This blog is not going to be an easy one to write but it’s all for me the real MVP (insert muscle emoji). Everyone will suffer with some form of anxiety at one point or another, be it over anything as minuscule as a test or as large as a phobia. Someone once told me to look at anxiety as a separate being so that it is easier to detach yourself from it. I am angry at anxiety for getting in the way that I live; and that is part of the reason I started this blog. Writing has always been something I feel comfortable doing because I am expressive and good with words. After taking two writing-based electives at school, I started writing on my own in journals or even just little notes on my phone to help with whatever was on my mind. I address things by writing about them so I’m able to compartmentalize and learn to better cope. Ever since elementary school I was a worry bug, always the “what if” , over-sensitive gal that was adventurous, yet anxious. My anxiety has never been an outward thing; it never stopped me from being social, studious, or fun. However, it affects me internally; it’s a mind game. Middle school was a strange time for all of us and that is really when my anxiety kicked off. In 7th grade I had some home-life changes and I really hated most of school (I say most because there were definitely a few teachers/classes that stick out). I was absent a lot because I would get so worked up over who knows what and would become physically ill. It took so long to figure out why I was experiencing these unsettling feelings every Sunday night/Monday morning of school. I thought I had a stomach problem, but it turns out it was just little anxious Avery dealing with a bout of apprehension. The major anxiety went away until about 11th grade when it was so easy to get trapped in feeling worthless. There are so many pressures placed on students today and little room to allow for creativity, fun, and being a kid. I felt like I was living in a textbook, not sleeping, and for what? Just to feel like I had some self worth. Being the control freak I am, I discovered that not having control and being a people pleaser are the major sources of anxiety for me (as it is for most). I like to joke about it (see the “No Chill” blog post below) and most times it’s okay, but it really is a daily struggle for me. For concision purposes I’m not going to go into everything that triggers worry for me because that would be a waste of time and I will not let anxiety take more life from me than it already has. Therapists have helped, exercise has helped, yoga has helped, but when it comes down to it I feel very alone with my struggles. Despite that there are a lotttttt of anxiety peeps (holla @ my fellow worry tribe), the weird thing about this horrific mental illness is that everyone suffers in different ways and it is an experiment to find out what works and what doesn’t. Anxiety for me used to just be constant worrying and getting overwhelmed but it has now turned into sheer panic. Anytime I get anxious now, I seize up, I get temperature confused, and my breathing is weird. My heart feels heavy and fierce like it could punch whatever is in front of me. I have not found a method that really calms me in that moment of panic. I try to brainstorm outside of the times when I feel anxious so I’m better able to think of how I can help myself during. I want to feel grounded and supported by the earth, not like I am fighting it. Side note: this is why I started yoga (because it is the only place where I truly feel that my mind & body are working together and where I feel grounded.) I feel exasperated sometimes to live a life in fear that this anxiety will keep me from doing what I want to do. Places where I feel trapped (like school) are the hardest to drag myself to during my bouts of anxiety because if for any reason I do have a panic attack, it’s so hard to escape a room full of people to just catch my breath and stop freaking out. My current anxieties have been over medical things after having a few experiences with passing out. I used to be totally fine around blood/injuries, etc. but now I can’t even hear about them. I fear every day that there will be some sort of emergency and I will just pass out and not be able to deal with it. I was at the hospital the other day visiting someone and I had to leave because I felt like I was going to faint just from being in the vicinity. It is so degrading and I feel hopeless. It is a frustrating yet prevalent problem for so many and one that I am trying to write about so I can deal with it, but I can’t seem to get to it’s source. I can write about anything even if I don’t understand it, but for some reason anxiety is different. Writing for me is thinking, processing, and analyzing, but this is one thing that I have so much trouble addressing. Like anything, there are phases, and I am working on the acceptance phase. My goal for myself is not to live anxiety-free, but to separate myself from anxiety and not treat it as a parasite. I have faith in myself and I will not let my anxiety stop me from living this beautiful life. I do not want to feel as though anxiety is attacking me but rather I am attacking it. Avery vs. Anxiety. Let the games begin.