I am…Anxiety Girl! I can make reason shake in its boots, and bring panic and stress to everyone around! For I am Anxiety Girl. Look, I even have a cape.
This morning, while I was checking out my online classrooms, a panic attack crept up. I was looking at one of my syllabi, and it was pretty straight forward. There was nothing presented in it that led me to believe that this was going to be an overly “pain in the ass” kind of class. However, for some reason I just starting feeling very anxious and overwhelmed.
I am studying Geography and Sociology online through Park University. Every eight weeks, I will be taking two courses. That is a full semester of work crammed into eight weeks. FOR TWO CLASSES. The upside to this is I will be done around the Fall of 2012, partly because I have transferred over 120 credit hours, and I was left with meeting the “in school” credit hour requirement to graduate from this particular college. Yes, I have studied quite a bit, and all I have to show for it is an Associates of Arts degree in Liberal Arts.
That last sentence says a lot about me. I graduated high school in 1998, and that Fall I started college. I was so sure what I wanted to study, but I learned after about three years that it was not. I switched degree options, and career choices for years after that. I finally got excited about a degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, but we moved away, and the closest program to us is an hour and a half away, one way. That’s just too far, so I have been looking into online degrees in something I enjoy. Now it’s Geography, which I do love, but before it was Social Psychology. I hate psychology, or at least I made myself believe that.
I can be pretty convincing to myself when I want to be. I was set to start studying Social Psych in May, but I dropped after quite a few bouts with anxiety. I was so sure that it was because I hate studying Psychology, and that is what was causing me such stress. I now believe that is not the case at all, that I just created that hate in my head to give me an excuse to give in to my anxiety. It worked, but now here I am with anxiety surrounding my newest college endeavor. The anxiety has been so overwhelming, I have been researching other careers and degrees, like writing.
I’ll admit, psychology was not my favorite subject, but not enough to warrant panic attacks. I have tried applying the same reasoning of dropping the first time to my current situation, but it’s not working out. There is nothing about Geography I hate, except that I do not know what I plan on doing with it. When I signed up for it, I was planning on doing something for ME, which is much-needed. Now I worry about what kind of career I could do with it, when all I want to do with my life is to help people.
I can not recall every feeling this much anxiety before. It seems over the last four plus years that it has increasingly grown stronger, and more frequent. Anxiety can be very crippling if you let it, and it’s something people can’t control it on their own. Anxiety medicines are valuable in helping people cope. There are also therapeutic ways of coping and releasing the anxiety and stress. Breathing techniques, and ways of recognizing and changing thought patterns, to name a few. I hope my psychologist can help me with that tomorrow. A strong cocktail of medications is not beneath me either.
I think we all have blocks between us and the best version of ourselves, whether it’s shyness, insecurity, anxiety, whether it’s a physical block, and the story of a person overcoming that block to their best self. It’s truly inspiring because I think all of us are engaged in that every day. ~Tom Hooper
Oh, Mr. Hooper, you are right on. How can I be the best me that I can be if I keep letting my anxiety get in the way? It’s a good thing I am going to my first therapy session tomorrow. I can add anxiety and anxiety medications to my list of conversation pieces.