really insecure partially because the people I went to high school with were really hard-core and it always seemed like they had 28 hours in their days and partially because I feel like to a degree, insecurity comes with being a teenager. Now that I've moved past that part of my life, I feel like I should be less insecure but I'm not. Sure, I'm less insecure about the way I look (it's hard to look good when it's perpetually freezing cold and snowy outside) but in many ways, I'm still insecure about the same things-- academics (why do I know so many people taking 21 credits with a huge extracurricular load?), my life, and the future. I wish I was better at blogging, I wish that black heads aren't a problem. The list goes on.

Sadness
It was worse around 2 to 5 years ago, I think. Somewhere along the way, I found things to like, love, be passionately obsessed with and friends to have fun with, but sometimes, in the randomest times, in between the moments when I'm sure of myself, it strikes back again. I find myself spiraling downwards, back in the rabbit-hole of darkness, of quietness. It scares me but I think it's not nearly as bad as it was back then. I have my friends to thank for, the people I've known and the experiences I've had.

I'm a perfectionist. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it's okay if there are flaws here and there. -Tyra Banks
Naps
I've been thinking about this for a while but naps honestly make me feel better. You wake up more refreshed and a clearer head. I think it's really hard for me to do this because I'm always like, "I could do XYZ if I weren't sleeping" but it's necessary. We all have to rest and reset ourselves sometime.

Confrontation
I think a lot of it comes from the fact I like to avoid things rather than facing them head on but recently, it's feels so much better to confront things. I was talking to one of my friends about a guy problem that I was having and she was like, "Just go talk to him about it! At least you'll have closure." Sometimes, it's easier to believe that things will go away and that you'll feel better eventually, but actually acting on things like that, is so much harder.

Also, working at the roots of my anxiety, easing it, not just feeling like, "Oh I'm anxious so I'll go work hard and wait for it to go away" has helped, too.

Does any of this sound familiar? What do you do if you're anxious or a perfectionist? 


5 comments

  1. Hugs. Though it probably sounds cliche, I think all of us struggle with some or all of these issues at some point in our lives (or all throughout our lives). I've battled anxiety and panic attacks since I was a teenager . . . not a part of myself I often discuss, but I'm not ashamed of it, either. I've learned tactics to calm myself and recognize when I'm facing a "real" fear versus just general anxiety about life and things I cannot control, and have many mantras to soothe myself and stay focused on the present.



    As far as insecurity goes, it may be helpful to note everyone is insecure to some degree. Though I'm in the final year of my 20s and long out of school, we all face questions of being "good enough" -- at our jobs, in our relationships and friendships, on a grand scale of measuring ourselves against what others are doing. When I start feeling anxious about not measuring up in some way (others have a better-paying job, a four-bedroom house, the 2.5 kids), I remember that we're all on our own journey . . . and doing things on our own timeline. It doesn't matter how many credits others are taking in school; as my Weight Watchers leader was fond of saying, You do you, boo.


    A little funny, maybe, but true.


    Hang in there. xo

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  2. Anxiety was a big thing for me a while back (among with other issues, like depression). Really, what helped me was to just take each day as it comes and be a lot more optimistic about things. I learned to go easier on myself and adopted a more 'go with the flow' attitude. I didn't stress to much about things that didn't need to be stressed about and, most importantly, I put myself first.

    If I was feeling sad, I let myself feel sad for a day with the promise that the next day I would make the effort to be really positive.

    If I was feeling disappointed with myself I would think 'okay, so what can I do to improve this? WHY am I disappointed? Is it because of someone else or because I truly believe I could have done better? Am I just being too hard on myself? How can I stop this from happening again?' The big thing here is to go easy on yourself and remember everyone makes mistakes and everyone can't get every thing right every single time.

    With insecurity, I'd list all the qualities I liked about myself. Or I'd ask friends and family what my best qualities were - you'd be surprised how much that helped boost my confidence. Just hearing things like 'you're really loyal' or 'I love your hair' or silly things like that, can actually make a difference. Don't feel ashamed to count on your friends and loved ones to help give you a confidence-boost, because it's what they're there for. If you're insecure academic-wise you need to quit focusing on yourself and focus on others. Everyone is made unique and so what if you can't juggle 50 million classes and other people can? There's lots of things you can do that they can't! And, really, would you rather completely overwork yourself and end up doing a lacklustre job, or devote your time to making sure you do everything that is on your plate really well?

