Between Colorful, Gray, and Dark Days: How I Dealt with Anxiety

“Anxiety doesn’t exist”. “Are you hormonal?”. “Stop worrying about it”. “La ansiedad es una changuería tuya!”. “You’re doing it for attention!”, and other horrible phrases or words I heard during the years as I  experienced how some people judge others who suffer from anxiety. Yes, people can be very cruel sometimes, and when those  kinds of comments come from one's family or friends, it’s even more hurtful; it can mentally affect a person who struggles with this. Anxiety is a mental illness that not only affects teenagers or college students; it affects people from all  ages and in some cases, it can be combined with depression or other mental disorders. 

My experience with anxiety started in January 2016, and during that time, I was working in an administrative position. It was my first job as a college graduate, and it was difficult for  me due to the tremendous amount of work and other situations related to my workplace and my personal life. For me, it was painful at the beginning because every day, I struggled with insomnia, shivers, stomach flu, and sometimes, I even felt depressed. In October 2017, I was in my second year  of my master’s degree and I was on academic probation because I got an F in one of the classes and had to repeat that class, plus take one of the classes from the counseling program as well. For me, it was a horrible year, because in September of the same year, our island was impacted by hurricane Maria and I was supposed to write a couple of research papers for my counseling class. After everything that happened, my mind went blank and I started to cry as I tried to breathe…I was having my first panic attack. After that incident, I talked to my professor and decided to drop out of the class. I went to the college counselor's office and when we sat down to talk, she told me that I was having anxiety; from there on, she helped me during our sessions. Every week, I went to therapy with her,  and she advised me to drink chamomile tea and do some relaxing exercises, such as yoga and mindfulness. Currently, I’m still living with the anxiety, but I fight it the best I can by surrounding myself with positive thoughts, organizing my schedule and my classes' responsibilities, drinking some chamomile tea, listening to relaxing music, and most importantly; I have my circle of supportive friends that I can talk to or get a warm hug in case anxiety is invading my mind. 

Anxiety can be a big monster in our lives, but the only way to control that mental illness is by getting professional help so you can feel free to talk about your worries and even get prescriptions if you need them. I can guarantee that this can help you organize your life and control your mind; it feels great having someone to talk to that won't judge you. Don’t let anxiety control your life!