Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

A Living Hell: My Anxiety

By , lexington, MA
Anxiety is a living hell.
I often think to myself, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t wake up one more day feeling like this. It needs to end. I can’t do it. I physically can’t take it. The suffering is too great. It outweighs the joy of living. But I can’t die because then my family will suffer what I suffer now. I couldn’t let that happen to them. Never. I would never wish even my worst enemy ever to experience this. Dying would be selfish. It would be giving into weakness. It would be too easy. And everyone knows that anything that is too easy is not right.
This immense pain lives in me. And it NEVER goes away. Imagine the worst possible feeling ever. Maybe it was a time when you were so sick that you thought you would die. Maybe it was the feeling when someone you loved died. Maybe you felt this way when you were petrified of flying on an airplane. Now imagine that feeling flowing through your body all the time. You can’t escape it. You can’t press PAUSE and turn it off for a minute. There’s no key to let it out.
When my anxiety first started my symptoms were very physical. Every day I was sent down to the nurse for hyperventilating and fainting in class. Or turning the color of a tomato. Or shaking so much that I couldn’t hold my pencil. Or sweating until my clothes were soaked. But then I learned how to hide it. I learned that if you internalize these feelings, they won’t show as much. So people thought I was better because I wasn’t passing out in class. Really, I was getting worse.
When I was little, I thought I knew what suffering was like. I thought I knew what suffering was when I was nervous because I didn’t know where my mom was. I thought I knew when I threw fits at night because I couldn’t sleep. I thought I knew when my dog died. I thought I knew when I had no friends in middle school. I thought I knew when I cried everyday. I thought I knew when my dad quit his job and we were scrounging for money. I thought I knew when my family had a scare because my grandmother was dying.
I thought I knew until now. I can’t imagine suffering more than this. I can’t imagine more pain than what I have now.
There is a forest where the trees are black and there is no more than a foot of space between each. On their trunks, the trees have giant metal spikes: pointy, thorny, and waiting to pierce your vulnerable skin. The black leaves of the trees are so thick that they cover the sky and no light shines through. There’s no room to breathe because the trees keep the air out. The ground of the forest is black ice that is as thick as the Earth and the sun are far apart. The forest continues for miles in every direction. Nothing can survive in this forest.
I live in this forest. And I have to get out. But I can’t. I can’t fly out because the leaves of the trees suck me back in and strangle me. I can’t walk out because the thorns will puncture my body and rip me apart. I can’t dig myself out because of the ice.
I’m like a man with no arms in a fistfight. It’s a lost battle.
You would think my only wish would be just to have one day- just ONE day without anxiety. That would be the worst thing possible. Because if I did have just one day without it, I would know what it is like to feel normal. I would know what it is like to not have pain rushing through my body every second. And then when the day is done, and I would have to go back to my anxiety, it would be even worse.

The most detrimental thing about anxiety and depression is that they are silent. The suffering is silent. No one knows. People look at you and see the happiest person in the world. They don’t know.


I just want it to go away. I just want to feel normal. God, I’ve learned my lesson if I’m being punished. I’ve learned it already! I will do anything now to make this feeling go away. I promise. Anything. I know it’s my fault. I know I make myself feel this way. But I don’t know how. And I don’t know how to stop.
I’ve tried every method. I’ve had so many people tell me they can’t help me. But all I ask of anyone is that they listen. Just listen. You don’t have to do anything. Just listen. Just understand. Just be there. Please, please, please. Someone, please.

I’ve learned what I needed to learn from this suffering. I’ve learned not to listen to my friends when they obsess over how they need to get into a good college. I’ve learned not to listen to people who think money is everything. I’ve learned what life is about. It’s about family, friends, and the wonderful little miracles that happen every day. It’s about appreciating what we have instead of wishing for what we don’t. It’s about knowing that happiness comes from your view of the world and not your place in the world. It’s about loving everyone, even if you hate his or her guts. It’s about helping others. It’s about giving. It’s about doing everything you can to make someone feel, or something be, a little better. And, if you believe, it’s about God.

But how much more do I need to suffer? How much longer will this last? What do I need to do, God? What?



