Dealing with anxiety. 


One late night in December while talking to a friend I started shivering violently. I had just received a bad news, so the uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach was justified and the shivers could have been because of the cold. Only it didn’t get better as the shock of the news wore off. It was followed by racing heartbeat, sweaty palms and nausea. I spent the entirety of the night in my bathroom. Waiting for the little relief that follows after you empty your stomach’s contents and the nausea subsides, but that feeling never came. 

I was 15 the first time I experienced a panic attack. It was the hardest night of my life. Afraid of being alone I made my friends talk to me give me assurances till sleep finally took me. It was a difficult time for me. My parents recent split, my first heartbreak, losing my best friend. All caught up with me in that one particular night. Psychologist often give the example of a glass of water, if it’s full to the top even a single added drop can cause it to spill. I didn’t even realise how full my glass was till then. 

After that it was a regular occurrence. Sleep was a luxury I couldn’t afford. Every waking hour I’d have this feeling in my stomach. Like something bad was going to happen. It took everything from me. My self confidence, my logic, I had doubts about everything. Getting up, walking out the door to face the world seemed like an impossible feat. At times I’d feel guilty like it was all my fault my insecurities seeping in. Somehow I was cursed or hexed. I remember being afraid of abandonment. People were leaving me and I couldn’t deal with it. 

Endless nights where I couldn’t sleep. I’d roam around the house at times watch the stars or listen to music. Anything and everything to calm myself that the internet recommended I do. I was too young to understand what it was back then. Since a lot was going on at home I didn’t bother telling anybody about it. My routine was to wake up sit by the toilet till the nausea passed. Force myself to go to school and always, i repeat always stay close to a trash can in case I needed to puke. Honestly, that stomach pains felt as painful as failed organ. Most people think mental illness is easier to deal with compared to physical. I tell you it’s not true. 

This went on for a while, By the time i got into highschool I took this psychology class on a whim. Guess what I found during the lecture one day? My symptoms mentioned in one chapter! Now, this wasn’t one of those experiences where you read the symptoms of something and you go like oh I might have this. It hit me like a slap in the face. I finally found an answer to what I was going through. As soon as I knew it was a mental illness, I realised that I had two options start taking anti-anxiety pills, depend on something or fess up. 

I have no idea where I found the courage from but I decided to face my fears, my anxiety made me dependent on people. The only solution my 17-year-old self found was to let go of everything and do exactly what I was scared of, so I did. I detached myself from every single person that was close to me thus ending my fear of losing someone. Leave them before they leave you was the motto of my life. It might sound a little stupid and bizarre but it worked. The easier way to define it would be that I switched off my emotions. 

Every day I would wake up and tell myself that I could do anything I wanted I didn’t need anybody and I was fine. The result; I was no longer scared of facing the world out there. Somehow I got confidence in myself. Since I believed that, everybody else did as well. By the time I got into college I was no longer the same girl that needed to give herself a pep talk before walking out of her room, every single person in my class used to think that I was very confident and bold. Ironic. But see the thing is turning off my emotions might have worked but it wasn’t a permanent solution. I couldn’t stand by and watch my life pass me by in fear of all the bad things. I didn’t wanna continue that way so very slowly I started to let people in. Gradually, I opened up and in doing so brought back my anxiety. Fortunately or unfortunately by then it had been years so, I had learned to control it somewhat. I started dealing it as regular nervousness. When the panic attacks came I couldn’t pretend anymore, I’d have to lock myself in my room-since I didn’t want anybody to take care of me lest I started depending on them, or depend on medicine that could one day not be available in the market if a zombie apocalypse happened-I’d wait it out. It’s actually been really helpful. I don’t get panic attacks anymore. 

I didn’t at least, till today. I had to visit my school and seeing the places everything happened where I experienced everything flashbacks and memories they all came rushing back and for a few minutes I couldn’t breath like I was drowning in them. I managed to successfully get it under control by admitting everything to myself out loud. The rest of the day went normally. That is a major step up. 

