The Words You Need To Hear
You know those moments where everything feels out of control? Work is piling up, there’s that big thing happening next Friday and you’re trying to find a way out of it, you friends don’t understand you, you can’t find enough time for sleep, and on top of it all you hair just won’t stay put today. The world is chaos, and you’re tempted to just quit. Give up, pack up, go home. Run away from it all. Waste a few hours in mindlessly browsing the internet to take your mind off of everything you have to do. Try to forget that your anxiety is skyrocketing, and you haven’t had a real meal in days.
On days like this, there is one thing that will help.
“Everyone else is going through exactly the same thing.”
When life feels out of control, sometimes it helps to just remember this. You’re sitting in university, wondering why no one else looks panicked that the midterm is in two days and you haven’t even started studying. Most likely they’re just as worried as you are, they are just hiding it because that’s the socially acceptable thing to do. Present yourself in a calm, cool, and collected manner. Save your meltdowns for when you’re alone.
I had an interesting chat with the lady who cleans our house the other day. She asked about school, what I’m studying, what year, etc. And then she told me, “Oh, you’re probably at that stage where it is all piling up and you’re thinking about giving up and dropping out. Getting a job or something.”
And I looked at her, mouth gaping, wondering if she knows how to read minds. That is exactly what I am going through, to be honest. I hate the work I have to do, and am panicking because I have a midterm this Friday, two next Friday, and another the following Wednesday. I haven’t even read my notes for next week. I haven’t even WRITTEN the notes down from the past month. So as much as I try to focus on what I need to do right now, I’m looking ahead and freaking out about what I need to do next. There’s no time to rest, so much to do!
The cleaning lady then told me that she has 3 kids in university, and her twin sister also has 3 kids in university right now. All of them are going through exactly what I’ve been describing. She said that second year is probably the hardest to get through. Maybe that’s why being in third year but knowing I’ll have to take a 5th year for my 4-year degree is so frustrating. In first year everything is new and exciting and the sense of freedom is incredible. By second year you realize you’re just burnt out and constantly tired, and aren’t close enough to the end to be motivated to keep going.
Relax. It can’t go on like this forever.
In my anxiety group the first thing they told us is to be here now. If you’re here, be here completely. Don’t go to work and think about all the schoolwork you have to do. Don’t go to the gym and think about next week’s midterms and whether you have enough money to pay for rent this month. There is nothing you can do about that other stuff right this second.
Like I do a lot of the time, I wrote this post yesterday so I could read over it today before I published it. I checked my Facebook first, and my sister had put this as her status:
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha
And again, I wonder how the timing of that could have lined up so perfectly with what is going on with me, even though we haven’t talked in a long time.
So take a deep breath, relax, and be here in the moment. You’re not alone.
I hope this helped make things now seem slightly more manageable.