I just want one normal day, just to myself. Just me, and my writing, and my reading, and my day. I want one normal day where I don’t wake up and already have something on my mind, that will constantly bug and worry me throughout the day. I just want one normal day where I won’t have to distract myself and just get my work done without the stress. I just want one normal day.
Anxiety…anxiety took over my life during my time in IB. I blame IB for it, and maybe other people think I’m crazy, but I believe that IB created a level of stress that left its mark on me. It started in my Junior Literature class, where my teacher was doing portfolio checks of all our essays. At the time, I royally sucked at writing essays, and I had avoided my teacher at all costs. I was floundering, drowning, and unable to lift myself up.
My relationship was strained with said teacher and I was worried that she would ask me to fix more of my essays, or chastise me, or possibly fail me. The worst-case scenarios wouldn’t stop running through my head, I was tucked in a chair near my best friend and one of our other friends. I was systematically ripping up sheets of paper, rocking in my seat, and hugging my best friend in an effort to calm the heart pounding, nervous sweating, and elevated breathing.
I couldn’t stop. It wouldn’t stop. And since then…since then I haven’t had a day where I have just woken up and thought of…nothing. Every day I am freaking out about something in my head. Sometimes it’s an upcoming exam, or essay that is due. Other times…it’s a ridiculous article that won’t take more than thirty minutes of my time, or it’s a conversation I am having with a friend, or even a form that I haven’t turned in.
My heart pounds, my breathing elevates, the shaking commences, the angry bees in my stomach roil, and sometimes the sweat pours out. Above it all my brain continues to go crazy. I want one normal day, because I can’t keep living like this. Some people think it’s a good thing, because I am more “Motivated” to get work done, but they don’t understand that there isn’t a waking moment where I am not thinking about something that I think is important in the back of my head. The work never seems to be done, even when it actually is.
I realized I had a real problem in my senior year, where I truly wanted to do my absolute best in my Senior literature class. The teacher was always helpful to me, but that didn’t stop him from ripping someone a new one during a presentation, if he thought their analysis or points were flawed. I began to dread his classes, worrying he would call on me, or pull up my work, or discuss my response. I’d wake up fearing his class, but it became intolerable during the hour before it. I sat in History, with my other best friend holding my hand, squeezing it, as I shook. My hands, my legs, my heart….it all shook. I was sick to my stomach and there was nothing that would stop it until I faced it in his class…and then it would start back all over again. Because there was never just one project, just one essay, just one moment of Goddamn peace! It was never the teacher’s fault. It was mine…me and my damn anxiety’s.
And I fear there never will be. I don’t know what type of anxiety I have, but I will tell you that it has taken over my life. Sometimes it manifests as absolute rage when I am with my family. I have broken a windshield, and cracked the drywall in room just from one well-placed kick. And sometimes it feels good to let it physically out…but it never permanently goes away.
I just want one day. One day…to feel normal again. But would I even recognize that day? This is the most honest I have been about my mental illnesses in a long time, mainly because I thought it was over…but this summer proved to me that it isn’t. I may have bested the others the anxiety still remains. And I don’t know if it will ever go away, and that’s what scares me the most.