I suffer from a disease of the mind. To give it a name, I have been diagnosed with high functioning anxiety. I was fortunate enough to get it recognized, as high functioning anxiety is often overlooked. Plenty of times, people like me go on to live their lives without ever figuring out that something is wrong with them. We function reasonably well, you see – unlike the familiar concepts surrounding anxiety, this type of anxiety propels us forward rather than allowing us to be overcome with fear. On the surface, we appear calm, successful, and gathered. An outsider may look at us as successful in many aspects, but inside is quite the opposite.
People look at us sometimes as the picture of success. I was the overachiever in school, the champion of our little school town. My grades were always good, marked with straight A’s. I was the president of the school council, which is only one among the many other clubs I was asked to join. I represented the school in various competitions – I could never say no. Eventually, I got into an Ivy League, and now I’m working for a reputable company, where I still find myself excelling. My life’s always constantly flowing – busy and full has integrated into the vocabulary of my life perfectly.
One day, though, I just snapped. For the first time in years, I took a day off. I just couldn’t do it anymore, and my body craved for rest. People were shocked, to say the least, and while I lay on my bed becoming increasingly anxious and guilty for calling in sick, I finally realized that something was wrong. My troubles may sound obnoxious and pretentious, but underneath it all my emotions churned and bubbled. Often times they exhaust me, but I fight on. Little did I know this would eventually be my downfall. I was scared of failure, but even more so of disappointing everyone around me, even those who do not know me personally. In my head, I had to be more successful. I had to build a name. I need a bigger house. I need more money, more titles, more everything – but never for myself. It’s always been for the people around me, because they expected me to be that way.
I could barely move, so I decided to seek help. That’s when I found out what my condition was – high functioning anxiety. It’s like a double-edged sword, though. I knew I had to fix this, but I didn’t want to lose what I had. I also didn’t think I was ill enough, but I pushed that out of my thoughts. Now I’m trying to figure out what to do, and though I’m trying to heal now, things still remain difficult.
In time, I was introduced to marijuana. I’m all for the scientific explanation, but all I can do for now is this anecdotal testament. Since using marijuana, I’ve found that my thinking pattern has slowed down remarkably. Instead of going off on every possible tangent all at the same time, it has been reduced into a linear pattern. At work, I step back and look at everything, which allows me to solve problem one at a time. I no longer have to do everything all at once. Problems become easy to fix, and at times I finally see that there are no problems at all. In my head, things can finally be fixed. I’ve also learned to finally slow down. With marijuana, I discovered a little grocery that has always been existing near my flat. I can cook, drink coffee, and enjoy life instead of just rushing around and panicking. I still function just as well, but I’ve learned the importance of taking vacations and sick leaves. My work isn’t everything – I’ve an entire life left to live.
Marijuana has been a blessing to me, indeed, but I remain cautious of it. Too much of a dose can increase my anxiety – I’ve experienced it. I reverted back to my old self in no time, zooming in and out without ever stopping to take a breath. I also learned that I could become too dependent on it, so I’ve restricted my intake. I put most of my faith into therapy and exercise. Though marijuana has helped me tremendously, I realize that my healing should be holistic. Becoming too dependent on one thing can cause more problems.
I end this narrative with a warning – while marijuana works for me, and I count myself like that it does, the dangers it possesses are very much real. Before using marijuana, ensure that you’ve gained approval of your doctor. Above all, use it wisely. Too much of anything can never, ever be a good thing.