Personal Essay: How Anxious Feelings have Shaped my Life

Everyone I’ve met without anxiety has no idea how it feels; that crushing feelings as if you’ve been shoved into a compressor.

Once, I was told by a close friend that if I worked on my schoolwork more, I wouldn’t get so anxious about how overwhelmed I feel, how busy life is. I remember sitting there having a self-realization that the feeling of being pushed on from every side, as if you were thrown into some sort of compressor, isn’t normal. Other people don’t feel that. Other people don’t know what that’s like. To most of you out there, you’ll never know what it feels like. But to some, that feeling is one of the most relatable.

And Let’s talk about what my friend told me. Essentially, she told me I’m a procrastinator. What she doesn’t know is the procrastination is a symptom of my situation–and it’s kind of a sore subject. My dad was never allowed to go to a therapist or work it out, but he remembers when he felt the way that I do. He told me just to focus on one thing at a time, and then things would somehow start to get done.

My dad used to seem like the least understanding person out there. I would get so overwhelmed, so that it felt I couldn’t breathe, and then he’d decide to go and yell at me for my lack of success. For those of you who doesn’t know, angry and loud noises like yelling are one of my triggers, and this only made it worse. I spent years wondering why my dad this until one day I decided to ask him.

It was finally my time to realize this feeling wasn’t average. It was normal though, there is nothing weird about feeling anxious. Nothing is wrong with you if you are anxious–it’s just how your body reacts to stress or shyness or almost anything.

I’ve always been a high strung kid. I get worked up about the smallest of things. But, this was more intense, this was the first sign that finding help–so that I could get tips and tools to handle it–would be the best idea.

Now, my dad has been easier on me. He hasn’t expected anything less, his standards haven’t lowered. He and I have just come to a point in our life right now where we work as a team, not against each other.

One thing giving me these feelings more than anything right now is the fact that I accidentally over-scheduled myself. I’m taking AP US history, honors Algebra 2, honors English 2, Chemistry, band, the Chronicle (my school’s’ newspaper), and finally French 2. I’m also involved in our marching band, which is third in the nation and practices 21-26 hours a week. Essentially, I’ve chosen the hardest schedule I could take in sophomore year–disregarding my few peers who are in double, triple, or even quadruple honors–they are more of a rarity.

My dad knows that my laptop isn’t serving me well right now. Before we knew what type of materials I would need to video, film, and Youtube editing. Before he finally came to understand how little my other laptop (an 11 year old macbook) doesn’t work. He thought I could use the new Chromebook for school, and the old Macbook for games and editing.

Since then, I’ve gotten a Youtube studio, found a replacement for Adobe Premiere Pro, and become incredibly passionate about all parts of videography.

We’ve made a deal that if I try hard in school, and participate in my activities–without complaining–I can get the newest Macbook Air (or whatever is newest. I’m not sure :P).

Usually, I would frown upon being bribed–but this meant so much to me. My dad acknowledged that I’m working hard, and he rarely says things about how well I’m turning out or how much effort I’m putting into life.

So now … we wait. And I hope that I can use this incentive to do my best and flourish in life–that’s all I could ever hope for.



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