People often lay in bed late at night and question who they are, who they once were, and why they are the way they are today. The question, in and of itself, can be debilitating on somebody’s mind and emotions. It is very common to think back and not like how you used to be or what you used to do. If someone were to ask me, “Who are you?” I wouldn’t know where to start. I wasn’t able to fully understand myself until I was about 12 years old, when I entered middle school. When you hear think about who you are, you are probably thinking about right now at this moment what describes you and how you act. For me I can’t explain who I am without going back to when I was able to define myself.
Anxiety and depression is who I am. The constant fear that you will do something wrong, the worry that you don’t look good enough to go out, fearful of when an anxiety attack may come on, that’s who I am. Experiencing such high levels of anxiety and depression at such a young is debilitating. You grow up during your most crucial years as a teen in a frozen state of mind.
Waking up each morning wishing you didn’t just so you don’t have to go to school, fighting with your parents until you are both out of breathe, being dragged into school just to sit in a room by yourself and cry for hours on end. Being so fearful of what may happen to me while I was in school that I spent so much of my time crying and begging to go home. Never wanting to smile and never wanting to walk in the halls while other students were because you did not want to have to force yourself to say hi. Wanting to disappear because you felt that was the only way you would be able to calm down. Fighting the urge to do what you knew you shouldn’t just to keep your family from hurting. That is who I was.
Waking up each morning knowing it is a new day and anything is possible for you. Being a little worried that your day may possibly become a day like it was when you were younger, but knowing you are in control. Getting up each morning with a smile on your face because you got through the hardest point in your life. Not having to act about feeling a certain way or wanting to do certain things. Feeling as if you have the world in the palm of your hands. Being happy and thankful that you made it this far. That is who I am.
The difference between who I was and who I am are two completely different people. If you were to ask me back then what I thought 2017 may look like for me, my answer would have been going to a college at home still fighting to make it through everyday. People who experienced how I was back then first hand would say the same thing. That I would not be able to make it to a college away from home, that I would still be fighting through each day, that I would still being faking a smile just to make others around me not worry. But, we were all wrong. Look at where I am now, I am in college in another state then my home, I am not fighting to make it through each day, and I am not faking a smile.
Everyone feels as if the anxiety and depression will never go away. Take it from me who went through what felt like entering a burning building each day. It goes away, it may not go away completely but the pain and suffering lessen drastically. You slowly start to feel less panicky and less sad. You learn how to control your anxiety in a more appropriate way and you learn how to genuinely enjoy each day that you live. It takes time, but in the end you do feel better then how you used to feel. If you feel as if everyday is the biggest fight of your life, keep fighting because when you finish the fight you will feel a kind of accomplishment that nobody else can understand.
Written By Carly Riegler
Bio: I am currently in college studying to get my masters in social work. I love writing and expressing different emotions and trying to help others heal through my words.