“If you must know, this is what I’m scared of. I’m scared that everyone else is more who they are than I am who I am. I think everyone else just looks at the things they feel or think or say,
“Of course this is what I feel or think, this is who I am.
But I am never sure of what I feel or think…”.
This is an excerpt from a piece called, “The Anxiety Inherent in the Air” in a poetry and photography collection entitled “I Wrote This For You and Only for You”.
When I stumbled across this poem earlier on in the semester, I remember a feeling of “awe” washed over me. I had never read anything in all my life that I felt related to me in that way on a personal level. I already knew I was nervous, I already knew I was anxious and even terribly indecisive (another fun fact for those of you who don’t already know me), but I think having someone else put it into words, and reading those words right in front of me…made a huge difference.
Thus, leading me to this week – when prompted by a friend to write my next blog post about anxiety, I couldn’t help but remember this piece and remember what relief it gave. Now while it didn’t suggest any particular ways of combating anxiety, or give ideas on how to move forward, it made me think about the power of experiences, and more importantly the power of writing, talking, and sharing your experiences. And so while this one poem makes up huge part of what anxiety stems from within me, I began to think well… what about other people? Do they feel the same way? Does it stem from a different place? Do they have different habits for coping with anxiety? What can I learn from them, and what can my readers learn from them as well. Thus wanting to find out more, I decided to interview a couple of my friends; these were their responses:
“For me it means not being able to control how I think and how I feel when it comes to certain situations. So to cope with it I try keep myself in solitude mode and listen to music or go for a walk.”
“It feels like I’m in a box or maze and I can’t get out…sometimes it’s the unknown of a certain outcome that will make me anxious…but to cope I try breathing seeping, calling my mom, eating something sweet or finding something else to channel my energy into…”.
“Anxiety to me is usually linked with a feeling of inadequacy or self consciousness…coping means removing myself and having time to myself to really think about what I’m feeling and why I’m feeling that way…”.
“Anxiety for me feels like I’m trying my best to tread water in this huge ocean, but I feel by arms and legs getting tired when I feel as though my nerves and frustration have gotten the best of me…. I’ve learned to deal with my anxiety by listening to funny podcasts and music, and by lifting weights… I also try to remember that so many things that stress me out only leave me stronger in the end…”.
“ …To me anxiety means feeling overwhelmed by the possible situations and not knowing the outcome of the future. I cope by taking walks, watching Netflix, writing and talking to friends.”
“Well when I feel anxious it’s usually tied to existential stress. Or feeling inadequate .. to cope I usually workout to clear my mind and gather my thoughts. Take time to reevaluate my feelings about the future and what I want out of life and just try to remember that this isn’t race. It’s okay to live literally one day at a time…”.
When looking at this collection of responses (well, these are just some of them), I realized that, like myself they also had very different, and yet similar perspectives on what anxiety is to them. During these interviews, I even learned some new and interesting ways on how to deal with my own anxiety. My personal favorite coping mechanism that a friend described to me, was “I liked to picture whatever the thing that is stressing me out in my life on boat..and then I picture that boat floating away.” Just even after hearing her describe this I instantly felt more at ease with my surroundings.
Overall I think when It comes to topics, such as anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues, I learned how important and impactful it can be to talk to someone who you feel might be going through the same things. In a previous post, I expressed how important I thought asking for help was, and while this week I was not, technically, asking for help, I think that just being able to talk to people about this subject and hear what it meant to them, made a greater impact on me. However, if talking to friends and family is not your strong suite, try reading or researching, or even speaking to a member of Counseling and Psychology Services (CAPS) located at Patroon Creek. Whether it is minor or major there is always someone available to talk to you, and help you sort out your emotions without any bias. Remember, taking care of yourself mentally is one of the most important steps in college and in life. Whether that means talking to friends, working our, even just relaxing and enjoying Netflix, anything that you find keeps you balanced is essential at this point in our lived.
Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories – their voices.
About the Author:
Class of 2017
Minors: Psychology and Education
Be Brave. Be Bold. Be You.