When I was a teenager, I remember thinking “What are they on about, this is the best time of my life!” every time an adult said, “I wouldn’t want to be a teenager again!” Now I’m an adult…I get it.
It’s all about me!
I thought I was having the time of my life and of course, I was, rules didn’t apply to me and it was all parties, being reckless and looking forward to my obviously incredibly fulfilling adult life. It isn’t until you grow out of adolescence that you realise how immersed in yourself you really were. I don’t recall thinking of others with love and admiration as I do now. Of course, adolescence is that period in your life where you might be considered the “most selfish”, you have no real idea of what awaits you and no real grasp on emotion or any real control over them.
Adolescence is overwhelming. The surge of hormones rushing through your body for a sustained amount of time will inevitably have an effect on how you view the world around you, now I think of it it’s very much like having constant PMS for 8 years!
I wanted to talk about adolescence because that’s when I started getting my anxiety, or should I say that’s when my anxiety got me (read about my experience with anxiety in a previous article "What is Anxiety Disorder"). I can remember the day it started, the moment I first felt that gut-wrenching “fight or flight” reaction, but to this day I still wouldn’t be able to tell you why it started. Many of you may have children and you may be nervous about their teenage years or you may already have teenagers and you can’t work out what they really want.
Do you remember the film Gremlins? I kind of think of myself as a teenager like Gizmo. Cute, fluffy and lovely on the outside; I’ll be your best mate and comrade one moment, but if you step out of line and feed me (or don’t feed me) after midnight I turned into a raging hormonal monster seeking allies and unsavoury characters to complain about you to.
It's true, as a teenager no one understands you, and god forbid as an adult you utter those words that turn every teenager into a wet Gremlin… “I was your age once!” and of course it was true but those words still make me shudder with anger now.
We think as adults we might have a pretty good idea of how to control our emotions. As someone who has suffered from anxiety half their life, I like to think I can manage it and calm myself down but as a teenager, I don’t recall having the ability to do that at all! Every little thing that happened in my life was the most serious thing to ever happen! Everything that was said or done came with a “life-altering” consequence and was a huge deal!
The Discovery Jour