Before every post there is ALWAYS this surge of emotions. Will people like this? Is this your best? Is it completely edited? I look at it a million times before I even submit it, while some don’t even make it past that because I’m too worried it’s not perfect. All of that is ANXIETY. Realistically life doesn’t revolve around new outfits and nice vacations. Yes, I am pursuing my dreams but a major effect on my dreams, relationships, and just everyday life is anxiety.
Well for everyone it is different. No I am not suicidal. No I don’t rock in a corner crying (well I did once when I thought I wasn’t going pass one of my college courses). I’ve never tried to harm myself. For me personally anxiety is constant worrying and not knowing how to handle a whole lot of emotions. Being around new people or too many people can be a nightmare. It’s knowing the right answers but never wanting to respond because you’re nervous it’s wrong. It’s being tormented and overwhelmed worrying about the outcome of a situation that you want to do everything and nothing at the same time to fix it. It’s not being able to sleep at night because your mind is racing and won’t shut up. I remember at 15, the night before starting my first job at Chick-fil-a, I had a panic attack. I cried uncontrollably. My mother prayed with me, which helped but anxiety along with depression is an issue that straight up isn’t mentioned in the black community, and I didn’t even notice it until after my father passed away, when I was 20.
My father also had anxiety, and my mother, after seeing it first hand and realizing what it was, wanted me to seek counseling because she saw how it affected him. For me personally after seeing a counselor about it, I felt the best I have ever felt. I can openly admit when I was first introduced to counseling, I felt it wasn’t the black thing to do so I did not stick with it long no matter how great I felt after my first session. However, 4 years later getting ready to graduate college my anxiety was the strongest it has ever been and I decided to do more than just a few sessions. (SN: IF YOU ARE IN COLLEGE YOU CAN SEE A COUNSELOR FOR FREE!) MY counselor became my go to spot and after I graduated, I had to figure out a way to cope without those free sessions.
So now that I am building my brand and pursuing my dreams, anxiety is still here and prevalent like no other. It stops me to this day sometimes from taking the next steps in sometimes even the simplest situations. First and foremost I would recommend counseling but if you are not going to go into it with an open mind don’t waste your's or the counselor’s time. Outside of counseling, here are somethings I like to do to help me calm my nerves and make sure anxiety doesn’t get the best of me:
It sounds so corny but it really helps. A pep talk isn’t always “You got this! You’re the best!”… Sometimes I have to be real with myself, “Like girl if you don’t shut up! And post the article." or "If people don’t like it, oh well learn from it… either f*ck em or don’t post that type of article again. But girl you know you the sh*t!” That’s usually how my pep talks go but maybe an athletic motivational video may work better for you.
The constant running around working and being anxious takes a toll on your mind and body and sometimes I need to bounce back by doing absolutely nothing. If I am overwhelmed, I need to be by myself to figure it out. I listen to music and stare out the window and if its warm out I can sit outside for hours. HOWEVER, alone time does not work for everyone or EVERY situation. Anxiety can lead to depression and for me personally if I am so anxious that I am depressed I don’t want to be alone.
Vent it Out
Now venting does not work for everyone either because if I vent to someone and they give the wrong response, it may be tragic lol. But venting does help you express bottled up emotions. Not releasing my emotions for me feels like a weight. I can literally feel my emotions making me heavy so I try to get them all off of my back.
Be Honest With Your Emotions
This will help everyone not just people dealing with anxiety. If I notice I am out of character or stressing my mom or boyfriend out, I try to take a step back and ask myself, “Hey girl! What’s your problem?” Are you causing a temper tantrum with your boyfriend because you really want him to stay? Then say that! Are you nervous people are going to think your work isn’t dope? Then be upfront with yourself about that. It helps me solve problems. I know if this is my issue I can do what needs to be done to fix it
Remember you’re not going to die!
DON’T EVER SAY THIS TO SOMEONE WITH ANXIETY. It helps if someone with anxiety realizes this themselves. To us, we are going to die. This is a pretty big deal. I try to remind myself that things some kind of way always work out and calm down. I try to remember that I am pretty bad ass and if the universe didn’t want me to be this dope he wouldn’t let me make it this far.
I have come a long way from that girl panicking before starting her first day at work but even to this day being around people still is nerve wrecking. Anxiety, emotions, they are all every real. They can have a strong hold on your life to the point where you don’t want to deal. There is so much I could say but I want to start with, what you are feeling is normal, and you can make it if you keep pushing.