Even in the darkest of times of your anxiety, you can use your hard times for the greater good.

3 years ago, there was a day in my life where I didn’t want to get out of bed. The world was coming down on me. I felt numb; I couldn’t think of what was bringing me down or why I couldn’t feel like I should go out there and do more. This was not like me. Being an overachieving student throughout my elementary education in India, such a phase in my life came as a shock to me and my parents. I would overthink everything. I’d go to school and while in class, I’d worry about whether I’d get good grades. What I’d do with my life. Things at home with my parents weren’t okay and we’d constantly bicker about the smallest things.

I grew afraid of being left alone with my own thoughts.

I couldn’t bear the idea of spending time with myself so I started seeking out any form of interaction or activity that would keep my mind busy. You’d think keeping myself busy with studying would help my grades but I grew more agitated. My life was upside-down. I remember being in bed one night and hyperventilating. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. It felt like everything that could go wrong was going wrong. It was a panic attack. My first one. And they continued. I distinctly remember lying in bed one day after a panic attack and thinking this was one of the worst things that could happen to a person.

A battle with one’s mind is one of the toughest battles anyone can fight. And millions go through it every day.

Think about the little tiny voice in your head growing louder and screaming at you that everything will go wrong. That you’re not good enough for this world. That you’re the worst person ever. That this world is not good enough and wants to ruin your life. That there is no hope and you’ll end up being a nobody. While these thoughts might sound familiar to many of you, like they did at one point to me, we label this as Beck’s cognitive triad that’s used to diagnose various depressive disorders. My episode of depression was short but the anxiety remains constant. So when asked, what inspires me to get out of bed, it’s the thought of those panic attacks in bed or on the bus home or during tests. What drives me is knowing that I can somehow make myself capable enough to restore smiles of children and youth and give them the ability to follow their dreams, to achieve whatever they dream of. To be boundless. As cliché as that thought sounds, it keeps me going. To wake up every single morning knowing you have a 14 hour day ahead of you on 4 hours of sleep is a struggle. But the idea that my struggle may be able to comfort hundreds is comforting. It keeps me going, day in day out. On my best and worst days. But what also keeps me going on my best and worst days is my family. The parents and aunts that have raised me, supported me and given me the wings to soar to unimaginable heights. The army of people that restored hope when I was at my lowest. The people that inspired me to be boundless, that helped me realize that the sky is not the limit and you can achieve what you put your mind to. So I urge you to not let your circumstances become a barrier in the path to your success. I hope you remain boundless and strive to achieve bigger. Fly high, but don’t forget to stay grounded as well.

Read also: How To Deal With Excessive Worry And Anxiety

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