For now I’m happy with the fact that I’m okay now, today I kicked anxiety’s ass. Might not be able to tomorrow which is why I’m going to bask in the glory of my achievement for a day. Before I admit that I need to talk to a professional. I wasn’t ready to admit that earlier but I am now. This anxiety has taken so much from me. My sleep cycle hasn’t been the same. I no longer sleep peacefully even after a stressful day when most of us just cry at the sight of our beds. I lie awake most nights thinking and then a little overthinking. I lost the person I was because of it. I won’t let it take anything anymore. 

Love, 

Manal 

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136 thoughts on “Dealing with anxiety. 

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  1. Made me sad and at the same time realize how mental health affects you without you even being aware of it for so long! 😔 But on a positive side you have finally learnt to control it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I didn’t read psychology, but what my experience says, you do exactly the same or opposite to come out of the situation.

    Like in case of accident, you should not stop driving, specially from going through that same route. Else that fear remains inside.

    On the contrary, what you did is exactly the opposite, you fight what you are fighting for.

    If you go through my recent post, What I learn today May 1, 2017. I shared my personal story of depression. Perhaps these hacks might help you.

    Other 2 suggestions, I can say:

    1) Never go in extreme, if a pill saves you, it can take yr life as well. Similarly, taking people out of equation, is good to counter attack the issue. But the downside you will be left alone, in the long run.

    The proper way, is to make Allah your friend, once you made Him, you put your dependence upon Him, rather on any person. Since people will come and go. If you think, feeling that parents, friends or siblings is tough. Wait till you have your own kid It’s more tough.

    2) Someone suggested me this, as a Sunnat e Nabwi Sallal Lahu Waa Alahe Waasalam, drink big glass of cold milk. You will sleep like a baby.

    3) Watch the wall, and imagine you are traveling, now start describing as if you are actually their.

    Try it and let me know.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes that is true. I put all my faith in Allah. HE got me through. Depending on God Is a lot different than people. Usually in pain you miss your mother it’s a natural instinct but I pray. That calms me.
      I will try the milk trick. And ho through your post. It might help as well.
      Thanks for telling me this 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely depending blindly and fully helps a lot, what one thing which really helps me out was abundance of recitation of Darood Sharif, it has helped me in countless situation.

        You know people usually hate traffic jams, but I love them, since whenever I am travelling I try to recite Darood Shareef or Astagfar. No count, just keep on going.

        Insh a Allah when I go next time to Makkah will pray for your ease.

        If you don’t mind can I ask a question? What happened to your mother. Since you mentioned you miss your mother.

        Yes milk does help, big glass and chilled one.

        Do let me know today, how it went.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree with you. Ayat Ul Kursi helps me as well. A sense of calm places over me whenever i recite.
        My mother is a busy woman. Doctor.
        I never told her about my panic attacks she had a lot on her plate.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s harder to deal sort depression than it is with anxiety. You said you were does that mean you’re not any more? Hopefully that’s the case.
      Thank you for saying this. I appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You should actually write a book, you write so brilliantly. Well anxiety is something that i guess we all face in our teenage years and i can relate to what you might have gone through because of the fact that i do feel the same now a days. Gods knows, but its difficult to sleep at night , i feel nausea when i am supposed to start something new or meet new people. In the end it ends but that moment is something that makes it real difficult. Glad you are alright now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know exactly what you mean. Starting anything new is harder for us than others. I hate that nausea and the feeling in my stomach. It’s painful! It passes but you’re right those times are hard. You’ll be okay too. Just remind yourself that you’ll be fine.
      Thank you for saying that Raoul, I’ve always dreamt about writing a book someday. Maybe I will. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou. Actually yes that’s a major drawback I don’t open up completely. Even if I get attached, I can easily get detached as well. I think it’s s defence mechanism, trying not to get hurt.

