Your Anxiety is Lying to You

Hello everyone,

Let’s start off by giving some updates. Our first exam was last month and I aced both my biostats ans integrated exam! I was very happy and honestly a bit surprised about biostats. Our second exam was last night; I feel okay about the integrated, but I know I failed the biostats. My brain completely blanked; I don’t think I studied enough, but it was really disappointing that I couldn’t remember how to do ANYTHING.

The past few weeks have been rough. Coming off the high of the first exam and doing well on the quizzes helped me keep going, but I kept wondering if I would be able to keep it up and this has been slowly draining me of energy. The anxiety that has come with wanting to maintain my standarss has been causing me to feel physically ill; I constantly feel like I’m going to vomit and my body won’t stop shaking. I have this tightness in my chest that I recognize as the start of a panic attack; I haven’t had one in so long that it’s been hard to calm myself down. I’ve been out of practice, which I guess is a good thing. I wish I could talk to my friends about it, but they all seem to have it together better than me and I don’t want to seem weak. I mean seriously, who gets physically ill from not getting A’s? Me apparently…

When I met with ny advisor she was so happy. She basically threw me a party because I did so well and said my test scores solidified what she knew about me. At the time it felt great, but it’s been weighing on me so much since then. What if I fail and prove her wrong? What if I fail and prove myself wrong? What if, what if, what if? What is she going to say next week when we meet again and I don’t have A’s? Will the tears I’ve so desperately tried to hold back finally come out? I eould be so embarassed but I have a feeling it might happen.

I’m so tired of trying to keep it together for my family. I’m tired of being away from my kids. I’m tired of constantly cutting our skype calls short because I feel guilty for not studying. I’m tired of not driving out to the city to take a pilates class I love because it takes away from my studying. I’m tired of feeling guilty for not spending enough time cleaning. I’m tired of missing my cats back home. I’m tired of being up at 3 AM because I can’t quiet down my thoughts.

I’m slightly annoyed it took this post to finally allow myself time to be vulnerable and cry. I feel so much better now…

I’m not perfect. I know I never will be, and as much as I expect perfection from myself it’s okay to not be the perfect student. I already made a plan on how I’m going to study for biostats to bring up my grade. I already included breaks to exercise and do fun things, like watch TV or hang out with friends. I’ll get through this semester just like I got through all the others and I will do my best to find a balance between studying and having fun.

My anxiety does not control me and it doesn’t define who I am or what I can do. It lies to me all the time about the kind of person/mother/wife/student I am all the time, but I’m not going to listen to it anymore. I have better things to do with my time that worry about things that won’t happen as long as I get things done. It’s time to stop worrying and start living.

I didn’t come up with the post title, by the way. I saw it somewhere else and it resonated with me. Thank you to person that came up with it; you’ll never knoe how much it’s helped me.


4 thoughts on “Your Anxiety is Lying to You”

  1. Andrea ! You definitely need to know you’re not superwoman, but you are so amazing. Honestly, you’re a smart girl so good grades don’t surprise me, but to be away from family and friends and STILL do well shakes me. Stop being so hard on yourself love , you’re doing so good ! I know it’s easier said than known and understood, but you are so much better than you think you are. Give yourself credit !

  2. Andrea, this is lovely! But I feel it’s important to know that your grades don’t define you! Who you are on the inside, your personality, that’s what defines you. It’s unfair to put so much pressure on someone by saying that having good test scores solidifies what they already know about them. Test scores are just scores, they don’t make one a better person. I feel like students, instructors and sometimes advisors (especially instructors) put so much importance into test scores, and that’s not good. Because as a result, we get so anxious and try to reach certain expectations. And sometimes we aren’t able to reach them because we’re so worried we won’t be able to. Our own fears paralyze us, to the point where we don’t do well. We’re so hard on ourselves when this happens because there are expectations we wanted to meet and it hurts when we don’t. But it’s important not to be so hard on yourself. Whether you get good grades or not… because those results won’t define you. And I’m sure your advisor is proud of you either way! I’m sure you’re an exceptional person/mother/wife/student! ❤

    1. Thank you Ana! It’s so true. I think she said it because she already knows everything else about me and this was that last aspect of it, but you’re right, it did put immense pressure on me.

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