My Anxiety and Me: Alternately Titled “Why I Have To Go To Counseling Again”

For the last few years, I haven’t been feeling myself. Or at least I hope this isn’t myself. Freshman year of college I would go to the football field to run because if I didn’t, I felt as if I would burst. The first summer I lost 15+ lbs because I really didn’t eat. I had a panic attack at work and threw up; I thought I just had a stomach bug. I switched jobs, and throughout sophomore year, I was working 40 hours a week plus school. I was working customer service, which really took a toll on me, as I do not enjoy emotional labor and faking a personality for a paycheck. I hated situations where I would go in the back room to lay down on the floor and take some deep breaths so I could get through the shift, only to be interrupted by the desk bell ringing and guests getting angry with me that I left the desk for a minute or two.

Then, during spring semester, I felt at my wit’s end; I felt trapped. I had to drive, I had to get away or I had no idea what I would do. I drove about a half-hour outside of town, pulled over to the side of the road, and had a panic attack. When I made it back into town I went straight to the school’s psychology center and started counseling.

For the rest of the semester, I would go to my counselor once a week and basically cry the whole hour. I barely want to admit my feelings to myself, but putting them into words makes them seem real and gives them weight. Things got better once summer hit, I could just vent and talk through things instead of bursting with emotion at every session. I stopped my sessions in August.

It became quickly clear that I should go back. Things were not as bad as they were when I first started counseling, but I could see the writing on the wall. With the start of the fall semester, things have progressed in a troubling direction. I quit my job; I couldn’t let a paycheck make me feel empty and lifeless. Since I quit, I haven’t had work to convince me to repress feelings for the sake of making it through the day. These last few weeks have been spent in a state of constant anxiety, and I really don’t want to be here when the dam breaks. Tomorrow, I have to sign up for counseling again.

I hate spending my days feeling as if I do something wrong, the world will fall apart. I hate having my feelings make my mouth say things I know are not true. I hate having intrusive thoughts tell me that all I do is ruin things, that my fiance does not love me, that he tolerates me because he is stuck with me, that I can’t be happy again. I hate taking three naps a day, then having reality seem like a dream too. I hate feeling lost and listless.

I keep telling myself things will get better when Garrett gets a better job, when I quit my job, when I get married, when I move, when I get a fulfilling job, when I have free time, and on and on. Honestly, although those things will help, I shouldn’t suffer while waiting for those things, and I should not put so much pressure on those things to fix my problems.

It’s time to change things. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do better than before, and that I could handle things by myself. But I need to face the fact that I honestly can’t. That I am incredibly sensitive, that I need constant support, and I am dealing with incredibly stressful things. It’s okay, and it’s time.


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