Lately I’ve started using writing as a coping method. I feel my thoughts are the clearest in writing rather than verbally spoken. I learned when I was young to communicate my deepest thoughts and personal struggles in writing. One of my main coping methods is poetry. In poetry, I can express what I’ve been through without explicitly expressing it. When I was young there were evident signs that I struggled with anxiety, some of these include my social anxiety, and my OCD. As a child it is challenging to understand what a mental disorder is, and it is irritating to feel like you are separate from everyone else around you. Society tells you to blend in, but this feels impossible to do when you have a mental disorder. No one can truly understand what you’re going through unless they have been through the same sort of thing. As a child, I was not confident or articulate, I could not understand or explain to others why I was always anxious, which resulted in me being alienated from my classmates. Mental disorders were not talked about when I was young, I did not realize that what I was going through was ok. This loneliness was terrifying and a battle that I had to fight myself for a long time. My love for writing grew and became a part of who I am the older I got because of my previous hardships. What I learned about anxiety is that it teaches you there is much more you do not understand about yourself than you may think.
2020 has taught me that there’s no easy way out. Struggling with anxiety my entire life has never been easy and has been a continual roller coaster. My anxiety this past year has been worse than it has been in the past 10 years. I thought I had the tools to deal with my anxiety and navigate it, but each day I’m learning that I still have a lot to learn about myself. Throughout this entire struggle I learned that mental disorders are very real and challenging. Although part of me wishes things could be different, I know that our biggest struggles teach us the most about ourselves. Mental disorders are ok, and you are never alone. You have the strength to handle the battles life puts you through. It may feel like sometimes you are all alone, but you’ll never be. Although I deal with continual panic attacks, I know that there are so many others who deal with the same thing. Your resilience is inspiring. You have to be optimistic, and try to learn more about yourself. There is so much about you that you do not know. I learned this year that I don’t completely know myself and I’m 21 years old. My relationship with myself constantly keeps changing but I now know that’s ok. Yes, anxiety sucks but I’m taking this aspect of myself but this is who I am and it will make me the person who I’m meant to be.