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A Day With My Anxiety

Autumn Smith, Reporter

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It’s six a.m.; the alarm goes off and the nausea sets in. My day has started and my constant companion, anxiety, is already present.

Anxiety is something that many people struggle with and it’s different for everyone who experiences it, but this is my personal experience.

Once I’ve gotten on the bus, there is still anxiety lingering below the surface, but unless I have a test or a large assignment due that day, there’s no feelings of a looming panic attack.

Walking through the hallways can be a stressful experience, because it feels like people are watching and judging me as I move along. I can feel their eyes on me. It used to lead me to keeping my head down, staring at the floor, trying not to trip, focused on moving from point A to point B.

Recently, thanks to therapy and the school’s anxiety group, I’ve gained the ability to look up and appreciate posters on the walls and think. I allow my mind to wander to the things I plan on doing later. I deliberately think about the positives in order to keep my mind off of the negatives.

First period is my favorite class of the day, so I enjoy that it’s the first class. It’s what I’m good at; having confidence in this ability builds my confidence in the day.

Onto second period, which is mildly anxiety inducing. This class has two people in it now, and the other person is Editor Adam Steiner. As most of you probably know, he is assertive, confident, and maintains eye contact. These things are very intimidating to me; I’m not like this, so when I’m around someone who is, it’s kind of… scary.

I’ve since warmed up to him through having gotten to know him better, which makes it easier to carry conversation, and I no longer feel threatened by him. A quick note, threatened, for me, means judgmental. I was afraid that he would judge my personality, looks, or how I carry myself. And I can’t quite explain why I’m afraid of that, but I want to be accepted like everyone else.

The next two periods of the day go generally well, unless the teacher offers vague instructions for point-heavy projects. Because I’m a perfectionist, I need everything to be perfect, and not knowing exactly what my teacher wants from me makes it very difficult to have a point-perfect project.

It’s important to note that, even if classes are going well, making eye contact during conversations with the teacher or other students is especially hard for me. Making and maintaining eye contact is a much more assertive action than most people think, and it is difficult for me to do.

The next part of my day is lunch. A loud and crowded room full of teenagers is a huge source of anxiety for me. It’s like the hallways, where I feel like everyone is looking at me. Back to the fear of judgment in this situation. It’s definitely a feeling where people believe “she’s stupid, she’s loud, and I hate her.” My response to these fears is usually to listen to music, or I’ll focus on the conversations with my friends.

The cafeteria is a place where I often experience something called sensory overload.

My classes that follow lunch are the most challenging part of my day, because I don’t do well with teachers who tease students, especially when I’m the one being teased. In these situations, I usually just shrink into myself to try and get out of the class without crying.

That’s my goal of the day most days, I try to get through my entire day without crying. Usually, me crying isn’t because of sadness but because I’m overwhelmed. If I get really angry, I’ll cry. When I’m uncomfortable, I’ll cry.

By now, the day is almost over. There is one period left, and it’s not a hard class for me. I get to enjoy a good class with friends and a fun teacher.

Once I get home, I’m exhausted from everything that happened that day. Usually, I’ll do homework then take a nap. There have been days where I sleep straight through dinner and wake up at 2 a.m. Those days suck. Sometimes, it’s just a ten minute nap, and I’ll wake up and work on my personal art work, which helps me forget what a disaster the day was.

A Note from the Adviser:

If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, or you relate to this article in any way, please visit This List of Resources

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A Day With My Anxiety