I stare at the clock as time is winding down before my exam. My stomach is aching because I couldn’t get myself to eat breakfast this morning. My muscles are so tense and I feel a bit shaky. I think to myself, I’ve been studying for over a week for this exam I should be completely fine. Then I get hit with this sense of guilt that this is how I feel before any quiz, exam, presentation, or even writing a paper.
I see a small amount of mess in the house and I start to feel like I am trapped in a box because of the clutter I am surrounded by. I end up lashing out on my siblings, sometimes even my parents for not paying attention to the mess they are making. I end up immediately cleaning it up or I will not be able to complete any other task at hand unless all the clutter is removed. I feel so much better when the house is spotless and all the tension I am feeling in my body goes away.
I am sitting in lecture and I can’t stop bouncing my leg up and down. I am constantly moving around my chair trying to get comfortable, only to realize I have completely lost focus in what the professor has been talking about. I end up jotting down notes that make no sense to me, and I can only stare at the clock in hopes that the time will move faster so I can get out of the classroom that is making me feel trapped. My mind is wandering from topic to topic, anything and everything besides what I should be paying attention to.
I sat down with a close friend over the weekend and we came across the topic of school. I told her how difficult it is for me to focus in class, study for exams, take an actual exam, or go a day without feeling a sense of anxiety over something small. As the conversation progressed she suggested that maybe I should talk to a doctor about my behavior because some days are so severe. I have had this feeling of stress and anxiety for as long as I can remember, but whenever I mentioned it to a parent or relative they would just say I was being too uptight or overthinking the situation at hand. I started to believe that and would always blame myself if I felt anxious over something, saying that others have it so much worse than me. I should be more grateful and stop overreacting. My friend ended up telling me that people will not always believe you but you should never have to justify your feelings to someone. Then I realized through our discussions in class that it is important to never disregard your feelings or problems you may be having. Each individual experiences pain in their own way and no one has it worse than someone else. An individual can never feel like their problems are not severe enough to be taken seriously. How you feel should always come first and that is one of the most important factors of your health to take care of before anything.