It Makes Me Anxious.

10:43:00 PM


Eid Fitri is just around the corner and I know all of you is super excited! Yay! Allahuakbar! I'm currently blogging from Medan. Precisely from my grandma's house, ten minutes away from the town's train station. I am also currently so dried and hot due to the wheather here. It's 38°C outside and I am boiling hot...

Anyway, hotness and all that can't really stop me from blogging. So here I am on my phone, trying incredibly hard not to type things wrongly. Please forgive me if I accidentally wrote something that's impossible to read, LOL.

Anxiety issues. It's basically a mental disorder in which someone can get pretty out of control and anxious and panicky and sweaty... I can't really explain it scientifically. So, it is so much better if you can search it online. Because I have no medical or psychological backgrounds to state some definition to what anxiety issues mean.

Go read as much as you feel like to understand what anxiety means and feels like. I have done my research a few years ago and have actually spent so much time on watching videos of people with anxiety disorders.

I can say that I suffer one of the issues my own since I was very young. At first it was just some social awkwardness and then slowly it turned into something more serious but still managable. I'll tell you my story and maybe it can help...

So, in 2008 my whole family moved to the US to accompany my dad for his master program. We lived there for about 18 months. I was probably the saddest one amongst the four of us to move there. I had this weird assumptions that nobody would accept me, that I would end up friend-less, that I wouldn't be able to fit in. I was nervous for everything and it was not the excited kind of nervous.

I don't know if that is considered as social anxiety. But what really happened was so traumatic.

Jadi, saya akhirnya masuk sekolah. Sekolah publik biasa di mana jenis siswa dan gurunya bermacam-macam. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, about 15-20 minutes drive from my family's apartment. Dari namanya saja sudah terlihat bahwa anak-anak berkulit hitam mendominasi sekolah, yang setelahnya ada anak-anak dari Cina yang juga meramaikan sekolah tersebut. Perkumpulan anak Indonesia sendiri ada di urutan ke-3 atau ke-4, saya lupa. It was so diversed and so rich which made it 100× scarier than I expected it to be. Moreover I had the worst English any foreign student could possibly have. I couldn't say a single perfect sentence without sounding so stupid. And there went my anxiety... I was scared of people and new friends. I turned into an awkward little 10 year-old girl with no friends to talk to. That only made my anxiety worse and I guess beside the fact that it was one of the most unforgettable moments of my life, it was also one of the worst couple of months.

Yang saya lakukan di pekan-pekan pertama menjadi seorang murid baru di sana sangatlah memalukan. Kenapa? Bayangkan saja, setiap pagi saya bangun tidur bukan dengan perasaan bersemangat untuk sekolah melainkan begitu sedih dan terpukul, kenapa harus sekolah? Bisa gak sih, gak sekolah selama aku di sini? Di sekolah aku gak punya teman, gak ngerti apa-apa, gak bisa ngomong apa-apa. I hated going to school. I hated everything about it. If I could run away from school for a day without getting lost (which could possibly cause more anxiety than hiding under my blanket every morning before school), I would've ran away as far as I could into the corn fields near the housing. I was that desperate and scared and anxious and nervous to be around new friends that I developed my own anxiety issues and bad thoughts. Pokoknya, saya sampai benar-benar menangis memohon mama saya untum diizinkan tidak sekolah setiap pagi karena terlalu takut dan gugup menghadapi semua orang di sekolah.

Ketakutan itu tidak berhenti sampai di sana. Dengan terpaksa saya tetap bersekolah. I found a new hobby. I would always excuse myself to the bathroom and got into one of the toilets and just sat there crying. The toilet was probably the only place I felt safe and secured because I could really be myself and cried about my inability to make friends due to my poor English skill. I would always spend more than ten minutes in the bathroom, not caring about what people in class thought about me taking too long there. My homeroom teacher often found me curled up in a ball next to the lockers, just crying. She would ask me the questions she already knew the answers to such as "Are you alright?", "Do you wanna go home?", "What's wrong?", "Did anyone hurt you?", "What happened?", etc. You get the idea and you definitely can picture 10 year-old me sobbing in a hallway of some public school.

I was probably the only student whose mom was always called by the principal or homeroom teacher. They would ask my mom to come and pick me up because I couldn't quit crying and stressing about everything. I was only so little to develop such a severe social anxiety. Since it happened, I have always had a hard time meeting new friends in new environment. But thankfully I have taught myself to face it like a strong girl!

The anxiety didn't back down the following years. In fact, it got worse the moment I met this really amazing friend of mine that later on became, my friends stated this for me and I have never confirmed it nor have I denied it, my first love. Haha...

So, I was just entering middle school when I was luckily put into the same orientation group with him. I can go on and on talking about this guy but I'm afraid he might read my stuff... Tapi, gak apa-apa, deh. Sudah sama-sama dewasa. Hahaha... And yeah. I met him and fortunately able to be his classmates for two years.

