Dear world, I guess we have different views on what it means to have anxiety. The word anxiety gets thrown around because people believe it's something simple and uncomplicated. It has no actual impact on life, but yet there are thousands of people suffering from anxiety.
I'm always told that it's all in my head or that I'm making it up for attention. Out of all things, why would I want to get attention from having anxiety? That's quite the opposite. Attention gives me anxiety, whether that be good or bad attention.
But I guess we should start from the beginning. Anxiety manifests differently for everyone, and I can't be the one to say that my anxiety is the same as the next person. But I can tell you this:
I have anxiety at all points throughout the day. I dont have to be doing something or worrying about something to have anxiety. There are days, when I'm driving in my car, where I have to pull over because I start to have an anxiety attack. No apparent reason, but it happens. Or I don't go to school because my anxiety is so bad. I can't shake the feeling of not being good enough or screwing up on something. I don't hang out with my friends because I have a fear of being with people. Not knowing how to talk or interact with people is my problem. I stay inside my room, away from social situations, because I'm unable to interact in the real world. But don't misunderstand me, I have anxiety when I'm in my room alone. I can be laying in my bed, getting ready to go to sleep & have an anxiety attack. Even as I'm writing this sentence, I'm having an anxiety attack. It isn't something I can control. And it certainly isn't something I can make up.
Anxiety attacks for me go like this:
My heart feels like it's going to beat out of my chest.
Theres the struggle to breathe because somehow my brain forgot how to.
My body is paralyzed. Unable to move any limbs, my whole body is being attacked.
Panic races through me. My brain is thinking of a thousand different items for me to have anxiety over: did I say the wrong thing to a friend, are they talking about me, youre not good enough try harder, etc.
The ability to focus has disappeared. I can only hear the anxiety screaming at me.
My head is pounding.
I can't help but shake and fidget. I'm trying to distract myself and get the anxiety away from me but the more I try to forget about it, the worse it gets.
I go through periods of being freezing to having a fever.
These are just a few things. But it changes my day totally. I walk through college with my head down. No eye contact because people will know. They'll see the panic through my eyes. I dont make friends or talk to people first, I stay inside alone. But that leaves me by myself, which means my brain can take control and leave me to my thoughts. Never shutting off & never giving up. I try to spend time with family, but even they cant keep away the mental strain.
Sorry is my favorite and most used word. I apologize for something that I didn't even do. Someone hits me with a door, I'm sorry for being in your way. Someone is having boyfriend troubles, I'm sorry that I can't help you. Something bad happened at work, I'm sorry that I wasn't able to back you up.
Even with people that I'm supposed to be 100% comfortable around, I get anxiety. Boyfriend, family, friends who have been there for years. It doesn't leave me. It is always around me, my companion for a lifetime.
To the world, anxiety is seen as a way to get out of things one doesn't want to do. And for some people that's true. But what the world doesn't see, is how anxiety forces you to think how you're going to screw up even if you're an expert on something. You're going to go throughout your day thinking and rethinking of conversations, activities, moments, and more looking for the ways you could have been better. Causing paranoia over the tiniest moments that others never noticed. But you notice.
World, I suffer from anxiety. I don't use anxiety or my anxiety to get out of doing things I don't want to do. My anxiety is crippling. And it's crippling for others. I'm not making it up, its not all in my head. It is open for the world to see.
And we, the ones suffering from it, want you to understand. We can't help what happens, we want to go out and spend time with friends, but our anxiety gets in the way. We want to have a normal conversation but all we can say is sorry for not being able to relate.
Understand that we would never choose this way of living. We want to be "normal," but what is normal nowadays? We want you to be patient & understanding. We'll get there.☺