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Just Because I'm 'Better' Doesn't Mean I Don't Still Have Anxiety Symptoms

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My anxiety was a long, unwavering journey.

It wasn’t just me who was affected by it, everyone in my life felt its impact in various ways. Whether it was helping me through an attack or seeing me struggling to breathe when out shopping or in class or just seeing me crying as I walk by.

It’s been difficult. I have tried everything I could do to get better and it’s worked, but I still continue to regularly feel symptoms of my mental illness. Now I just know how to manage them.

Every day has become different. I can’t predict what it’ll entail. When I was at my worst, each day was a routine. Somehow I had associated certain places or things with having attacks, so whenever I approached them, they became triggers. This became a struggle when I had to face them each day or I wouldn’t pass my exams or I wouldn’t have a social life. I’d have ended up isolated.

Thankfully, I realized it was due to perspective and the things I deemed “scary,” actually weren’t. I could face them. In fact, I did face them and I got better. Or for starters, the panic attacks lessened. I used to have at least a dozen attacks every single day. Now, I don’t even know when the last one I had was. My days are no longer encompassed by worry of when a panic attack will come. If I have one, I have one and that’s OK. I will survive it and it won’t make me relapse.

Inevitably, I still get the symptoms of anxiety. Just because I’m “better,” doesn’t mean it’ll leave me. Currently, I can feel nauseous due to the slightest stressors and fatigue often consumes me. I still get the mental aspects as well, but these days, it is easier for me to shut the omnipotent thoughts away. I know how to manage my illness and after such a long journey, I finally feel like I can overcome what it derailed of my life. I know my anxiety. I know I am stronger than it.

Mental illness isn’t a choice. But I realized I needed to make the right choices for me so I could get better.

No matter if I have good days or bad days, I will be OK.

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Thinkstock photo via itskatjas.

Originally published: March 31, 2017
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