Now that I’m on the other side of my long battle with anxiety, I can look back on my university career and ask myself: why?
Why did this happen?
But within all the why’s, the worst feeling of all is the how: how did I let this happen to myself? Most of all, is it my fault?
How can’t it be my fault if I can:
- sustain a relationship now.
- count on myself to show up to work on time?
- How I essentially so different from the past me that I can now do what was once unthinkable?
There’s so much to be mined from what I write: from how my syntax unravels when I don’t read Great English Literature to how I fumble to express myself yet I still try to write.
And again I find myself asking myself that question: why? Why go through all that trouble when you’ll never be the best, or find your voice?
I just want to be understood. And why would it matter that I’d never be the best? As long as I am most authentic to my own voice.
How did I do it?
I did the opposite of what I always do: think.
I stopped writing. I stopped reading. Am I supporting not reading and writing? No, that’s just the form my break took. Sitting for long periods of time exacerbated by anxiety. I mourn all the things I didn’t write, but really, I shouldn’t. I should look forward to all the things I will write and am writing, right now.
I took medication. I went to counselling. I missed counselling for a long time. I went back to it. I took it out on the people who loved me and loved them back when they did the same.
I still want to snowboard down that ravine on the way to Cypress Mountain Resort. I still want to be a man. Nothing will ever take that away.
That pain will always be there. But now I know it’s not all my fault. I know that if I try, something will become of me. Not of this, the struggle, but me, the person.
That struggle is worth something. It’s worth me.
And that’s why.