Big Z's Blog Post 2 11/2/19
What is it? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the medical definition of anxiety is: An abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it (anxiety, 2019). For me, it involves tightness in the chest, heavy breathing, overthinking, loss of concentration, pacing, and uncontrollable crying.
Before December of 2018, I had only heard of or read about it. Anxiety was something that I had seen some of my friends and family experience, and I had an idea of what it was, but it had never truly impacted me yet. Up to that point, I had experienced death of family members, broken friendships and relationships, and hurt that life unexpectedly throws at you. Through those times, I was sad, but anxiety did not yet rear its ugly head.
It waited until December of 2018, as I previously said, to introduce itself to me. I am a teacher, and I have been for 7 years. Last year, many of my students had medical, anger, social, and emotional issues. Although I did my best to reach all of them, it very quickly became too much. While my anxiety started last school year, there were many things I experienced prior to that that contributed to its coming. At the same time, I was taking a graduate class, as I am working towards my Masters’ of Education Degree. It was by far the most difficult and stressful class I have ever taken, undergraduate and graduate combined. The material was challenging, as was the learning environment.
I have always been very hard on myself, and that was also a contributing factor. I would drown myself in school and grad work everyday after school and on the weekends, to the point where I would not allow myself to have a social life or have any fun. I was practically running on empty, and I was too focused on my work to realize it. Little did I know, I was unbelievably close to my breaking point.
My advice is to never, ever wear yourself down so much to the point where you don’t allow yourself some time for self care. Once you get to the point where you can’t take it anymore, it becomes too late. Be aware of how much self care time you are making, and make sure you are taking care of you, because you cannot give your best self to anyone if you are not good to yourself.
Stay tuned for next time, when I plan on letting you all into the eye of my storm, when I realized what mental health actually was and meant. I thank you all in advance for continuing to read my story, allowing me to tell it, and hopefully, learn something along the way.
anxiety. 2019. In Merriam-Webster.com.
Retrieved November 2, 2019, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anxiety