I sleep for 6 to 8 hours, wake up, do my morning routine, then go to work. I am fine. I am alive. I smile at people, I greet them, and laugh with them. I can share my thoughts well and I can converse just fine. I can go through each day, doing my every day responsibilities, eat meals, and finish tasks.

 

I am fine. Or at least I seem to be.

My family and friends know me as a positive person. In fact, most of my relatives and friends confide in me when they have problems because of my motivating words. No one heard me spoke negative about the issue they share may it be about certain situations or people; I always have something positive to tell them regardless of how negative the problem appear to be.

I have learned from my Positive Psychology professor in college that when you start your day with a mantra, you tend to attract positive energy and you have a great chance of actually reaching your goal. Hence, I have my everyday mantra upon waking up. It actually works.

 

I am an optimistic person until my Anxiety Disorder takes over.

I would suddenly feel the palpitation, breathing would become a struggle, my hands and feet would start to get cold then sweat, and I would shake.

 

It feels like dying and there are instances when I fear that I will suddenly have a heart attack.

My thoughts then would suddenly wander. I would start to think about many things, all of which are irrational–I would start to think that this certain person is angry at me, I have offended someone, I am a stupid person, my boyfriend would leave me, I am a total failure, among many things. And no matter how I try to stop those thoughts and tell myself positive affirmations, the thoughts won’t stop. It won’t leave me alone.

 

I would wake up in the middle of the night; going back to sleep is a struggle.

No matter how I close my eyes and try to clear my mind, my endless, persistent, irrational thoughts would keep me awake until it is time to prepare for work. I would sometimes feel helpless, I end up crying. But then I do not have other choice but to wipe my tears, get up and present myself to people as if there is nothing wrong with me.

 

Not many people know when I am struggling.

Explaining why I have an Anxiety Disorder and how does it feel to have it is like explaining how colors look like to a person with inborn blindness. Hence, not many people would understand when I say I have it. In fact, I have tried telling some people in the past that I have an Anxiety Disorder and they never took it seriously. They thought that I was only seeking for attention.

 

It is never attention-seeking.

In fact, I try my hardest not to show it to anyone. It would only manifest when it is too much to handle, when it is already beyond my control. There are times when I just want to be alone because I do not want people to see how uneasy I am. I do want to be seen. I do not want anyone asking me if I am fine because I am not.

 

It is a serious disorder.

It is not something that I can stop with just unwinding or “soul-searching”. It is more than a psychological problem; it is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and more often than not needs medical intervention.

 

It is a constant battle.

It is a constant battle between myself and my own mind; between my equilibrium and insanity. My enemy is my own thoughts and there came a time when I wanted to end my own life because I felt that I will never win.

 

I hate it so much.

Anyone who have a disorder hates it and I am not an exception. I hate how it affects me. I hate when it attacks. I hate when it is taking over me. I hate when I would suddenly feel and look uneasy. I hate when I would suddenly keep silent in the middle of a conversation because it is suddenly there. I hate when my voice becomes unintentionally loud most of the time because I am suddenly tensed and it would appear offensive to other people. I hate that it is beyond my control. I hate it so much.

 

Never tell me that it is okay.

Because it is not. And never tell me to “calm down” or “chill” because it is not that easy. Calming down is not easy for me. Having an Anxiety Disorder is never easy.

 

But I fight.

Even if it is taking over me most of the time, I fight. I am not letting it totally take over me lest I am befriending it. Even if it is very hard for me, I am not letting it define me. I may be struggling, but at least I am surviving. Hence, to everyone who is going through the same or almost the same thing, never give up. We are strong. Keep on fighting.

Published by Chii Tseng