Have You Met My Anxiety?
Hi! My name is Ayushman Jain, or as most of you Sheeples know me, 1000Minus7. I feel like this is the first time I have formally introduced myself to this platform, well, mainly cause I end up using my pen name of sorts in a lot of the work I do.
But I felt like I needed to do this today and you might be wondering why I'm starting this article off on such a note, but I feel like it's only right if I do it this way... After all, you Sheeples are about to meet someone who's been a part of my life for a very long time, and when you get to know about them, you also get to know about me.
Yup, it's none other than my 'Anxiety'. He says 'hi' by the way.
Feels weird introducing my anxiety to you all.
Let me take you back to my childhood, I've always been someone who was very shy and was not the keenest to get up on stage or meet people and go to social affairs. I was always happy being by myself, in that little bubble. That's where I first met him.
My dad's work had him socialise a lot, especially having people over almost every day, traveling places, and much more. With the kind of lifestyle he had, my mom was also very used to this kind of setting and had also joined him in attending all these people on a daily basis, but when it came to me, I was always hiding away in my room.
I was scared of it all, of people meeting me, of people getting to know me or asking me about what I like or what I want to do. Even though it was all harmless, I never understood that. My anxiety made me a little irrational about these things and it led me to try my best to avoid these situations.
It was suffocating to be honest, cause even though I was in my own bubble, it felt like that bubble was becoming more and more of a vacuum. This started becoming more prominent the older I grew, especially when I gained weight.
Moving forward a few years, when I was completing high school and getting into college, my anxiety had gotten to know me very well. It knew how I ticked and it knew what I was the most afraid of. It was honestly a bad state to be in, kind of like having that toxic friend in your life that causes problems for you, though this one lived in my headspace.
The more weight I gained, the worse my social anxiousness grew, constantly in my head, I was thinking that people are going to judge me, I am going to be made fun of, I cannot live up to the image that people have created of me. It was tiring, to be honest, and it took me years to understand the fact that all these thoughts were just that, thoughts inside me and not the reality in front of me.
During that time though, I kept it all to myself, constantly arguing with my mom about stuff because she did not understand why I was the way I was but the fact is, how would she know anything if I kept it all to myself. The arguments didn't end with her though, they were always going on in my head, with no end in sight.
It took a lot of growing up for me to understand what I was dealing with. College and other courses helped me out a lot in this matter, along with my friends whom I'll always be grateful for! They got me out of my shell. College put me in a new environment where I had no choice but to get out of my comfort zone and that's when I saw myself and who I was becoming.
This change wasn't immediate, it still took a lot of time and a lot of learning about myself, but the more I grew up the more I got to know who I was, and once I was able to develop my own identity, I started to get to know my anxiety.
It's been a process and I feel like I have made peace with that side of me as well, even though he still hangs around, I don't mind it anymore. Mainly because I know how to speak to him and have a conversation.
This experience also showed me how important taking care of your mental health really is. That is why I always like to say that seeking professional help is never a bad idea, it's like having a guide in a dark tunnel. While I might not have done this myself, I feel like it would've been so much better if I had done this.
Finally, I would like to say that I know you Sheeples are very strong individuals and know that you have people around you that love and care for you, please remember to ask for help if you feel like things are not right and for those who are on the journey of learning about who you are as a person, remember that we are all rooting for you!
This is 1000Minus7... uh wait, this is Ayushman Jain signing out!
Until next time