Obviously this article is a continuation of ‘Being a Student (My Personal Truth) – Part One‘ – which you can find linked. In that article I began the first part of a two part article on being a student – but my own personal truth about being one, my experiences and all. Showing a slightly darker, gloomier, stressful side than is painted in general. Therefore, being honest about the life of a student.
Now, this article is some what a continuation of that but I’m about to get real personal about ME. No, not just the experiences I’ve been through and the things I’ve learned from it and advice – this article is going to be a complete and utter truth about ME. ME as a student and what I feel on a daily basis.
TRIGGER WARNING – THEMES: ANXIETY, STRESS & MORE
NOTE; Everything I am about to write is completely ME. I am not saying that I’m the only one that feels this way or that my problems are worse than others – I’m just covering what it’s like on my side, through my eyes.
So, to start, I’ll recover some things quickly. You ALL know (well, those of you that have read a majority of my articles) that my journey through university has been a rollercoaster, I have had both good and bad experiences and learnt a lot along the way in that time. Also, in the end of my Second Year, I got diagnosed with anxiety that led to me having a very difficult summer, that then led to counselling at the beginning of Third Year. Caught up? Awesome.
I write this article because in the last week and a half, I have been suffering with pains in my stomach and issues a long those lines – I have been to the doctors and fingers crossed everything is okay. However, though in reality, I ‘know’ I’m okay – my body does that understand. See, my anxiety is also joint with Health Anxiety – therefore, I overthink EVERYTHING with my body. After nearly a week and a half of stress and other situations going on in my life, it all became too much and last night I had a BIG anxiety attack, I hadn’t experienced one in a long time. I thought it was the end – I thought it was an anxiety attack – it sounds silly but I was literally pushed back by the force of it and followed to say goodbye to everyone out loud. Silly? Oh well, this is me!
So for me… an average day is as follows;
Imagine waking up and having a ‘good’ couple of minutes of being in that ‘dozy’; sleepy and comfortable state. As you rub your eyes and bring yourself too, you are fine and then everything hits you – all your small anxieties, your worries of your day, your stresses of the day before and everything like that – it hits you like a tonne of bricks to the face and exhausts you instantly as you realise you aren’t as happy and carefree as you thought – well, you are, but your body doesn’t like to let you think you are.
Anyway, that’s me waking up.
Upon waking up my mind instantly begins to focus on EVERYTHING it can about my body. Every weird sensation, every weird pain and growl and all of that. It begins to boil over within a minute about EVERYTHING I could have wrong with me. Then my first Google of the day – I Google things such as ‘Bowel Cancer’, ‘Pancreatic Cancer’, ‘Stomach Cancer’ – everything is CANCER, CANCER, CANCER – that’s all my mind can focus up. To understand me, know that everyday I think that ‘today is my last day on earth – I will die today’ and it’s not silly things like going out side and getting hit by a car, something 100x more realistic – but no, I think about the germs and everything that could be destroying me inside. Once this initial over-reaction is complete, I Google things like ‘Anxiety Symptoms’, ‘Indigestion Symptoms’ and so on – more rational things to calm myself. I continue with my day, trying to ignore the shaking that occasional happens or my heartbeat that feels like it is trying to hammer it’s way through my chest and make a break for it or the vein that throbs in my leg, or the stomach ache that never seems to wake or my mind that never seems to settle. This is just my morning – this will go on. I worry about going to lectures or various situations because I think of EVERY single thing that could go wrong whilst in my lecture – ‘what if I pass out in lecture?’; ‘what if I have a heart attack in lecture?’ and ‘what if everyone laughs?’ are some of the things that go through my head. I get to lectures and sit there – panicking over something happening but pushing through, trying to get my attention to focus on the lecture.
I come home and the morning routine repeats, my body focusing on the little things, me Googling away my symptoms convincing myself that I must have at least three types of cancer and something else that should mean I should be dead already – but no, I’m fine. That’s what I have to tell myself.
I try and shift my attention, I try and focus on university work. I try and write an assignment but I can do it too quickly – if it’s a good day (because what I am talking about here is a bad, BAD day and they rarely happen – however, the feeling of impending death is always there) and therefore, I finish it quickly and have nothing to distract myself. I try and lose myself in a film or a TV show because that’s my favourite thing to do but I just find myself wishing my life was life that or comparing it to situations in my life. I waste my time – I don’t push myself. Well, it’s in waves – sometimes I do. I’m social and have fun and don’t let it bother me because I AM FINE but then others I want nothing more than to be in my room and ignore the rest of the world and just not move so my body has no reason to do anything silly.
Therefore, on top of all I have mentioned going through my head – I am trying to balance a social life and my university work and attempting to find a job – so that’s all fun.
I’m trying to keep people happy as well. This is the first time I’ve really opened up about this publicly so it’s weird but yeah, I try and keep people happy and avoid talking about me because ‘what if they don’t understand me?’, ‘what if they make fun of me?’ and ‘what if I push them away because of it?’ – these questions echo around my head – so, I just keep telling myself I AM FINE and carry on. I feel like all these things ruin me and sometimes, I’m desperately trying to hold onto people because I don’t want them to walk away because they think this is an accurate representation of me. My anxiety is not me – it is a separate entity. I am not my anxiety and even if it wins every now and again and controls me, it will NEVER own me.
So, all in all, I’m juggling a lot – university and the work load and pushing myself to lectures, work and trying to find a job, a social life and trying to maintain friends and relationships and then juggling… well, me. Like I said, this is a really, really bad day and sure, when it’s a bad day, I’m really low but when it’s a good day, I’m higher than high. I’m on top.
Also, I wear my heart on my sleeve and having all of this, and my overthinking, it ruins me – it ruins things. Good things and I hate that. I overthink situations and try and make them work when I don’t need too – they are fine. Nothing needs to be done about them, then I overthink other situations and don’t do anything when they aren’t fine and I should do something. I try and continually bow down and make things work and overthink when I should just accept the days as they come, love deeply and truly and just enjoy everyday.
ALL of this, is in my head. It’s inside me and over the past six months, I am winning. I am beating it but every now and again, it gets back to me and ruins things – ruins me and I find myself looking for my strength again.
But, what I will say is this, you should know and I do know, I AM FINE. I am strong and I will keep pushing. There are people that care for me and know me and they support me and that means the world – but I AM OKAY. I AM GOOD.
And that’s me. That’s me as a student and everything I’m trying to juggle.
This is my personal truth and one, that is now live on the internet. If you do manage to read this and you suffer from anxiety, or anyone for that matter, just know something that took me a long time to realise – you ARE NOT ALONE.
Be honest, be kind, enjoy everyday and remember, YOU ARE STRONG.