What Anxiety Taught Me About Myself
It was Tuesday evening after I left the gym. I arrived at home, rushed to the bedroom, put my bag down, and it hit me. An intense feeling was rising instantly as I sat down on my desk. I felt my chest tighten. An emergency warning rang inside my head, telling me something was wrong.
I felt like I’m drowning in the ocean. I didn’t know what was going on, but at the same time, I knew it was coming. All the worries, negative thoughts, and expectations I put to myself every single day had finally culminated. I have reached the point where I could no longer let these problems gorge on my head.
Immediately I rushed to the floor, laying on my back and trying to breathe properly. Now I stared at the ceiling, I heard my own voices judging me for not being strong enough. If it was my old self, I would’ve agreed to that voice. But this time I knew better to turn my back on it. Right now, I needed nothing other than kindness from my own self.
As my breathing went calmer, I reassured myself that this was normal. At some point in my life, I am going to experience it, as other people my age also do. I patted myself on the head while muttering, “Everything is going to be okay”. But again, I felt an urge to blame and call myself with some bad adjectives I wouldn’t dare to say to other people. However, I chose not to do that. I thanked myself for always trying and improving to be better.
Leaving the village, came with the cost of being lost in life. I thought I already had my life plan set. I felt like I was so ready to step into “the real world” and I had had enough preparation to face what was going to come. Yet I was totally wrong.
My mother never prepared me for life in South Africa. She equipped me well for a simple village life. I changed my plan when I came here.
I didn’t have myself. I removed my own self from the plan.
I made my life plan thinking about what I would like my future self to be. I daydreamed about being a successful businessman, thriving and hustling in a big city. I portrayed my future self as someone who knows everything he wants to do in his life. I was thrilled by the thought that someday I will be that cool man I had always wanted to be. I was so far removed from the present, as I was fixated on what I needed to be doing to reach that point.
However, when I looked at myself in front of the mirror, I saw someone so different from that cool man portrayal I had always imagined. I couldn’t recognize who that person is. That man is not cool at all, and it certainly couldn’t be me. Are you telling me that it is indeed myself?
How can he be so ugly and not charismatic at all?
Before I lose myself even more, I reached the brake and pull to an immediate stop.
Today is Wednesday. That mental breakdown happened yesterday. I wish I could end this article with me telling the story of how I conquered this feeling, but unfortunately, I haven’t. But rest assured, I felt much better after pouring my heart out in here.
If you are feeling lost and don’t know what to do with your life, just so you know, you are not alone.
It is a part of, well, adulting.
It sucks, right?
However, instead of feeling bad about it, let’s try to see it from another perspective. Feeling lost means that you probably are confused about choosing the life path to take out of the abundant options offered to you.
Or maybe, you are a bit overwhelmed with all the tasks and expectation you set on yourself that makes you forget your initial intention.
Whatever the reason is, don’t be too harsh on yourself.
A little kindness goes a long way.