Content warning: COVID-19, anxiety, panic attacks, medication
The Covid-19 pandemic happened when I was a senior in high school. When school was canceled for the remainder of the year, I nannied for a family in my neighborhood every day until the restaurant I hosted for re-opened. For three months, I only spent time with my parents and the two children that I babysat. When I returned to work at the restaurant, I began to feel ways I had never felt before. I thought that I was experiencing a health condition, as I would frequently experience dizziness, shortness of breath, and nervousness. At 18 years old, I honestly did not believe that anxiety and depression were real.
Fast-forward a few months, I was a freshman in college. I had made so many friends and was thriving in school with no worries in the world. No worries… until I began experiencing what I now know as panic attacks. I had no idea what was happening to me, and one night I even went to the emergency room because I truly believed that I was dying.
I eventually went to see my doctor, who diagnosed me with general anxiety disorder
and panic disorder. I was very against medications at the time and still look for alternatives to this day. I do take a daily medication that prevents panic attacks but decided against antidepressants. What I felt would work best for me was learning how to handle the anxious feelings on my own (rather than relying on medication). It has been almost four years since this journey started. I powered through and continue to power through to this day, and have improved so much over the years. I have learned how to calm myself down when I am feeling anxious, as well as figure out ways to ease the symptoms of anxiety.
I think that health is what makes me the most anxious—my own health as well as other people’s health makes me very nervous and leads me to often think the worst.
Some may say that this is cheesy, and others don’t like the saying at all, but I believe that everything happens for a reason. When I look back on my life, I see that the good and the bad all turned out how it was supposed to. The difficult journeys that we all face as humans guide us to be capable of handling bigger things along the road. While each day I do still struggle, I get better and better, and I am proud of how far I have come.