It all started last July. I was home alone lying in my bed numb. This had happened to me multiple times before, but this time I was alone. I was scared and I did not know what was happening to me. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. My heart sped up to a million beats per minute. I called my mom… no answer. Then, I called my dad and he finally answered. I was so anxious and I knew I was probably overreacting but deep down I knew something was off about this current situation.
Prior to this event, I complained to my parents about feelings like this. While on the verge of tears I would tell them, “I don’t feel like myself. I don’t know what is wrong with me.” My parents took me to the doctors, who took multiple tests and said they would let me know, but the doctors could not pinpoint a diagnosis One said it was most likely stress. I thought to myself, “Stress? How could I feel like this if I was stressed? Everyone is stressed and not everyone feels this way.” I knew, again, something was not right about the entire situation.
I went to multiple doctors after this visit to the ER and there was one common consensus - I had anxiety. I wanted to say I was surprised but I was not. In hindsight, I realize all the symptoms I displayed and that I should have realized it was anxiety sooner. I thought now that I knew what was wrong that it would be easily solved. However, that was not the case whatsoever. Since my anxiety diagnosis, I’ve endured a long, unexpected journey that doctors anticipate as “just the beginning.”.
I barely slept. I would stay in bed for hours worrying about random things. For example, one common thing that is a recurring stress causing me many sleepless nights is dental school. Most people would think it is insane to consider dental school when I am only a senior in high school, but I stay up for hours thinking about it all. I research the GPA needed, the DAT score I will have to achieve and everything else you can think of.
I realized how I could never focus during tests. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump. I would think of every possible thing other than the topic I was taking the test on. I study my notes until I know it photographically before quizzes and tests. Suddenly, it is forgotten when I get to the test and cannot focus to save my life. I try so hard to focus on the question but my mind jets in a million different directions.
This experience has taught me so much throughout this year. First of all, I learned to never judge someone too harshly on their actions, because you never know what they are going through. I realized that some of the tendencies that I embody are due to my anxiety. Characteristics like my exhaustion, sudden meltdowns, and flying thought process made me realize why people may act they way they act and why I am no different than these people.