Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

A sea of uncertainties

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My eighth grade self stood quietly as I struggled to find the answer to my parents’ question: “Why do you have anxiety?” I didn’t know what response would be correct or acceptable. A thousand words bubbled inside me, none of which seemed good enough to come out of my mouth.

Since I was a child, it always seemed like there was something wrong with me. Something to put a label on so I could fix it, make it go away and be what everyone wants me to be. My brain would twist and turn every situation until all I could think about was what I did wrong or could have done differently.

In elementary school, I would travel from specialist to specialist, do every blood test, every health scan to get to the root of why my body acted differently than the other kids. My parents would reassure me, “It’s not your fault, we’re getting tests done to see what’s causing this.”

As all the tests continued to come back negative, the blame and pressure of what was going on in my body fell upon me. I was left on my own to figure out how to fix the problem that was taking over me.

As I grew older my anxiety heightened.  Not only did it manifest in mental ways, but physically as well. Every time I encountered even a slight obstacle in my life the nausea, headaches, and dizziness would creep into my body, strangling me from the inside.

Everything appeared as a big question mark in my brain, a haze of problems to solve, tasks to complete, and responsibilities to fulfill. I lost whatever part of myself I had left from younger me. I felt like a stranger in my body, fears and negative thoughts knocking on every door in my brain.

If I couldn’t get things right in my head, how would I ever get it right in the real world? Doubt strangled me everywhere I went, holding me back from everything my heart desired. It felt like I was drowning in a sea of uncertainties, my life jacket the answers I could never find.

When I got  diagnosed with anxiety nearing the end of 8th grade, the feeling of relief, of finally understanding myself a bit better never came. The label that I thought that would magically fix everything didn’t put my mind at ease. Instead, all I wanted to do is figure out how to make it go away and not accept the fact that it was a part of me.

I wanted to banish these thoughts and feelings from my body, have everything laid out like cities on a map, and know exactly what would come next.

The cycle continued until I started to take hold of my thoughts — and take back myself. Recognizing and analyzing negative thoughts and listening to how my body really feels were my first steps towards change.

I found that facing head first the thoughts that had forever been controlling me was what I had to do. The universal piece of advice of “talking about your feelings” started to make sense. The uncomfortability opened up a whole new realm of understanding and breakthroughs. From trying to understand the dreadful thoughts that had been haunting me, it helped to unlock a version of myself I never knew was there. One that unapologetically talked about her feelings, opinions, and cared about herself.

Navigating life isn’t about having everything perfect and planned out. Life is about experiencing the journey learning from whatever comes your way.  Learning from my and others’ experiences, and not holding on to things that were never meant to be. What matters isn’t the big gold medal you get at the end of the run, but how you grew, persevered, and got through to the finish line. 

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About the Contributor
Mashiyat Khan, Reporter
Mashiyat Khan (she/her) is a first year staffer. She loves singing and is really excited to get to write about cool stuff in the Marquee! she also loves long Facetime calls with her bestie 

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