North Matters! Anxiety

Monique Bever, Writer

“North Matters!” was created to give in-depth awareness, support, and resources to our school. This first edition will be surrounding anxiety.

So let’s get into it! Anxiety. A gross word for a gross emotion. Anxiety is a normal human emotion felt by everyone. And so anyone and everyone can relate to this. Generalized anxiety disorder affects 3 million , diagnosed , Americans. It is described(by google) as “A condition with exaggerated tension, worrying, and nervousness about daily life events.” With the negativity of the world recently you can assume anxiety is a big struggle and though it is common among everyone it should not be minimized. You deserve to be content and even excited about your future.

School and relationships are among the top stressors for teenagers. With last year’s inconsistency, there are a lot of students struggling with missing credits, struggling with managing current grades and their future. Luckily North is offering some resources and support and I strongly suggest you consult a counselor if this is weighing you down.

My personal struggle with anxiety started around kindergarten. I’ve always been a shy person and school has always been  overwhelming for me. My sophomore year, was completely lost and ruined by online school. I changed schools and lost my socialization. Talking to people and making friends became near impossible for me. I was dead set on medical school and had kept up a 4.0 GPA all until the pressure I had put on myself came crashing down on me. I always felt like my contribution to “the world” was my ambition and suddenly I lost it. My grades slipped after so many years of defining myself by my achievements. My worst fears had come true. No friends, future plans tarnished, a disappointed family, and struggling to pass. And what did I do to overcome this you may ask? Well I struggled for a while. I struggled, and struggled, and I finally decided to look past the “perfection” my anxiety had impossibly destined for me and got into what I truly adored. Baking, for example, is solace for me. You get to be “perfect” in practice as you practice chemistry but also you get to make people happy. Moving schools I’m a new kid again and have trained myself to just practice mindfulness. I’ll meet new people and make friends, or I won’t. I’ll catch up my grades and move on now, or later. My focus is on what is within my control.

Where else can you see anxiety? If you ever want to feel less alone in your discomfort you can seek relatability in your favorite characters. Sometimes you might invalidate your struggle as not enough to talk about, or maybe it’s too hard to talk about. If that’s the case I recommend watching your favorite shows or looking into your favorite entertainers. There are so many stories told by Hollywood, negative and positive and as ” binge watching” is so normalized. I suggest you pay attention to what you’re watching and be sure it’s giving you comfort.

Take care of yourself. You are never alone. You are valid, you are important, and you matter. Your struggle is important and if your daily life is being affected by anxiety or anything else I suggest you consult a school counselor, a friend, a trusted teacher, a parent.

If you feel uncomfortable and want more private help you can always contact me by my student email: [email protected] (not sure if I  can share this information will revise it out if I cannot). The national suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-8255, the national alliance on mental health is  1-800-950-NAMI (6264)and if you need immediate help a local crisis line is +(316) 660-7525.

An anxiety poem.

Yaz Hernandez Nov 2015
Anxiety was let out
Anxiety did not get treated
Anxiety became comfortable
Anxiety decided to show itself everywhere we’d go
Anxiety decided to speak for me
Anxiety decided where we had to go
Anxiety decided when and when not to sleep
Anxiety decided to sleep on a cold floor many nights
Anxiety became comfortable
Anxiety settled in
Anxiety took over