Where is the off button on this damn thing?!

“Hey Doc, me again. Yeah um…here’s the thing. I think I may have something wrong with my brain? Now I promise, I’m not crazy, hear me out. See, it turns out, my brain wasn’t built with an off button? HA! Imagine that! So if you can just return my call, that would be totally awesome. OH, and don’t worry about calling back at weird hours because I’ll be sitting next to the phone the ENTIRE time waiting for your reply! *nervous laugh* Yeah by that I mean I will be thinking about it the whole time. Just thinking about it… Yep! Just waiting… So, just call back! Soon! PLEASE! And um…Omg wait. What if you don’t call back…Omg what if you’re not a real person? Omg what if I’M not a real person?! Omg. I have to go. *hangs up phone* *seeks out wine and chocolate IMMEDIATELY* “

Welcome to the wonderful world of anxiety folks! And by wonderful, I mean WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?! I feel like most of you readers probably have some sort of idea of what I’m talking about. Maybe some more than others. The constant worry about things that are completely out of proportion. Thoughts that our brains aren’t meant to dwell on in any way, shape, or form. Oh, and then of course, you begin to then worry about your worrying (because that makes sense, thanks brain). Suddenly, your life becomes a continuous tornado of insane negative brain patterns. A downward spiral into long days that turn into sleepless nights. This is also the exact moment you find out that anyone who has ever told you that “counting sheep” was an efficient way to make you sleepy was full of LIES. Because, yeah maybe you try this, and you then find yourself beginning to name the nonexistent sheep. AND, then you’re creating LIVES and PROBLEMS for the said nonexistent sheep. AHH. Yeah, I would know nothing about that…absolutely nothing. Moving on. Where was I? OH, right. That stupid anxiety thing. So how do people cope you may ask? Some get moody from it, some laugh through it, and some shut down from it. Others try to self medicate through things like alcohol, marijuana, copious amounts of food (or no food at all), and even binge watching every episode known to Netflix (hey don’t fret man, we have all been there). Anything to distract the brain from these continuous thoughts! Turn it off! Unfortunately though, there is no off button (shocker) and a lot of the time, people are left to find that these things really don’t do much to help in the long run at all! They’re completely temporary solutions. “SO NOW WHAT” you may be asking, right? Well hey, I’m here to help ya out the best I can! My name is Stevie Jackson, and I have shit to say.

Anxiety. It’s a term that can cover a very wide range of meanings. It shows up in all different shapes and sizes. The most common form of it tends to be “stress induced” anxiety. In short, this basically can be described as overloading ourselves with way more daily expectations to meet at extremely high standards of which we as human beings aren’t even capable of. This stems from self hate. Oh, and you can laugh at that last sentence, it was a joke. Ya know, haha? But seriously people, we gotta stop doing that! Anyways, aside from that, there are many other anxiety forms that are a bit more tricky to explain why they happen. To name just a few examples, sometimes people may get anxiety from noise, fears, or even people. There are even many people who have no idea what causes their anxiety and then are really left in the dark about how to fix it! How tough is that? Right? The brain is a strange, strange thing. All in all, anxiety is a horrible thing to have to deal with no matter what shape or size you may be experiencing it in.

Now, I’m sure some of you might think that the very word “anxiety” tends to be thrown around quite casually these days. “Oh they’re just stressed” or “Oh they’ll get over it” or (my personal favorite) “Oh they’re faking it.” I’m sorry, but WHAT! NO! Ok yes, maybe the term is used more in our every day vocabulary than ever before, but thats because it has become a HUGE growing problem that we are facing in our society my peeps! And it sucks! Did you know, that 1 out of every 3 people suffer from anxiety? That’s a lot of people to be dealing with such a shitty thing. Yet, after doing some research, I’ve found that only 36.9% of these people are receiving either perscriptions or seeking professional help! Why is that?

Story time!

I’m someone who has suffered with crazy anxiety for the past 2 years. Whether it stemmed from being stressed from college, or just from the pressures of becoming an adult in the real world, I don’t know! But I do know, it was such an annoying thing that kept me from living my daily life the way I wanted to! Anxiety not only affects your mind, but it absolutely affects your body in very weird ways. About a year ago, I was getting really sick, fainting, experiencing intense insomnia, and having constant irrelevant fears of things that would probably never even happen. I was easily agitated, easily scared, closing myself off, and even having to skip classes some days due to lack of sleep. For the longest time, I would not take anything that could help because “I didn’t want to be married to medication in my early 20’s.” However, a few months ago, my doctor helped me come to a realization. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume most, if not all of you, have had bronchitis before in your life, yes? Nasty little sickness isn’t it? I mean, you’re literally hacking out your left lung every few minutes. Cute. Not. Anyways, when you are sick with this, what do you do? You get medicine, correct? Because that’s the only way around it? Because when we are sick, we do what it takes to get back in good health to go about our daily lives? YES! So, when we are experiencing sickness in our mental health, why do so many of us think this is any different? I was included in this margin until a few months ago when I gave in and began taking a perscription to help relieve it. Here and now, I can tell you first hand, I feel like the absolute happiest HEALTHIEST version of myself ever. I wake up every day able to to go through without such a nuisance of a mind funk holding me back! And that’s just what helped me. Of course, others will be different. Like anything in life, finding solutions comes with a process of trial and error!

So maybe you are working too hard, stop that! Take a break pal! Maybe you need to have someone lend an ear and give you the help and advice you need to keep on keepin, and that’s awesome too! DO IT! Or, maybe you need a little extra push to even just make some healthier choices to free your mind! Maybe try meditation, yoga, working out, or even writing! Point is, there is a healthier happier you that you deserve to get to know! You absolutely have every right to anything that can help you get there! So go get em tiger!

Welp, if I have helped even one reader, then I have done my job here… so Im gonna go have a glass of wine now. BYE!

xxoo

-Stevie <3