Before I be all positive and awesome, I want to take a second, get my feminist on, and ask the universe something: Why the hell do we contribute so much to Rape Culture?! This always blows my fucking mind. How many times has a rape victim come forward and been bombarded with criticism on how much she drank or how much skin she was showing? On how she shouldn’t have been out alone anyway? Why on fucking earth do public high schools put so much damn effort into punishing young women who wear shirts or tank tops (and aren’t showing ANYTHING inappropriate) because god forbid my shoulders or thighs give a boy in puberty an erection, instead of calling out the guys who call girls sluts/whores and teaching young men to not treat them as sexualized objects to be conquered? If it is 80-90 degrees freaking Fahrenheit, WE ARE GOING TO WEAR SHORTS AND TANK TOPS. Stop trying to teach us to be ashamed of our beautiful, sacred temples! We are not here for your sexual desires; nor do we exist to be attractive to you. We do not give you “impure thoughts”, you are having them of your own accord. And fuck you for thinking being female means that you’re only good for sex and baby-making. I personally respect men enough to expect them to be intelligent beings who can understand “no” as “no” and fucking control their sexual impulses. Seriously.
Okay, end of rant (see what you’ve done to me, news?). Bah. Now I’m physically smiling wide -it lowers blood pressure- and am ready to approach the day less cynically.
As someone who has dealt with Anxiety Disorder literally all of my life, I understand that this society is not Anxiety-friendly. I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard people dismiss it simply as nervousness, said it doesn’t exist (really?), or that it’s just a teenaged-white-first-world-girl problem. This society does not cater to those who suffer from this, along with other mental illnesses. So believe me when I say that I understand it’s hard and that “It’s going to be okay” or “just calm down” aren’t sufficient. Here are some of the tips and techniques I’ve amassed over the past few years. i hope they help you out.
1. Controlled breathing~ An easy breathing exercise is inhaling deeply for 4 seconds, holding your breath for 4 seconds, and then release slowly for 8 seconds. Deep breathing really really helps with preventing/disarming panic attacks. When you feel yourself slipping, try this.
2. Positive affirmations~ I am beautiful. I am strong. I have overcome this before, and I will overcome it again. This is only temporary. My life is beautiful, even if I can’t see that right now. I am not alone. I am never alone.
3. Happy distractions~ Sometimes the only thing that really helps to calm me down is to distract myself with little things that make me happy. Watch your favorite youtube videos/movie/tv series or read your favorite book/blog. Write in a journal with your favorite color of ink, listen to cheerful music, light some incense, doodle, or go for a walk. Surround yourself with some of your favorite things so you are distracted and you can slowly pull out of your anxiety attack.
4. Reach out for others~ When I’m going through a bad bout of Anxiety I feel very alone and isolated from everyone else. My brain knows I have loved ones who I can reach out to for comfort and help, but at the same time I am convinced that no one can help me and I’m doomed to suffer all by myself. Surround yourself with love and comfort from others- call up a good friend and talk with them, ask your mom or dad to stay up with you a little late so that you can calm down (my amazing mother thankfully understands this and always helps me out!), cuddle with a furry friend, or ask a loved one to pick you up and spend time with them. It’s so much easier to get through things when you have support and caring on by your side.
Lastly, I found one of the best pages on Tumblr in the galaxy and one post in particular stood out to me. It was talking about how recovery isn’t a race and that if today you just can’t love and fully accept yourself, put your effort into not hating yourself. Self-love is a hard, long journey; we can’t always place a smile on our face and say in full honesty that we love ourselves just the way we are. However, we can always and forever avoid hating ourselves. Your body loves you so damn much, it tries to fight off illnesses for you. It has fat to insulate and protect your internal organs. It lets you sense the world around you and find pleasure with those senses, and it does it’s best to heal, even when you have harmed it. That is powerful. Your body loves you and the least you can do is not hate it.
PS: the blog I referenced is this one: http://ed-free-maggie.tumblr.com/. This person is incredible and has the most beautiful soul.