Its been a whirlwind of strange experiences for the past few years. So many negativity and at the same time reinforced positivity. I guess for people with anxiety disorder and panic attacks they would understand the pain of not being able to keep a job because their mind and body keep telling them to run and escape.
I know that I have anxiety issues since young but one never really take much notice and I assumed its normal for kids to be nervous for school and exams. Did I wished that someone caught the issue earlier so that I will not be facing it now? Kinda, but at the same time, will any adults be willing to understand and support it? I’m kinda grateful I finally do something about it now as an adult because I can handle it myself and thanks to previous jobs, I have some savings and little insurance plan. Does it meant its easier to cope being an adult? No, it does not. I’m pushing boundaries everyday by doing something that is not the norm, not someone who graduated from uni and not hold on a job for longer than a year. Its like I fell through the crack of the system and people are judging me for it.
People immediately assume I’m bad at my job or I’m lazy and too weak to handle being an adult. I am not bad at my job. Even though it’s not a job that I love, I will still do it to the best of my ability. I’m proud of my work and proud that I have come this far. For someone who was so weak in maths and social skills since young, I manage to be working for 2 well-known American banks. Even after I left my last one, my manager told me that if I am interested to come back just let him know. My colleagues also wish that I could come back. This is what I kept reminding myself everyday whenever I fell into depression or anxiety. I keep reminding myself that I’m not a failure.
I quit without a job again, currently unemployed and sure I get snide remarks from people especially my family members. Get that word? “Especially from family members”. They went on and on about how they had to find a job even before they graduate and been holding to the same one till now. They said youngster these days do not have endurance and willpower to keep going. I have been controlling my anxiety issues and panic attacks in public for years. Does that not count as having endurance and willpower? I worked in banks that are very time sensitive until I do not have time to eat lunch, go for toilet breaks let alone set aside time for dealing with panic attacks. I wanted to do my job well, I skipped lunch when I need to, worked late, controlled my bladder, worked when I had the flu and forced to control my panic attacks.
Yes it may prove that I have willpower but what does that leaves me with? Outsiders that do not know what I been through and me facing gastritis and panic attacks more often and unable to control anymore. The doctor gave me Alprazolam (Xanax) but I researched and understood that frequent intake can cause dependency and even addiction to the drug. I went for counselling at a non-profit centre run by a mental health institute. I am learning to manage my panic attacks and anxiety disorder through coping mechanism instead of letting drugs do the work. Its painful now because not taking drugs means longer for my panic attacks to stop but I know it will be the healthier option in the long run.
What do I get for putting life on hold and taking care of my mental well-being and gastric issues?
“She’s does not know what she wants in life”
“She is lazy for not even looking for a job and only surfing the web everyday” “Wasted money for her college education when she can’t even work”
“She just laze around in the house all day”
“She is full of excuses”
Indeed I did not leave the house much. I worry when my next panic attack is coming. I mope around the house because negative thoughts keep running in my mind non-stop. At the end of the day, I’m mentally exhausted. I have a relative that kept hard pressing me for answers like “What are you doing now?”, “What jobs you are looking for?”, “Be more specific on what jobs you are looking for”.
I do not want to tell the world about my issues. I kind of worry what their response will be. My family and relatives are all very critical. They will comment on the way I dress or point out the acne on my face. You can hold it all in and ignore them, but sometimes it does get too much to take and you breakdown. This just set back my recovery from anxiety disorder.
I’m fighting very hard everyday to control my thoughts and emotions. I worked hard to practice and learn coping mechanism. There are many times I wanted to just take the pills but I stopped myself and go through the hard way.
For people who live with this issues, we got to keep our head afloat and keep going. Only then we will find a way out of this misery. It’s difficult because everyone has to live and do according to the “system” put in place by society. If you are not in the “system”, you are socially not acceptable and get judged. We accept ignorant people’s insensitive criticism but we must not wish this illness upon them, no matter how much it hurts and cripple our minds.
For the people who do not live with this issues, how about you leave some room for doubts the next time you see something on the surface and do not know what is going on beneath. Our minds are complex and so are our bodies. Just because it’s not something you see everyday or something that people will hashtag about does not mean it’s not true or it does not exist. Open up your mind a little, be less conceited/self-centered, do a little research and learn something new. It might make you a better person. For some, you may be afraid that we burden you once we find out that you understand our issues. If you know you do not have the strength to help someone like me and do not want to be burden by this, just keep silent. Do not comment on it, being silent might be the best you can give to us.