      Like

  4. I am a 16 year old girl who suffers from anxiety and depression. I started getting panic attacks a month back and hence had to take anti anxiety pills and counselling. So even though I wanted to become a surgeon in the future, I started writing poems. They calmed me. Your post was really great and I related to it on a spiritual level. Does cutting off from people really help?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does actually but I wouldn’t suggest you do it. It might help for now but in the long run it’s not healthy to stay detached.
      I didn’t have any counselling so whatever I did was at my own risk.
      You on the other hand are doing the right thing by getting help. Don’t depend entirely on it, make friends open up and give yourself a daily reminder that you’re going to be fine. Look in the mirror while you do so.
      And If you ever want to talk about it. My door is always open. Or rather my blog is always open 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautifully penned, Manal. You kicked anxiety’s ass today as you put it. That is the thought that counts really in this journey of life. That feeling of abandonment…I wish I could hug it away. But I cannot. Nonetheless I send some virtual hugs for the young girl who went through the various stages of life a bit anxious about what lay before her.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hey Manal, I would recommend you to join a meditation centre. It works like magic. I have been through a rough phase, a bad one. Meditation is helping me a lot. I loved how you acknowledged it. I remember sharing a little bit of the situation with my math teacher and my only friend and he told me that I have slipped into a mental trauma to which I replied that I am not mad! 😝😂 It is a victory in itself to accept you need help!
    Much love!🐼💙

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve been dealing with anxiety the past 5 years and the sad truth is that it will always come back but you just need to manage it and reduce it gradually. Thank you for the lovely post

    Like

  8. Thats so brutal 😦 Hopefully this doesn’t come off as hypocritical since I no longer do hot yoga, but I remember back in 2015 I did hot yoga for 6 months. In the beginning it was rough, but the more I did it the more I loved it and the more my mind would just relax. It helped my poker results out so much and I had the best 6 months of my career. My relationships started improving and everything was great. Maybe something you could try as well as seeing a therapist since you said you’re ready for that.

    Definitely have struggled a lot with anxiety myself, not to the extent to where I get panic attacks, so I can’t fully relate, but I’m sorry you’re going through that. Truly hope it gets better for you. Good vibes your way and stay strong girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I finally made it to the bottom of the comment! Phew. I think that you being so aware of your issue and the things that trigger it, the helpful and negative ways to react is a good starting place. As you continue to grow and learn, you will get stronger. Life will always throw us difficult things to deal with, that’s a fact. But keep working at it. I’d love to see you be the loving and open person you once were- with a bit more wisdom and caution added in for good measure. Also, may I suggest reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It’s amazing. And p.s. thanks for following my blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s surprising how many people can relate to anxiety. Thus the long comment section.
      I think since now I have a handle on this somewhat, I might just start getting my older self back. The caution part comes with the territory.
      Thank you for the advise and the book suggestion. I have it on my reading list now! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Manal, I am really impressed with your honesty. My eldest daughter went through anxiety attacks that were caused by abuse she endured when married to her first husband. Fortunately she has since remarried, became a Christian and is a changed person. I was there when she went through some of the attacks so I am aware of how frightening and harsh they can be. I love your writing style. Wish I had some of your talent. I thank you for following my blog, if ever there is anything you would like to bounce off of me just fire away. Blessings.
    Bruce

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Bruce. First of all thankyou for sharing that with me I’m sure that must have been incredibly hard on you both. Your daughter for having to go through it and you for having to watch her suffer. I’m really glad that she’s recovered from it.
      Secondly thank you for the kind words that’s very sweet of you to say. I’m humbled 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I have the same issue, and it’s so hard. I am glad you found the courage to fight through it. I hope I will too eventually.

    Like

  12. Stay strong. As a kid, I too faced anxiety issues but they were not too grave. However later on I faced social anxiety and became too sensitive. I could overcome this with the help of meditation and self help books. Now life is perfectly fine 💓

    Liked by 1 person

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