Advanced Essay #1: Breathe a Deep Breath


The goal of my paper is to demonstrate my struggle with anxiety, and to elaborate on how I was able to embrace it. I see the topic of my essay as something that could be relatable for a lot of people, and I can imagine it having an impact on many. I also wanted to reflect on my experiences throughout my writing and depict how they affected me on a larger scale. Throughout my essay, I used an immense amount of literary devices as a way to make broader connections to the emotions I was feeling and the images that I was seeing. With that being said, I am proud of how I was able to convey my point across nicey, and how I developed some analogies that may have a bigger impact on people. In the future, I think it would benefit me to increase the amount of dialogue that I use throughout my essay. I see this as a benefit because it may give the reader a closer look at the overall context of my descriptive scenes.

Advanced Essay #1:

Anxiety engulfs me from top to bottom, like when all you wanted to do was take a dip in the ocean, but you end up drowning instead. It would always occur before something important, no matter what the event, it was a given that I would been shaking uncontrollably only moments before. I blamed it on my fear of messing up, a trait that correlated well with my Type A personality. It had caused me to remind myself of any bad possibility that could happen, and to compare myself to others as well. It was physically and mentally draining, dealing with the constant shaking, jittery memory, cold sweats.

It’s crazy to think about how one moment can wash your body over with anxiety in an instant. Taking the happiness you once had and replacing it with self doubt. Grasping any inkling of self esteem that you had left and tossing it out the window. It was a feeling I wouldn’t wish on many, but I was something that I had definitely felt. I was at my last Cross Country competition before State Championships on a chilly fall day. Tension was ripe in the air as students from different Catholic and Public schools prepared to fight to the death for those precious spots to States. The stakes were high, especially for me. I would’ve had to run a personal record for myself in order to make it, but despite the circumstances, I was determined. It was finally time for me to run. I tried to prepare myself, but my body was numb. My feet were planted on the ground, hands clenched tightly into fists, and blood rushing with adrenaline. As the starting signal went off, my surroundings became a blur. I ran as fast as I could throughout the whole course, leaving no room for error. If this was my last shot to make it, I was gonna make it count. The sound of my heart pounding was so loud that it gave me a headache, and I breathed heavily as my lungs grasped for any ounce of air. As I crossed the finish line, I laid my hands on my knees and let out a large sigh. The deed was done, it was all up to fate now. Moments like this happened to me often. I’d be put into a new situation and immediately get uncomfortable or I have to do something to achieve a goal that was extremely important to me. Every time, my reaction was the same.

It was the start of a new beginning. I was finally bursting out of my super glue sealed bubble, and taking the bus home for the first time. While this might’ve seemed like a simple task to many, it was a hardship to the petrified adolescent that I was at the time. I had lived a very sheltered life for most of my childhood, with not being able to cross the street alone till I was 9 years old and only being able to ride my bike past a certain house being prime examples. These normalities in my life caused me to get extremely anxious very easily when I was put into new situations. This was definitely one of those moments. It was finally a gift a freedom, but it was one I was questioning being given. The route seemed simple enough, but it was going to be a long journey back to my suburban home in the Northeast. A trolley, a train, a bus, and a 10 minute walk all needing to be ridden before the sun went down. I didn’t even want to fathom what the consequences would be if I got home later. Hundreds of thought’s were running through my mind. What if I got kidnapped? I’m tiny, someone could easily take me. What if I get on the wrong bus? Will people look at me like I’m lost? The possibilities I came up with were as dark as onyx, and they definitely didn't help ease my nerves. As I sat on the bus, I tapped my foot on the ground and stared out the window, adamant about avoiding any glances from the people around me. My hands shook as I prepared myself to pull the line that would signal that my stop had arrived. Finally, I was here. All that was left was my walk, although, it actually ended up becoming a run. My target was in sight and I was ready to reach it, and when I finally did, the relief that I felt when I knocked on my front door was better than the feeling of being given an ice pop on a hot day.

Getting anxious before important events in my life was a feeling that I had gotten accustomed to. Reminding myself of every wrong scenario that could happen, only increasing my nerves even more. Although, the bright side was that the feeling let me know what significant moments in my life were, and the severity of it would be an even bigger sign of its impact. I was scared of losing grasp on things that were important to me, and the anxiety was sign of that.