Join the Discussion


This article has 11 comments. Post your own!

leoleoleoleoleo said...
Oct. 13, 2012 at 11:43 am:
This is EXACTLY how i feel! xx
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
1234wahoo said...
Dec. 26, 2010 at 11:43 pm:
wow... very intense read... iv got GAD and am currently battlignit soo ahrd liek i never have before. i feel like u do somewhat, sometimes my feeligns are the same with different details....i sort of have a posisbility of getting help but i dont think that will happen very soon. iw as wodnering have u learned to control it any better? b/c i kud use any tips at all rite now.... i try to keep myself busy but i am learning that even while doign things my anxiety can creep in and take over. i also, ... (more »)
 
anonymous replied...
Dec. 27, 2010 at 8:16 am :

1.  First very important thing:  get help.  If you can't see a psychologist or social worker outside of school, your high school should have social workers who can help you.  Ask your guidance counselor.  

2.  I've had severe GAD and OCD for seven years now.  I went through 3 psychologists before I found one I really liked.  I'm now working with a school social worker and psychologist.  

3.  My advice:  I definitely have got... (more »)

 
1234wahoo replied...
Dec. 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm :
thank u, some very insightful tips. u c i am only in middle school (8th grade) so the only self-help person i can get to is my guidance counselour, and i am currently receiving his services but only because he has forced them upon me. him, as well as a few very select people in my life i have been using as advisors lately, have all urged me to tell my mother. she knows i have anxiety, iv had it snce i was little, she just didnt realize how big ofan effect it had on me, and then she doesn tknow h... (more »)
 
anonymous replied...
Dec. 27, 2010 at 1:24 pm :

I had a very difficult time with my parents in middle school, when my anxiety started.  They had no idea what was going on, were very scared, and somewhat in denial that anything was wrong (because every parent wants to think their child is perfect).  It was very frustrating for both of us.    You need to have a calm, thorough conversation with your mom and tell her exactly what is going on and ask her to help you get therapy.  Calmly tell her you are frustrated and t... (more »)

 
1234wahoo replied...
Dec. 27, 2010 at 2:46 pm :
thanks for the advice... im not the best at conversations but i guess shell have to deal i mean shes very worried that we (brother and i) will turn out like our fathr, a depressed druggie. so i think that i gave her a big wakeup call when i told her i was be affected virtually all the time, she got worried. i dont know, somethign just doesnt feel right. i got the idea of pills from the guidance counselor, and now i really want them b/c i dont think i can do this alone. anyhow, thank u for ur adv... (more »)
 
anonymous replied...
Dec. 27, 2010 at 3:23 pm :
You can't rely on medication to solve your problems.  What it can do is help you become calm enough to be able to utilize other techniques that you learn in therapy.  It does not solve the root of the problem.  You should find a therapist who specializes in cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety.  It's really important that you do that. 
 
anonymous replied...
Dec. 27, 2010 at 3:31 pm :
One other thing: remember to keep your thoughts positive!  I know how it feels and it's perfectly normal to say "I don't think I can do this alone", but if you truly want to get better, you're going to have to change that thought.  Have confidence in yourself.  You are fully capable of getting better without medication (most people do).  You shouldn't have to go through this physically alone (make sure you have support from other people), but at the same time, know that you c... (more »)
 
1234wahoo replied...
Dec. 28, 2010 at 4:22 am :
thanks.... haha its kind of overwhelming, which is kinda why im doubting myself..... im in wayy over my head and obviously have alot to deal with between now and the point when i am done with this. thank you for all the advice. well yes iv got my best frend, then iv got four other randomly selected by me frends (not necissarily close, just in a good position to listen) of whom i talk to constantly, two of whom are dealing with or have dealt with similar things, and then i told a few other people... (more »)
 
anonymous replied...
Dec. 28, 2010 at 10:04 am :

Your welcome.  Your mom may never be able to fully understand what it's like to have anxiety, but she can still be supportive of you.  

If you have any more questions, let me know!

 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
LilyC said...
Feb. 2, 2010 at 6:09 pm:
This is amazing. Keep it up! And keep pushing through your suffering. Don't give up.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback