Living with a disorder like anxiety does not make life any easier.
Unfortunately I suffer from anxiety which is something that I learned to live with during the last few years. This topic is something which is not really spoken about within our community although it is important. I believe it is partly because some cultures immediately mark these people as crazy. On the other hand, it is not really something people feel comfortable talking about. I would like to communicate to the latter group: pay no attention to such ignorant judgment and speak up.
As far as I remember I have always suffered from anxiety but once I hit puberty it got worse.
Consequently, I developed insomnia. It did not affect my performance at school, luckily. I graduated high school with ease, going on to study International Business and Languages in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, during my freshman year I had a range of unfortunate circumstances that caused my anxiety to deteriorate.
At the end of my freshman year, I experienced a burnout--continuous crying, continuous panic attacks, and not having the same feeling about things I once had an excitement for. I spent approximately two weeks on the couch, sleep deprived and unable to eat.
I decided to help myself recover. It was easier said than done: my body had a very low energy level and in my mind it was extremely difficult to trigger any excitement. I remember that I called my best friend and told her to meet me in the city centre. Then came another step: dressing myself up. I consider myself to be a fashion addict; nevertheless, that day I could not care less what I would wear. This taught me to not judge people who look or seem dowdy because I never know what someone is going through. Not many people think about dressing up when going through a difficult period in life.
I started forcing myself to do the things I loved to do in the past.
I started going shopping, listening to music, and meeting up with my beloved friends again. Little by little, I gained more energy and excitement. My recovery took me approximately a year and it was not easy. It was worth the battle, however, because it did make me into a stronger person.
Even since, I overcame the burnout my anxiety disorders lessened. Nevertheless, I still suffer(ed) from anxiety but I did not want it to stop me from living. Therefore, I moved to California for half a year as part of my exchange year. It was a huge step, but it helped me overcome anxiety. Life is just too pretty to be afraid all the time.