By: Roba Djalleta
Anxiety may seem like a dark fierce fire monster, eating you up from the inside till there’s nothing left. Piercing at times, but you shouldn’t let it own you or take over your day. Throughout my teenage life, I’ve experienced anxiety( and I still do), and like any other mental issue, it builds upon itself. Sometimes my anxiety got so bad, that I would find myself throwing up. I felt like I was alone, and when dealing with Anxiety the feeling of solace is nothing but an accomplice to the mental issue. Bonnie and Clyde, was what I liked to call my anxiety and feelings of solace. This actually helped me tolerate my anxiety. By giving these feelings names, it allowed me to understand what I was going through. These names turned my attacks into familiar faces, they weren’t strangers to me. I was able to really combat the issue. I understood that each persona had its characteristic and tactic to bring me down, and I needed a counter attack. It was kind of like a Nintendo game. I just needed to find a way to beat it.
In the summer of 2018, I went through a big change, which really altered my life. It also changed the way I viewed the world too. Although, I’m not ready to speak about the specific issue, I felt naked and exposed. On top of this feeling, my weight was also a pressing issue. I was underweight, and I didn’t know what was wrong. There was just this pressure on me to gain so much weight, and for really no good reason. All this pressure and push really messed up my brain. I felt as if my whole life was just pointed towards gaining weight and looking a certain way… nothing else. This caused my anxiety to go off the chain. I would get up each morning, and throw up until nothing but space was left in my belly. Which made my weight go even lower. The vomiting consisted for the whole summer, and being a teenager; I felt like it would never end. I was so miserable and in so much pain. I would go to therapy, and even that wouldn’t work. I would still find myself facing the same issue. All the techniques that my therapist suggested like breathing or putting my face in cold water, never helped. Then one morning I had a major realization. All this anxiety is only in my head. I was allowing it to control me mentally and physically. I realized that I was in control and no one else. I realized that it was just a mindset. Nothing more. I knew that I had to play around my anxiety, to overcome it. I realized that since I was always throwing up in the morning, I had to alter the very first thing I saw in the morning; just so I wasn’t reminded of throwing up or having an anxiety attack. It was as if my vomiting was a morning routine. So, I gave my room a makeover. I cleaned it thoroughly and moved MANY things around. But giving my room a makeover just wasn’t enough. I needed my sense of smell to also change. So I borrowed my mom’s essential oil diffuser, and plugged it in overnight. Both the senses of smell and sight were different than before. The next morning I woke up feeling a lot less anxious than ever. For those past 2 weeks I used this technique, and my throwing up in the morning was gone. I was so happy, not just because my anxiety was decreasing, but because I was able to find a way to defeat it by myself. I was able to understand myself and how I learned how I react to different surroundings around me.