My anxiety is strong, but I’m stronger

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

UPDATE: I not only got an A on the assignment that I thought I did so horribly on, but a 100. I guess I did better than my anxiety tried to convince me.

I often feel incompetent, and I’ve been feeling that way especially lately in the midst of finals.

I worked very hard on an essay assignment I had for one of my favorite classes, for instance. I spent about ten hours working on it, and during much of that time, I sat paralyzed with anxiety, staring at the screen, words blurring. It’s not just the swirling, dizzying thoughts swarming around in my head. It’s the physical sensations–

–The feeling of a brick sitting unwelcome in my stomach, a heavy weight– akin to the kind that serves as a parasite in my stomach, making it hard for me to get out of bed in the morning. It’s the feeling of my chest constricting, my breaths shallow. It’s my vision blacking out in front of me, my knees buckling with weakness.

It’s the feeling of utter perplexion, the feeling that I don’t know what is going on around me, the feeling that the room is spinning.

That’s what my anxiety is.

It’s the feeling of falling, being terrified, but the terror being familiar and unsurprising. It’s being familiar with dread, yet it never becoming easier despite the familiarity of it.

It’s the feeling of incompetence and dread that come with submitting my paper, so much effort put in amidst so much anxiety– but that paper still being incomplete. That paper being submitted just a minute before the deadline– cutting it close–too close. And then me realizing that I never took the color-coding out so much of it is in bright pink and blue text are there in that final submission, mocking me for my stupidity.

How did I spend ten, long hours on this assignment, only for me to be submitting it at the 59 minute mark?

Why can’t I control my mind?

Why can’t I control myself?

I hate these feelings.

They are my struggles, but they are not me.

At least I’m still doing my work, completeing them the best I can and never giiving up, always submitting them by the deadline nevertheless.

Even when I stand in prayer, paralyzed by fear as my demons squeeze me, keeping me from continuing, I still continue nevertheless. Even if it takes me one, two, three, or more minutes– I still persist.

I still do my five daily prayers despite the terror that seizes my senses.

I still thrive and survive.

I keep pushing forward.

I will not let my anxiety and depression stop me from living, from chasing the things that matter to me the most.

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