Nothing To Be Anxious About, Part 2

| OR, USA | Teachers

I’m in my sophomore year of college. I have been diagnosed with general anxiety for about three years, but am not doing anything to deal with it yet. Several things aren’t going well in my personal life and classes. One major problem is that I will get so stressed thinking about all my homework that I literally can not even start it. For my chemistry class, I have already turned in too many lab reports late because of this. One more, and I will fail the class.

I am so anxious from that extra pressure, on top of only having about an hour to write the report, that I can barely do anything but cry and try to keep breathing. Somehow, I get out my phone and manage to text a friend, the only one I can think of who isn’t in class right then. He drops everything and runs to my dorm, even though all he can do is sit there with me. With his encouragement, I manage to get the report done about the time my lab ends, and he also gives me the courage to face the professors. I would not have made it without him. Not only did we stay friends, we are now dating, and he’s the most supportive boyfriend I’ve ever had!

My chemistry professors were also amazing. They canceled the penalty for the late report, and let me make up the lab, on the condition that I start seeing one of the campus counselors. To those three, thank you so much for that!

Nothing To Be Anxious About

| Chicago, IL, USA | Students, Teachers

(I have a panic attack one morning, and even the thought of going to class makes me start hyperventilating, so even though we have a quiz and I know it’s probably a bad idea, I email my teacher and stay home. Later in the day, right after the class starts, one of the girls in my lab group texts me.)

Classmate: “Hey, you okay?”

(I told her what was wrong, and asked her to make sure the teacher saw my email, and to my amazement, she did so much more. She made sure the teacher knew exactly why I was gone, she arranged an alternate time for me to take the quiz and told me exactly what material it will cover, she snapped pictures of all the slides and materials we went over in class that day, as well as her own notes, and emailed it to me as soon as class ended — about forty pages total. When I tried to thank her, she told me that she had anxiety attacks too, and she knew how rough it could be, and wanted to do what she could to help out. Thanks to her, I got to recover without falling behind in my classes, and I got to make up the quiz later, when I was feeling better. Labmates rule!)

Cosplay Makes My Day, Part 2

| WI, USA | Geeks Rule, Kind Strangers

I have severe anxiety which makes it hard not only for me to get out of the house at times, but to find friends and interact with others as well. Even with my anxiety, I am super passionate about cosplaying as when I do it, I find I have a much easier time being around large crowds and don’t feel like a sore thumb that sticks out no matter what, especially given that I have a tendency to wear clothing that is not necessarily “normal” or necessarily “socially acceptable.”

At this point, my hubby has driven us and a friend to Wisconsin to go to the Ren Faire there and I had spent the month beforehand sewing an outfit to wear. I am worried about how it will go as I don’t do well around large crowds usually. Not only that, but the last time I had cosplayed/dressed up in such a way was four years prior before my diagnosis of anxiety. The entire time, though, I am getting compliments on my outfit. Not only that, but I actually got a high five from one of the performers when he found out I had made my own outfit!

Not once did I feel judged or worry about what others might think of what I was wearing at the time. It was a huge confidence boost and has made me feel more secure with my clothing choices. Now I’m going to three conventions this year with all new outfits that i have sewn since and I’m actually looking forward to being around large crowds for the first time in years!

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Cosplay Makes My Day

We Will Not Let Hate Beat Us

| Stockholm, Sweden | Awesome

I live in Sweden and last week (beginning of April) our capital was struck by a terrorist attack. A man hijacked a truck and drove it down a busy shopping street, crashing it into a major store. Four people were killed and fifteen injured. The man who did it has claimed ties to Daesh.

While this act is horrible, the aftermath has been nothing short of beautiful. Within minutes of the attack off-duty police who were nearby took charge of the situation and kept people calm, followed shortly by their on-duty colleagues. The transit system was closed down to avoid possible secondary attacks so a lot of people were stranded, but the businesses and people in that area opened their doors wide to anyone in need.

They offered shelter, food, rides home, and phones to call their loved ones. Everything worked really smoothly and since then the city has been bathed in love.

The police have been given flowers and hugs by people wanting to express their gratitude. While there have been some hate mongering from Islamophobic “anti-immigration” types, it has been met with a solid wall of love.

A few days after the attack there was a “manifestation of love” held in a square near where the attack took place and tens of thousands of people gathered to show that we will not let hate beat us.

We will continue showing love and understanding and face darkness and hatred with light and hope. It has been very uplifting to see this in what could have been a very dark hour.

Grandma’s Cake Cures All

, | Germany | Awesome, Family & Kids, Food & Drink

(This is actually a happy story, not an angry one! The fairly new cafe/bakery kitchen I work at is mostly run by young, enthusiastic but non-professional workers. Our boss has encouraged us to try out new recipes we find interesting, and if they sell well they’re added to the menu. On this day I’ve baked an apple and fruit cake that I’ve learnt from my grandma. A customer comes in early, while I’m transferring it onto a plate for the display case, and gasps.)

Customer: “This smell! What is that smell?”

Me: “Probably this fresh-baked cake!” *holding up the plate*

Customer: “I smells like my grandma’s kitchen!”

Me: “Funny enough, it is a recipe from MY grandma.”

(The customer buys a slice of the cake and coffee and returns his dishes when he’s done.)

Customer: “It even tastes like my grandma’s cake. Incredible. Did you steal my grandmother?” *laughs*

Me: *also laughing* “Yep, we have her in the kitchen right now, making more cakes.”

Customer: “Oh, she would’ve probably loved doing that. Sadly, she passed away a few years ago.”

Me: “Oh, gosh, I’m sorry—”

Customer: “No, you couldn’t have known. You made me very happy with this cake today! Thank you!”

(The customer has become a regular, returning once a week to buy a piece of the cake — which has also become a staple in our menu. I have by now given him the recipe, with my boss’ permission, but he still comes in ‘for the feeling of having grandma bake it.’ I love this guy.)