During the time, I used to hate him with all my guts because OH MY GOD he used to be the cockiest human being ever. He really is smart but that shouldn't have made it okay for him to be cocky in whatever way. He was also so stubborn and I just didn't like him at all at first. But like people said, there's a fine line between love and hate. I didn't really hate him, I just didn't find him amazing at all at first. However feelings grew and blossomed. It was painfully beautiful to experience because even if my friends keep saying he was my first love, I now consider him as the person who have masterly worsened my anxiety issues, especially panic issues and the tendency to be traumatized by the word 'love'. What am I talking about now?

Jadi, sebenarnya selama mengagumi dia, saya menjadi seseorang yang sangat sensitif dan canggung. Lemah secara emosional. Seperti kehilangan diri sendiri karena terlalu kagum sama orang lain. Apa istilahnya ya... I lost myself while trying to find what he's like. Kira-kira begitu. Selama hampir dua tahun sekelas, hampir selalu menangis galau dan sebagainya. Melewati masa-masa cinta monyet yang sama sekali tidak menyenangkan, menurut saya kalau saya pikir-pikir lagi. Sampai lulus SMP dan berpisah SMA pun, selama kelas 10 saya tetap mengagumi dia. Di sanalah timbul keadaan baru.

Dengan segala sakit hati, kecewa, dan rasa-rasa galau lainnya yang sebenarnya atas kehendak saya sendiri, saya jadi menutup diri. I became scared of trusting people at all with my feelings. I distanced myself from people because truthfully I was so lost. I lost too much of myself, kind of, loving and admiring a person who didn't return my feelings. It was none of his fault. And you don't have to be sorry, if you're reading this. It was my own will and decision to somehow turn my dislike to love towards you. Hahaha...

Anyway, I didn't have a lot of best friends back at the time. And I was continuously let down by my health. I had to go through a year of being constantly hospitalized due to my liver condition. And even now that first year of my high school still brings some of my worst memories. I had no friends to talk about my health to, my anxiety caused by my love life because it was such a failure didn't make it any better. And everything just attacked my mental health. I noticed the changes quite easily because every time I went to the hospital just to check my current health, I would always find my body shaking and my heart beating in a super weird condition. My chest would hurt from the unstable beating and it usually happened right before the doctor called my name. I was always shaking both my legs when a nurse took my blood to analyze it. I was always panicking and always in a very anxious state during my unhealthy period of my life.

Setiap malam saat dirawat selama sebelas hari, setelah ibu saya tertidur, saya selalu bangun dan menangis. Kenapa harus sakit? Kenapa harus saya yang sakit? Kenapa dirawat terus? Kenapa gak ada teman yang jenguk? Kenapa gak mati aja sekalian? Nanti kalau gak ada obatnya bisa mati dong? Ya udah, gak apa-apa mati aja sekalian. Tapi belum mau mati. Gimana kalau dosis obatnya kelebihan? Gimana kalau alergi terus jadi tambah parah? Gimana kalau tiba-tiba ayah jadi kerepotan karena biaya rumah sakit? Gimana nanti sekolahnya? Pasti banyak tertinggal. Pasti nilai jadi jelek. Pasti guru-guru gak ngasih izin terlalu banyak. Pasti jadi bodoh. Gak mau sakit. Tapi, susah sembuh. Kenapa sih? I was always questioning why. I almost taught that I was being punished by Allah for the sins I have done. However, I'm so glad that I had the most supportive and loving family that helped me through everything. They didn't care about anything but my health. They were always there. And they were the ones who kept me sane and content. They were also the ones who told me to never bail Allah especially when it came to my hardest times, my lowest point.

The faith in me grew as well as my panic attacks. However, I managed to stay healthy after approximately two months of being hospitalized and a three-hour surgery. And the next thing on my list was to handle my mental disorder to stay calm and emotionally stable.

But I wasn't exactly at the right time to do so. It was high school. Tempat yang paling susah dapat ketenangan, kepastian, kenyamanan, dan kepercayaan diri. Iya, benar-benar bukan waktu dan tempat yang tepat untuk membenahi keadaan emosional dan mental saya. Tapi, di sinilah titik terangnya yang membuat saya belajar perlahan untuk menghapus rasa trauma dan peristiwa-peristiwa tidak menyenangkan sebelumnya dalam hidup saya.

My anxiety lingers. My panic attacks often came, mostly during my toughest times in high school. But I manage to stay happy and I even manage to like another guy after the super heartbreaking previous one who is now a very good friend of mine. Hahaha...

That was when I became friends with some of the most amazing people. People who are now my extended family whom I love with my heart so dearly. They were the ones who helped me deal with my mental problems. And I couldn't have survived high school and insanity without having them all. They were also the people beside my family who told me to never lose faith in Allah for whatever reason and circumstances. And I knew from day one of letting them step into my life that they will be the blessings I will always be so grateful of.

