Anxiety. It’s a feeling that’s foggy to some. Is it panic or plain worry? To me, it’s feeling restless in your irrational worried thoughts. It’s overthinking to the point of panic. It’s focusing on what should be simple, mundane tasks and involuntarily turning them into these huge dilemmas. After being diagnosed with GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) and SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder), I quickly learned the different between anxiety being my identity and anxiety being a part of me. In the beginning of my diagnosis, I felt if we all had a word on our foreheads describing what defined us, mine would say “anxiety.” It took some time for me to realize that it wasn’t what defined me but it was a part of me I had to acknowledge.
Soon having a “diagnoses” of these feelings I was experiencing began the immediate battle that had already been there but now had a name. It was a battle of anxiety and Molly. Molly would want one thing and anxiety would tell me it’s a bad idea. Anxiety would whisper warnings into my ear and Molly would tell me that I’m blowing things out of proportion. It wasn’t until I applied to George Fox that I realized how bad it was getting.
There it was, right in front of me. A blinking space bar on my laptop waiting for me to enter in my major. It was such a big decision; I knew I could change my major technically whenever I wanted, but I wanted to pick a major and stick with it. Then became the internal battle. Journalism or English? Anxiety enthusiastically and desperately begged me to pick English. You love to write, and you wouldn’t have to deal so much with presentations and speaking in front of others, one of the main major causes of my anxiety. Then Molly would fire back with passion, You need to pick Journalism. You know that’s what you really want to do. So you’ll have to take more communication classes so what… it’ll be worth it. For days I went back and forth. It wasn’t until a session with my psychiatrist that I realized what I needed to do.
“So tell me about what’s been in your head this past week,” she asked, gently. I told her about my dilemma, my back and forth. She told me it sounded like I was having anxiety about journalism classes like broadcast journalism or others that involved being in front of people and presenting ideas, etc. I knew she was right, but thinking about picking English as my major made me feel defeated. It made me feel like anxiety had won if I didn’t go with what I really wanted. So that day, I began a battle of what would follow me to college: anxiety vs. Molly.