    Honestly, just give yourself a break from yourself. Give yourself a break from always criticising yourself and just remember that, actually, you're a pretty great person. Life throws us tough breaks, but one day it will get better. There's this quote I use from Amy & Roger's epic detour that really helps me when I feel down:
    “Tomorrow will be better.”
    “But what if it’s not?” I asked.
    “Then you say it again tomorrow. Because it might be. You never know, right? At some point, tomorrow will be better.”



    :)

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  3. I really wish there was some magical guide book to get us through anxiety, insecurities, and sadness. But unfortunately there isn't one. We just have to figure out what works best for us and keep at it. I do commend you for speaking out & expressing your personal thoughts. It's definitely a step in the right direction.

    Don't ever lessen your anxiety, or sadness, because you think it's not a big deal. Everyone's degree of seriousness varies, and it's still important to acknowledge and seek help for. I do hope you overcome some of these obstacles. As someone mentioned below, focus on one day at a time.

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  4. Yup. I totally understand all these feelings. I didn’t realize anxiety was what I was suffering from in high school until I entered college. Back then, I remember I rarely ordered my own food during lunch because of the anxiety of not knowing how to order properly. (IDK why this worried me but I think it was me trying to be a perfectionist and not sounding stupid, which is really silly when I think back on it.)

    I get stressed out immediately because of anxiety. If I made decisions without fully thinking about it, I’d regret it later and stress out to the point where I’d have a headache. I always get incredibly insecure when it comes to my writing (essay, short stories, cover letters). It’s never good enough to me. Although people may say it’s good and stuff, I can’t find it in myself to agree because there’s always something that could be done better. The perfectionist comes into play here too. That’s why I loathed reading my own writing back since I will be forever stuck trying to perfect a sentence. Lots of stress and anxiety right there over one lousy sentence. :\

    I don't have any tactics of how I deal with it (because I really think I don't.) When I get anxious or get into my perfectionist mode, I have to distract myself so I can relax. I go on tumblr to look at pictures and gifs or I read a romance book. IDK if that's healthy of me to ignore the problem. :\

    I am here for you, Alice-Jane. <3

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  5. There was never a time in my life that I didn't suffer from anxiety. Being a reserved person is hard but being a reserved kid was harder for me. I never had that many friends and I always had to work hard for everything. On top of that, being in the same space as my peers with countless friends and perfect academic history always made me anxietic. Back in high school, I did use my anxiety to motivate me and it worked well enough to not bother me all that much in college. Today, I am proud to be an introvert. However, that doesn't mean that I don't have to deal with anxiety because I do. This is what life is, really. New problems in place of the old ones, it's a process of learning to live, I guess.


    I never knew I was a perfectionist until I realized how adamant I was about designing my own blog and learning to use Photoshop. It mainly stems from the fact that I love to learn new things on my own but it's also partly because I'm a perfectionist. Yet, I don't think it has ever created that many issues as much as it has been beneficial for me.



    A few days ago, when I was reading Gayle Forman's Just One Year, Willem, the protagonist, had this belief that nature demands balance. If you're happy today, it will give you sadness a day or a year later. It will take back what it gives you. I, for all my life, have been a believer of that. I still believe it and maybe, it's just a way of deluding yourself that it's okay to be sad. But then it is okay to be sad. You just have to be aware that the sadness, the insecurities will pass.


    As a kid, my mother had to to force me to take naps whereas I was more interested in riding a bike or reading instead of napping. In high school, I had to take naps to rejuvenate myself and they helped me with studying a lot. In college, however, my napping habits took a 180. I napped a lot. It was partly because of the workload and partly because of the return of my vertigo. Still, on the weekends alone, I used to sleep till 4 pm in the afternoon and then take naps as well. Of course, these naps were sometimes a result of pulling all-nighters. But they did form a habit and now, I like to nap when I can.


    I've never liked confrontations unless I'm being impulsive and when I'm being impulsive, I mess it up. It;s usually a mixture of anxiety and insecurity that holds me back from confrontations. I worry too much. I really don't think I'll ever be able to fully recover from my default state of avoiding confrontations. But I do get bursts of energy where I'm ready to take on the world.


    So, in general, that's how I deal with these things. Other times, there's always the option to procrastinate, which I do a whole lot of.

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Maira Gall