Tapi, mereka belum pernah benar-benar melihat saya kambuh sampai pada saat jalan-jalan ke Jakarta. Kami pulang bertepatan dengan jam pulang kerja juga. Kereta padat dan itulah tempat paling menakutkan untuk seseorang yang mempunyai serangan panik seperti saya. Sesaat setelah masuk dan bergabung di antara orang-orang di kereta, saya mulai sesak napas. Keringat dingin dan ujung jari-jari saya yang dingin sama sekali tidak mengindahkan kondisi pikiran saya. Jujur, saya tidak berani menatap siapapun selama di kereta dan hanya bisa membisikkan bahwa saya sedang kambuh ke salah seorang dari mereka. And they did the sweetest thing after I told them.

Two of the eight of us calmed me down by throwing jokes every minute. One of them let me hold their hands to stay straight and strong because there was no seat left for me to sit down and calm myself. I remember they tried singing a song but it was so out of tune and my head got too heavy and dizzy to comprehend what they were singing. It was basically the worst 60 minutes of my life I had to spend panicking and being anxious. Plus, I had this huge urge to throw up due to all the messed up thoughts in my head. It was one of the first attacks that they saw me having. But I guess we all kind of helped me heal.

So, how can I survive all those years suffering from anxiety issues and panic attacks? Simple. I have Allah, my family, and my beloved friends. Life can be horrific and terrifying at times. It can stress you out, drag you down, and hell it can even kill you. Ironic but somehow true. But most of the times, life is beautiful. Life is great and wonderful. And of course, time heals all wounds. Whatever it is you're suffering now, it will get better. Have faith and be strong.

Salah satu dari teman baik saya pernah berkata kalau kondisi cemas dan panik ini benar-benar nyata karena sugesti pikiran kita. Dan tanpa ucapannya itu, mungkin saya sudah menjadi orang gila. Dia selalu mendoktrin saya untuk percaya bahwa semua panik, takut, cemas, dan gugup saya benar-benar hanya buah dari rasa tertekan saja. Kecenderungan saya untuk tidak pernah berhenti berpikir. Pada dasarnya, keadaan tertekan dapat berefek pada siapapun tak pandang apa dia mengalami gangguan kecemasan atau serangan panik. Yang berbeda hanya beberapa orang, contohnya saya, tidak dapat mengendalikan perasaan tertekan itu sehingga efeknya jadi lebih besar dari semestinya dan membuat semuanya menjadi lebih repot dan rumit untuk dihadapi dan diselesaikan. Oleh karena itu, di saat-saat paling menyusahkan dalam hidup saya dan di saat-saat apapun dalam hidup saya, saya selalu berdoa dan mengucap syukur. Keduanya membantu dalam menenangkan pikiran saya. Allah tidak pernah berhenti melindungi saya dan saya yakin semua kondisi dan serangan-serangan panik saya adalah tes kesabaran dari Allah yang mengajarkan saya untuk selalu berserah kepada-Nya.

Pemikiran seperti itulah yang membuat saya jauh dari kata psikiater, obat-obat penenang, dan obat tidur. Saya memaksa diri saya untuk selalu menjadi lebih kuat dari rasa cemas dan panik saya. I always remember what my mom has told me, things will always get better. I always have my friends' words in mind that these all are my own mind messing with my body. I always force myself to be so much bigger than my thoughts and my problems in order to not overthink about it and make it some bigger deals to face. It's not fun to suffer from panic attacks because it can happen at any time. On the plane, on the train, at home, in your room, mostly around midnights, in one of the most important students meetings, in a road trip to a beach, on the bus on your way to meet a friend. It can happen anywhere. And if I can't make myself believe that I am so much more powerful than those thoughts, I will always end up making a fool out myself anywhere it happens. And that will only cause a much bigger anxiety.

And lastly, to any of you who suffers the same thing... You are not alone. Watch some videos of the people who suffer the same mental health. Read their experiences. Read my experiences. Find a trustworthy friend to talk to. Share you story. And if you can't do any of those things, come to me. I need a friend as much as you do. I need someone who understands what I'm feeling to keep me understand that I'm not alone. And I know too well that you do to. So, share it with me and I'm more than happy if we can help each other together through this thing. Suffering from this kind of things make me understand more about a person. There's more to a person than what meets the eye. It helps me understand how a person is doing and what a person is feeling inside. And I'm actually, despite the painful nights of crying and panicking, I'm actually pretty grateful I suffer from one. Because I become more sensitive to people and more careful to approach somebody. And it teaches me that everyone is always dealing with demons we can't always see. Everyone is always in their own battlefield, trying to conquer their biggest fear and worst nightmare and scariest enemy. And through anxiety, I feel like I am responsible to become the best of friends despite my trust issues and panic attacks around people.

And there it is... My story. A very sensitive part of my entire life that I wouldn't speak of if it wasn't because of that anon asking. I hope you're reading this and I hope it makes you feel less lonely and braver to deal with your anxiety:) Talk to me whenever you can. I will try to always be there if you need someone to talk to:)

Segini dulu, ya. Mobile hotspot ayah udah jadi korban dari berapa jam yang lalu cuma untuk bikin blog post ini, hahaha... Ketemu lagi nanti di beberapa hari ke depan dan insya Allah sudah bisa bercerita sedikit tentang sanak famili dan Medan:) Who's excited?! I know, me too! Toodles!

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