Uncertainty is me
Written by Charniece Jarman
It’s 6 am and your alarm is going off, startling you, and it’s once again time to start your day. As you gather your strength to move one leg and then the other out of the bed, you start to think.
Did I wake up on time?
Will I get to work on time?
What will happen today?
I am in the field of public relations. So, will I make a mistake on a press release?
Is there a possibility that I might send a media advisory that shouldn’t be released?
What direction is my career going in?
What is my purpose in life and will I be happy when I fulfill that purpose?
Again, just imagine.
This is your morning and this is how your morning is everyday.
Growing up, I thought that this continuous train of thought was normal; assuming that everyone was just as unsure about life as I was. It wasn’t until I decided to move to Fort Myers, FL. to start a new career, that I realized that I have a problem and this may not be something that everyone experiences throughout each day of their life.
The stress of life begin to pile up and become overwhelming, beginning in 2014. I uprooted and moved to south Florida from my home in northern Virginia, ended an emotionally abusive relationship, my grandfather passed away suddenly, my sister’s pregnancy became complicated which led to my first niece being born early by emergency c-section, then while I was visiting her, her house caught on fire, and then this cycle repeated itself in 2015; this time there was no fire, I was still alone in a new area, and my grandmother had a sudden aneurysm and passed away. I felt even more alone than ever, still being in an unfamiliar city and steadily settling into a new job.
Life was hard. I wanted life to just slow down as if it were a passenger that was in the backseat. I felt beat up. I wanted to stop feeling as though life was controlling me and it took everything I had to put aside what others thought or what would happen if I took a step toward help and simply decide to own my anxiety, as well as get the help that I needed.
I researched doctors throughout the Ft. Meyers area and stumbled upon “The Listening Doctor”. I thought to myself that that was a silly name and why would you call your practice “The Listening Doctor”?. That was my anxiety speaking, once again. Fearful of the future. So I resisted these feelings, set up an appointment, and decided to just defy my inner self and go for it. I felt as if life could not throw anymore curve balls at this point.
“The Listening Doctor” actually LISTENED to me; she HEARD me. With every word I said, she used it to seek solutions to help me fight this disorder and not make me feel ashamed to be dealing with it or use what seemed as my weakness against me. After talking with her, she explained to me that my symptoms were associated with a mental illness known as GAD or Generalized Anxiety Disorder; a common anxiety disorder that is far from being anything to be ashamed of and is treatable. I’m glad that I found the strength to seek help.
Life sometimes beats you up, and trying to weather through these times, especially with anxiety, another unknown, was a lot for me to handle. I was in a new city with no family, friends, with nothing familiar around me, and now a diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. After starting treatment, still not 100% free from experiencing what was a routine mental workout every day, I eventually made a new friend who is actually my closest friend now, my college roommate and best friend came to visit me twice, and I have met an amazing guy who sees me for me and knows that I have a mental illness. He took the time to listen to me about my struggles, now can sense when I am on the verge of having an anxiety attack, and knows how to help calm me down through reassurance and much support.
Once I owned my anxiety, I started to truly seek help and support from those that would understand who I AM, an imperfect person who is fighting against a disorder daily, and not judge me for how I felt or what I feared in life.
Who I am is a person who, if you can imagine, is like someone who is standing in front of five billion people who are looking anywhere else, but at you. Your heart is racing and your palms are drenched in sweat. As you get up to speak, the wind is figuratively knocked out of you and you feel hopeless at this point. You feel as though nothing could be worse than this moment, but then you realize that this whole experience is a fear of what may happen in the future. It may happen several times in the future, but there is nothing you can do to stop what you’re feeling in that moment, without treatment.
This is my life. This is anxiety and this is who I AM.
I have muscle tension, reflux, and trouble sleeping in association with this disorder. Anxiety resonates within my mind and my body falls victim to it’s effects.
Everyday I struggle with the stressors of life, the worries of the future, feelings of helplessness, and feeling uneasy when things are out of order or disorganized. I may never know the answers to those questions that plague me daily, but I am who I am.
I have anxiety and that is OKAY. It is okay to question things and be uncertain about what will happen in your life.
I have anxiety. I am uncertain and uncertainty is me •
Charniece Jarman is a 25 year old public relations specialist navigating the world of PR, new beginnings in Fort Meyers, Fl., and fighting to cope daily with life while battling anxiety. She is another brave soul in the community of those who battle with a mental illness, and I am proud to not only call her my sister, but a fellow AML (a mental life) supporter who is for taking a stand for mental health awareness.
If you have questions about anxiety or how she is coping daily, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to be a fellow AML supporter, stand with us for mental health awareness, and be a writer in the ghost writer series, please contact me.