lately, my anxiety has been through the roof. but luckily, i’m aware of the trigger.
i start my last semester of undergrad on Tuesday and to be frank i’m terrified. there are so many changes coming this semester, and though they’re all based on conscious decisions I made, i’m still nervous.
i’m feeling sad about going back to school for a few reasons. one, i feel like i don’t have any friends in the capacity that i want. i feel like i’m going to go back to school and no one is going to care whether i’m there or not, and that my presence at school neither positively nor negatively affects anyone. it’s like i’m going back to a space where i don’t feel like theres any love there.
and i know this is partially because i had a really hard last semester. i had to make some decisions that ended up being worthwhile in the long run, but that caused me a lot of pain. and it’s like i’m scared to go back to any sort of space that reminds me of all of this pain. and when I came home from school, I was able to further my healing.
i’m also nervous to be alone, physically. while normally at school i spend most of my time alone, i was with my sister everyday for most of the summer. and while she goes to Michigan we’re not living together nor taking the same classes. so it’ll just be different. my sister is one of the few people i know truly cares about me.
while i’m excited to get my own studio apartment, i’m still nervous about the friends aspect. i love having my own space and being alone, but sometimes i would like someone to hang out with. but i don’t feel like i have anyone that would want to hang out with me nor want to make the 15 minute drive from campus to my apt.
so while i am super nervous, i am trying to be open, and open my heart to unconditional love and allow this year to be full of great experiences. it’s just harder for me because i have to get past the “well what if i get hurt again?” feeling. all i can say is i just keep praying for a friend. and just keep reminding myself that i’m in a new space and it will be better.
One thing I’m working on currently is only available for myself. I’ve realized after coming back to school, seeing friends, having my first Founders’ Day that I needed some down time to be alone. And I’ve realized for me that having spaces after social interaction to relax in my room and be to myself, is super helpful. Last night I had a goal that I would be in bed by 10, and I was. I didn’t go right to sleep, but I was relaxing and enjoying my personal space. I’ve decided that I want to be more conscious of dedicating hours (like two or so) to just enjoying my space alone. This is a different type of self-care. My normal type of self-care includes me doing yoga or relaxing, but at a yoga studio I’m not alone. Doing things alone have also helped me to. On Founders’ Day, a lot of the girls in my chapter wanted to go out and I decided to go. I ended up meeting them there and walked in to the party by myself. And when I was getting out the uber I was actually really nervous cause I was alone. And then I thought about how I had no issue going to the mall when I was alone in Quito. Or walking to yoga, even when it was a city I didn’t even know, in a different country. I think that’s because here there is this mindset that there are certain activities you should do with people. While I do not recommend partying in a club and not knowing anyone there (like I said I was meeting people), it made me think about doing things I want to do alone. And the thing is I do, and you should too. Going places alone teaches you to depend on yourself, watch your surroundings and forces you to be present. So take your time to be alone and get to know yourself a little bit better.
When I tell you, I’m so excited to be making this post, I think excited is an understatement. Last school year, I really struggled with anxiety. I was super anxious, and really my mental health was not the best. At the beginning of 2018, I was not doing that great. I remember debating about going to therapy with one of my friends and I got to the point where I was like that’s really not for em. But after addressing how much I was crying (I would say like three+ times a week) and how I felt overall, I decided I needed to do something. So since therapy just wasn’t for me, I turned to yoga and meditation. I was determined to get closer to myself and to God.
I’ll say this, I’ve been doing yoga and meditating on a regular basis for years now. But what I did was incorporate it into my daily activities. Before I feel it was more of an “i’m already stress i need to release it”, to more of a preventive measure. Like I go to yoga and meditate to continue being in my space and as a process of releasing.
It was life changing, therefore it was uncomfortable. I have changed the way I viewed relationships, love and life in general. I think all of these changes have been positive. I realized how far I’ve come this summer, when I was working at a summer camp. I was discussing with one of my coworkers about anxiety and I thought- “I haven’t had an anxiety attack in months.” I was nervous to go back to school because my mental health and emotional well being were doing so much better, but I realized that I would just have to implement what I learned into my life at college.
This journey has been full of lessons, but the most important one I’ve learned is I have to put myself first. My second favorite lesson was that I need to be where my feet are. Within the last two days, I’ve had a couple of small anxiety attacks (which were not nearly as bad as they used to be). I decided I needed to go to bed earlier, do some yoga and eat a yummy dinner. I almost instantly felt better. I was so proud of myself and I truly feel I’m learning how to take care of myself.
It’s important to take care of yourself, constantly. Doing so will change your life. Trust me, I’ve done it.