Guys, I did something today that, before, would have scared the life out of me because of my anxiety.
I talked to an adult to schedule an appointment on the phone!
I know, if you don’t have anxiety that might seem like nothing to you. But for a person with anxiety, it’s a pretty huge step.
I usually get my parents to talk to adults on the phone because of so many different reasons: I don’t know what to say, my voice gets shaky and nervous (and high pitched like hey, what’s up pre-pubescent Rebecca) it’s a situation a person with anxiety would very much want to avoid and never encounter.
I could’ve waited for my dad a few days to call them and make an appointment but I knew that was going to take a few days. Plus I knew I would have to make appointments with them in the future and my dad wasn’t always gonna do it. So I had to start doing it by myself to take a task off his list.
I mean, if I’m talking to a friend on the phone, at first, if it’s a new thing I get nervous but it’s my friend and that’s easy. With an adult, that you don’t know and is at a business etc., it’s more difficult. You don’t know how they’re going to react, what they’re going to say- if they’re even nice. It’s nerve-wracking.
But I wanted to call them. I needed to.
I need to prove to myself that I can live with my anxiety. I need to prove to my worries and fears that I can overcome. I need to prove to my deep sadness that crawls out here and there that I can do it.
I need to prove it to the lady who told me I needed to get a “self-help book” to fix my problems.
You see, last month I went to a workshop that my school’s career center had. It was information about how to have a successful interview with an adult or superior There weren’t many students, there were just 5 of u… so that’s great. No one to hide behind. And yes the lady in charge made us share opinions and all that ishh. And from the first, few minutes she was already labeling me like everyone else in my life. Telling me I’m shy. I know. I need to speak up. I know. I need to be more open. Wow, she’s really not letting this go. Literally, this lady was the epitome of every person who labeled my anxiety as “shyness” or “quietness.” And she WOULD NOT leave it alone. She kept pointing me out and asking me questions I didn’t know the answer to… and she waited and I just felt like exploding. I wanted to leave the room but with so little people I would cause a scene and I would not want that. So she gave everyone interview example and she asked us to consider a weakness that we have and tell it out loud to the other kids. I didn’t know what else to say so I talked about my overthinking and how it messes with my mind.
This lady literally looked me dead in the eye and told me, “You know what? I think you should order a self-help book and boost your confidence… you should also grin more.”
I didn’t smile a lot, I don’t like pleasing people with my smile. Why would I? If I like you, I’ll smile. And really, Miss, how are you gonna tell me to grin more? It’s not like you were giving me reasons to smile. The self-help book kind of threw me off guard for some reason.
That day was a really bad one for me. I believed. She didn’t know my story but I felt like she was right. In a way. It felt like she was. When she looked at me like that, it was like “Damn. Can I even do stuff like this with my anxiety?” Could I be capable of living a life with anxiety? This was a freaking school workshop about job interviews, it wasn’t even a real interview but this lady read through my deepest demons… dug them out and used them against me. I thought that since she’s an adult she’s right.
I’m going to struggle. I’m going to cry. I’m going to fail.
Going back to the phone call… It took me ten minutes to even call the people. I dialed the number then proceeded to just stare at my phone building the muster to hit the call button.
Then I clicked it. I needed to, like I said before.
This past weekend, I as in one of my deep holes. I really didn’t see a way out because everything was coming out of the dark: my anxiety, my friends that I seem to “burden,” my family being better off without me and my episodes, the guy who wasn’t capable of feeling the same way about me or even caring enough to keep our friendship, etc.
Then I got brought out of my hole. God really carried me through this time.
But getting out of that hole meant things needed to change. And the main thing that needed to change is my anxiety and how I deal with anxious situations.
If I’m going to live long enough to see how my future turns out I need to be okay with myself. Even if that means I have anxiety. I need to live with it. I need to live through it. I know, I know I’m not my mental illness but it’s what I have right now. It’s controlling me, it’s showing me what I don’t like and what I’m not comfortable with.
But if I’m going to try harder, I need to cross the comfort zone line a little bit. Even if it means making a mere phone call to schedule an appointment.
It might not seem like much to you… but to that girl who was so scared that anxiety would take over her life where she sees that she’s not able to live with it, this is the world to her.
And that’s who I’m doing this for.
I’m going to take more steps like this in the future. Even if they’re small steps. I’m going to stop allowing things to happen to me and start confronting. I’m going to start telling people my feelings, little by little. It’s gonna take a whole lot of time. I might find myself losing a bunch of hope but…
A week ago I couldn’t even picture myself making that phone call. To myself, I literally did the impossible. We never really know what we’re capable of.
Why stop before trying?
Also, side note lol, the lady I talked to on the phone was super nice. I could understand her and she never seemed to get upset with me or seem pissed off. I literally told her the dates and times and she was like, “Yep, okay. Got it!” She told me to have a nice day and I told her the same. It really was a weight off my worries and in the end, I was like “See that wasn’t so bad Rebecca! I’m so proud of you! (YES I talk to myself like this, do you have a problem? Lol)”