I thought I've overcome anxiety then 2016 happened

The last time I've had something close to an anxiety attack was back in College wherein I felt dizzy, some shortness of breath every now & then and even there was an occasion where I even cried. Looking back, it felt trivial for since then I've pretty much enjoyed my roller-coaster of a life from blogging, traveling, volunteering, entering the corporate world, the entrepreneurial world and getting involved in the finance world.

But then, 2016 had to happen and I was completely unprepared for it. In 2016, I have officially thought that I've 'retired' from blogging and gradually-consistently reducing my social media activities even. I just wanted to try something else and that I didn't want to be part of the ridiculously mainstream and often times shallow and fake the online world has become.

That was a bad idea. I basically started blogging in order to express myself, my thoughts, and whatnot. By doing so, I kind of was cutting my own lifeline of sorts for that was keeping my anxiety at bay.

The whole of 2016 was mostly very anxiety filled for me. With so much emotion, baggage that I have ignored, add to that crazy world or even local events, plus some personal issues I had to deal with coming together without any medium of release. However, it didn't come to an explosive or breaking point since I somehow was able to find another outlet which was going to the great outdoors.

Now that 2017 has arrived, and after my yearly self reflection, I have relearned that I needed to express myself more. For I kind of forgotten that this blog has been a form of therapy for me.

My anxiety has gotten the best of me last year for sure. My anxiety taps me on the shoulder and whispers to me that the person who’s sitting next to me on the jeep/bus might not like me. Weird, it has been a long time since I felt like this I thought.

Do you ever worry so much that you cannot sleep at night? Do you feel that people are always judging you? I was in a fight in my own mind, constantly trying to conquer those thoughts since I had been here before or at least felt this sort of situation before.

Having anxiety amplifies all my negative thoughts. It’s awfully tough to trust people or believe the fact that they’re going to be there for you in these difficult times. Which also means that I have slowly isolated myself as well (online and offline) and wasn't even conscious of it. I went from extremes of doing things on my own while also seeking the company of others (friends, co-workers..etc..).

There are days when I am so exhausted, sometimes from working or the thought of being at work as well. I am physically and emotionally drained from combating these thoughts in my mind plus throwing a false facade made it worse (I wasn't even aware of it until recently - I had to acknowledge it). At times, I am in another world and I zone out. I talk to myself constantly and I over-analyze every. single. thing.

Sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed. Sometimes I don’t want to talk to anyone. Sometimes I just want to be alone. Sometimes facing the world is too much after I had to face it all by myself.

I somehow managed to trace the triggers that led to this tipping point of my anxiety returning with a vengeance. It's not that I'm blaming certain people or situations but I just really need to get this out of my brain and chest.
  • I'm somewhat anxious of my 'singleness' and started the year with a broken/rejected heart (ah what's new? It's not that bad, I'm still alive). And the confusing resurgence of it.
  • On top of that, I was actually studying for the Real Estate Board Exams - after more than 5 years away from school I was studying for an exam on whim.
  • The biggest anxiety causing event was my Father's permanent 'Return' home as he retired from working as an OFW. Me and my sister for the most of part of our lives were only used to having our father around for 1-2 months each year and then suddenly we needed to get used to him for more than the usual amount of time - it's a sad reality that OFW families face that's not really being talked about.
  • Dealing with a disconnected-negative-paranoid parent - imagine getting to know one of your parents who you thought you knew only to find out that such a person was miserable and filled with regret while also wanting others to be miserable too (though I'm not sure this person is even aware of it - this person's self awareness is so poor as well that it's useless talking things through).
  • Work changes - changes are inevitable but too much can be overwhelming
    • You discover a lot of changes in policy
    • You were part of a team, then uprooted to be absorbed into a new team with new faces, attitudes and new working environment all of a sudden (I have only adapted by surrendering to my fate)
    • You get transferred to a building with no cubicle walls (ahh for an anxious person that's really bad).
    • It's not fun working anymore but adulting needs to happen.
    • Some of my friends have left the workplace - I'm somewhat clingy I guess.
    • That's not even the end of it but yeah, I guess I had to finish my goals and targets at work
  • My Emotional Baggage Remnant - do you know what act of lasciviousness is? (Google it) I was on the receiving end of it (but that happened like more than a year ago from 2016). 
    • I'm still pissed that the law failed
    • I'm still pissed that legal entities are indeed void of emotion despite projecting of 'protecting' it's people
    • I'm still pissed that I can't even inform my friends who were in proximity to the situation (But I have let go of my rage and forgave the culprit but will not forget it - if provoked I'll do what's necessary still)
  • Because of a combination of those above (wherein sometimes these events intersect), I sometimes feel that I want to scream. I want to run. I want to feel everything or nothing at all!
  • When my investments (stock market) went on a roller coaster ride - who wouldn't be anxious!
  • All the other external happenings in the world and locally (PDuterte won, PH Politics, Brexit & the like negative financial events, Wars around the world, ..etc..)
The only thing that kept me from going crazy was my routines. Tracking expenses, exercise (running, Muay Thai, Yoga, Trekking) and also reading a bunch of manga, xianxia, wuxia light novels. Deep breathing also works. 

I also have to constantly remind myself that people are too busy with their own lives to be judging or hating on you. Even though the though of not knowing what everyone else is thinking can bother me (especially if it's the people who are close to you or maybe your 'crush'), I have to relearn that I have to accept that it is difficult to change someone’s else’s opinion of you.

I also find the weirdest learnings and realizations in fiction like the xianxia-wuxia light novels I read and even watching animations such as this:

All I can really do is try and be a better person.

Remember, everyone is going through a battle you may not be aware of. Be kind. When someone’s mind is their enemy -they can’t afford to have any others.

Anxiety can be bothersome but I just have to accept that I it is a part of me and it may even help me be a better person. I am not my anxiety. I'm ready to punch 2017 in the face.

I thought I've overcome anxiety then 2016 happened I thought I've overcome anxiety then 2016 happened Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Monday, January 09, 2017 Rating: 5

No comments