Last month, I did something that I thought was going to be impossible for me.. I went to college orientation (with a crap ton of anxiety in tow)..
My anxiety has stopped me from doing a lot of things. But because of my mother, it has not stopped me from doing most things. This being said, my anxiety has always been a thorn in my side when it comes to doing things that are big, new, or adventurous. Sometimes, it’s so bad that I can’t even leave the house. Other times, I can go to a whole other country with no anxiety at all! It’s annoyingly picky like that..
That being said, college was new, it was BIG, and it was adventurous.
When college orientation came around, I was a mess! I knew that once I had signed up for my classes, there was really no way I could turn back. In fact, I’ll admit, if it wasn’t for the fact that my parents drove all the way over here from Virginia, and came with me and my brother for college orientation, I wouldn’t have signed up at all. All because of my anxiety..
The morning of college orientation, I was beyond anxious.. I was begging with my mother not to let me sign up, and as moms do, she told me to get in the car and that everything would be okay. So I got in the car.
I told myself on the way there, that if nothing else, I would go to support my brother (who was also signing up for classes), even if I decide not to sign up myself.
After getting all the way to the college, my brother went to find out where we needed to go. He came back with my friend Kenna in tow, and Kenna and my mother convinced me to get my anxious butt inside and sign up.
Y’all.. If you’ve ever had a friend who would sit with you through the entire process of signing up for college classes, and then tell you that they wouldn’t leave your side until you’re in as much debt as they are, then count yourselves lucky! That’s true friendship at it’s core! (I would like to add that, because of the Military, the only debt my brother and I would be going into would be buying books. Those books are expensive! But that’s still sweet that my friend didn’t want to go into debt alone!)
Being the anxious little wimp I was, I made my brother go first with signing up for classes. He took about an hour to sign up for everything, as he still had to pick out his classes, times, and what days he wanted them on. Me on the other hand, when it came time for my turn, I had everything figured out. I’m a planner, so of course I had everything written out! Every class that I wanted, and what times, were all written on a little note card. My brother and I’s student adviser did the rest. She was so amazing with my anxiety, and helped me to feel comfortable with signing up for classes.
(My brother and I aren’t going in for any set degree, so we could basically pick whatever classes we wanted. However, even though I wasn’t going in for any degree, there were still a BUNCH of classes I wanted to take to someday make my dream of having a full time homestead a reality.)
I ended up signing up for a business class, a personal finance class, a computer class, and a basic Spanish class. Sadly, there weren’t many classes I could actually take, without taking the basics in each department first. So those were the only classes I could take this semester that I was actually interested in. To my surprise, I found out that I my brother and had had two of the same classes on our lists! So our amazing student adviser actually put my brother and I together in the same two classes!
After picking our classes, and talking to my student adviser about my anxiety a little bit, my student adviser started talking to me about maybe signing me up for disability.. When I think of the word ‘disabled’, anxiety does not come to mind. I was a little confused when she said that word.. ‘Disability‘. It was a heavy word.. But she explained to me that it would help my anxiety in the long run, and give me a little bit more wiggle room if I were to have a panic attack and not be able to make it to one of my classes. I didn’t even technically have to tell my teachers that I had anxiety. It was more so that the teacher knew that; ‘hey, I’m one of your students, I sometimes get really really anxious, and now I’m in your class and you have to deal with that’.
Needless to say, I signed up, but reluctantly at first..
I feel better about it now, because I know that it’s there to help me. In fact, everyone I’ve met at the college so far has done nothing but try to help my brother and I in any way that they can, which has been incredible! When I first signed up for ‘disability’, I was embarrassed. I thought that it meant that there was something wrong with me. But then I learned that other people have the same problem as me. I learned that a LOT of people actually get signed up for disability because of anxiety. Because guess what.. ANXIETY FRICKEN SUCKS! And it can feel sometimes like you’re not able to do things that everyone else can. And isn’t that basically what disabled means?
Disability: noun. A physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities.
Anxiety is different for everyone one. For me, personally, trying to do anything ‘new’ makes me want to throw up. My whole body starts shaking, I sometimes get really bad stomach cramps, and my mind doesn’t want to think right (because all it wants to think about is how to take me out of that situation ASAP)..
Today, I’m okay with the fact that I’m signed up for Disability. To quote a guy in an episode of Queer Eye (Season 4 Episode 2): ‘I’m disabled, but not really’. And that’s how I feel! I don’t know what made me okay with it honestly. Maybe I just needed time to see that it wasn’t that big of a deal, or maybe it was just knowing that there were other people around the world that were going through the same exact thing as me, at the same exact time. Ether way, I’m okay!
If you’re reading this and you’ve got anxiety, or you’re going through the same exact thing as I am right now, I promise that you’re not alone. There are other people out there, you’ve just got to find them. Anxiety makes you feel like you’re alone. It makes you feel like you’re loosing your mind
sometimes all the time! And it constantly makes you feel like no one can understand what you’re going through, because no one has walked in your shoes and felt your pain. But I promise you, as different as anxiety is for everyone, there is someone out there going through the same things as you, with anxiety just as bad as you. Stay strong.
What is something that YOU have done lately that has made you anxious but you’ve done it anyways? Do you live with anxiety? Let me know in the comments! Your comment may just help someone else with anxiety fell less alone..
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