July 5, 2017


I have a problem, and it's a problem that I am still in denial with.

I have anxiety but I don't consider mine as a critical one because I know those who has it far worse than mine. But still, it is a problem and it might be worse than what I thought. And it's a problem that I can't fully accept even until today.

Both my doctors and my counselor said that I have anxiety, specifically "performance anxiety", as told by my counselor. I'm on antidepressant (Lexapro━a type of SSRI) now and thank God the side effects are gone. The first few weeks were hell for me. I was nauseous. I lost my appetite. I vomited. I was really drowsy after taking the pill. I couldn't do work. I was bed-ridden the first week of taking it. There were times when I didn't want to take it all because I didn't want to feel sick. And there were times I felt like I wanted to take more than one pill because I want my body to get used to it as soon as it could. But thank God it's all over now. My body has adapted to it. Goodbye nausea! But now I'm also taking Valium. It relaxes my muscles from continuously feeling tensed. It helps me get a good sleep.  I haven't had any good sleep in the past month. Sometimes I take a pill or two if I'm starting to feel on edge. But sometimes I don't take it because I don't want to be reliant on it.

My house is no longer my sanctuary. It doesn't make me feel safe. It incessantly makes me anxious with every conversation or whisper my ears can pick up. My anxiety made me feel left out at home. I got scared of being alone at home because of the suicidal thoughts I started to have. If I'm alone at home, best believe I'm texting or calling someone just to distract myself from those thoughts.

Even socializing for me is scary. If you know me, you would know how much I enjoy socializing. I love getting to know new people and I love catching up with friends. But lately, it hasn't been the same. Socializing tires me out. I don't think I'm able to keep up with the conversations now. I only sit or go out with people I'm comfortable with. Huge events and huge crowds scare me. I rarely have energy left although I socialized for 1⎼2 hours. #RIPSocialLife

Panic attacks. My biggest worry. Panic attacks in public are not fine and they will never be. The last time I had a panic attack in public was during lecture. I cried. I hyperventilated. But thank God nobody saw it. Thank God I decided to sit at the back of the hall that day. But I felt bad. I hated myself that day.

"Goddamn it Alya, how the hell did you let that happen?"
"Are you happy now that you had a panic attack in public?"
"You're weak because you couldn't control yourself."
"If you can't handle this, what makes you think you can manage your anxiety?"

These thoughts are normal. These thoughts are the ones I hear every time.

There was this period during study week that I felt hopeless and extremely demotivated. I wanted to cry but I can't. I just felt so despondent and I didn't know why I was feeling that way. I was afraid of the night because that's when I felt like jumping off the 6th floor because I know no one will realize that I'm gone. If not that, whatever I see that can cause death, that's when a part of me says, "take the chance and everything will end". I was so scared. I couldn't believe I'm telling myself to die. Obviously, something was wrong here. Again, I wanted to cry but I couldn't. It was as if something was holding me back. So I didn't let myself sleep. I was anxious 24/7. I was sensitive to everything. I didn't even want to get out from the house unless it's for something important, like seeing the doctor or meeting my counselor. I tossed and turned and have really bad thoughts at night. On a Thursday, a friend called me and asked me the magic sentence, "are you okay?". I immediately burst into tears. I called my counselor for an emergency meeting because I know something was off.

You see, I'm not depressed or anything. I'm glad I'm not because depression scares me. If I'm not able to handle my anxiety, what makes me think I'm going to cope well with depression? If I were depressed, whatever I felt in the last paragraph must at least, be experienced for 3 months and shows little signs of positive change━what my counselor said. I'm just anxious. And yes, anxiety is a pretty common thing that everyone has. But some people are able to cope with it and some can't. I am the latter. The more I deny that I have a problem, the harder it becomes for me to cope and understand myself.

If you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, you can see that I'm starting to speak out about my experience with anxiety. I share whatever I'm going through and my little big achievements. The reason I do this is because I don't feel confronted when talking about my experience. I can talk about it candidly and it doesn't make me feel intimidated. To be frank, I like talking about it and share my experience to whoever that reads it. I feel relieved when I talk about it. Also, I can refer to my tweets for future references━I might just make a thread about it but I don't know how to combine different threads to make it as one thread (HELP!!). At the same time, it helps me to accept the fact that I have a problem and helps me understand more about myself and the anxiety I have. I don't talk about it because I want sympathy. And it's not like I don't meet professionals and seek for treatment. I do that (duhhhh) but it hasn't helped me to accept my my 'sickness'. I find this alternative more beneficial not just for me, but to others as well. It's great to have people reaching out to me and say that they're facing the same thing. I feel comforted knowing that I'm not alone and that I can always share it with someone that's going through the same thing.

For now, I'm able to get a good sleep and I rarely take the sleeping pills. But that requires me to feel mentally, socially, and emotionally drained. Sometimes I forget to take Lexapro too. But it's okay. As long as I feel good, that's more than enough for me.

Have a nice day

Update (3 Aug 2017): I am diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and am currently meeting a psychiatrist as part of treatment.

1 comment:

  1. You are so brave for sharing this and as a pharmacy student, I feel a bit empowered with the knowledge you just share. It is a good awareness for me and surely for all your readers. Alhamdulillah you can cope the meds now, I knew the meds can affect the patient but reading it this way does enlighten me better. Do believe in yourself that it is just some sickness - not you. You are not your dark thoughts. The meds will help insyaAllah. KEEP ON FIGHTING!

    // afifahaddnan


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