The Face of Anxiety
Who is that girl in the mirror?
I do not recognize her.
She looks familiar. She looks a little like me. But yet, she does not. Her cheekbones are more prominent and cheeks are sunk in. She is also very pale.
This young lady has my bright blue eyes. They are staring back at me. They look so empty. Hollow. Where am I? Is this really me?
I am not sure how I got to be this way. It could have been because my mom suffered from anxiety. Or perhaps it was because of the car accident I was in a few weeks earlier when I slid backwards into a ditch. Or maybe it was a delayed reaction to my mom’s death. I could not figure out why. Maybe there wasn’t a rhyme or reason.
All I know is that I’m not right. I’m not well. How do I get better?
I had not been able to eat in a couple of weeks. I had lost at least ten pounds. No one knew what to do or how to help me. I called my cousin, who is a nurse, but even she had no advice. She did not know what was wrong with me. I found out a few months later that I had frightened her. And she really wanted to help but had no idea where to begin.
One day I went to work and I passed a co-worker in the hallway. She took one look at me and she knew. She knew something was terribly wrong. She asked me how I was feeling. I immediately broke down. Tears poured freely down my face right there in the middle of the school’s hallway. She pulled me into her classroom nearby. She had recognized the signs.
She was my saviour that day. She took me in and hugged me closely. She suggested ways to get myself better. She also called our employer and he agreed that it was time to focus on me.
Thus, began my road to recovery.
* This story comes from the time when I was first diagnosed with anxiety in 2003.
Image Source: Freedigitalphotos.net & David Castillo Dominici