This Saturday’s post is going to be a bit long winded, but it is something I have not shared on my blog that I think is important.
I know it’s lengthy, but it would mean a lot to me if you’d read it.
So, here goes nothing…
ANXIETY IS… COMPLICATED.
It’s having a wonderful day and then realising on the bus ride home that you said something wrong to the person you last spoke to, so you’ll probably never hear from them again.
It’s sitting down to take an exam and having to re-read the questions over and over again because your mind keeps distracting you with worries from last week.
It’s asking your mom if she loves you even though you know she does because your mind tells you that you don’t deserve her love.
It’s eating a piece of cake on your birthday and then mentally counting the steps you take for the rest of the day to make sure you move enough to burn this calories off.
It’s being unable to enjoy a moment of happiness because you’re too busy thinking about all of the inevitable future moments of sadness and things you’ll mess up.
It’s getting an amazing grade or mark on an assignment and then picking out the one piece of negative feedback and etching it into your brain, constantly reminding yourself that you’re still not good enough.
It’s wanting to tell someone how great it is to see them but deciding not too because your mind says the other person can’t wait for you to leave.
It’s staying in bed all day and forcing yourself to sleep because sometimes that’s the only time your mind leaves you alone.
It’s forcing yourself to stay awake because your mind has learned to manipulate your dreams.
It’s staying at home and avoiding social interactions because you don’t want to burden anyone with your presence.
It’s going out and drinking more than you know you can handle because it numbs you and makes you like yourself for a moment.
It’s reading text messages over and over, thinking of how stupid/needy/annoying you must’ve sounded to the person you sent it to.
It’s feeling your heart drop into your stomach because your brain reminded you of something you’ve desperately been trying not to think about.
It’s seeing someone’s name or photo and feeling your chest tighten because you just know how much that person doesn’t want anything to do with you even though you care about them.
It’s feeling nauseous all day because you’re breathing so irregularly.
It’s avoiding answering text messages from people you care about because the thought of letting someone anywhere near your heart or letting them see how messed up you are scares the absolute hell out of you.
It’s thinking of all the things you have to do today and crawling back into bed because you know you’re never going to succeed at any of them.
It’s not knowing what to say when someone compliments you because you could never believe those things about yourself.
It’s obsessing over small things and telling yourself how irrational they are, but even though you know that’s true, your mind is way stronger than you.
ANXIETY CAN… CHANGE.
One day, your thoughts are questions about everyone around you.
Do they think I’m being weird? Do they sense my nerves? Do they feel awkward because I’m so nervous? Do they regret inviting me? Are they saying nice things cause they feel bad for me? Do they talk about me to their friends? Do they cringe when my name appears on their phone? Do they wish they’d never have met me? Do they think the way I’m acting is because of them? Are they wondering if they can help me? Do they think this is their fault? Do they see my palms sweating? Do they see my leg shaking? Can they feel my heart racing? Are they wondering why my body is still? Are they wondering why I’ve been holding my breath? Can they tell that there’s something wrong with me? Do they think I’m faking it? Do they know how sorry I am? How much longer can they put up with me?
And some days, all of the thought are “facts” about you.
I’m never going to be good enough. There’s something wrong with me. I’m unlovable. I’m going to mess this up. I am being too needy. This isn’t something normal people do. I’m too messed up to be helped. No one can understand what I’m going through. I’m going to push people away. I’m too difficult to be around. I don’t deserve that person. I’m fooling myself. I’m awkward. I make situations worse. I’ve already ruined it. I deserve to be alone. I am useless. I’m a burden. I’m doing everything wrong. I’m not worth it.
One day you can’t hide how you’re feeling.
You can’t breathe normally. You’re sweating. You begin to hyperventilate. You can’t stop crying. Your eyesight is blurred. You can’t stand up.
And the next day, you can.
You hang out with friends. You go out drinking. You smile and laugh at jokes. You kiss someone goodbye. You tell everyone how happy you are.
ANXIETY DOES… A LOT OF THINGS
Anxiety does effect people, in many different ways.
Anxiety does make relationships and friendships more difficult.
Anxiety does make it hard to trust yourself.
Anxiety does make people feel like they’ve lost all control of their lives.
Anxiety does exist.
Anxiety is not all you are.
Anxiety cannot take away the beautiful soul that lives inside of you.
Anxiety does not define you.
You are so much more than those thoughts in your head. You are so much.
You are not alone in feeling lost. You are not alone.
You are more beautiful than you’ll ever know. You are beauty.
I often get told that, “I just need to stay positive” and “Everyone deals with anxiety.”
These statements are valid, sure.
But, it’s not that simple.
Not everyone has an anxiety disorder. People may feel anxious, yeah of course. But, that isn’t the same as having an anxiety disorder, a constant battle with your mind where sometimes you don’t even recognise the voice in your head.
I’m writing this because I want to remind people who know someone who is dealing with an anxiety disorder to be there. Sometimes that means, just listen. Or, sometimes, just be there with a hug or a milkshake when your friend is ready to socialise with the rest of the world.
I’m writing this because some people are never going to tell you if they suffer from an anxiety disorder, so just be kind and understanding from the start.
I’m writing this because I think it’s important for people to be aware of anxiety and to acknowledge that it is a real thing. It cannot just be dismissed and it is not something you should ever tell someone to, “Just get over.” It’s not that simple.
I’m writing this because I think sometimes when we have an anxiety disorder, we forget that there are other people that have them too. So, don’t be so quick to cut yourself off from everyone; you never know who might be willing to offer you a shoulder to cry on in exchange for yours. There are people who will love you and understand what you are dealing with.
I’m writing this because it hurts my heart to think that there are other people who feel how I do. I hate what I go through, but I would much rather take away someone else’s pain than my own.
I’m writing this because I need to write down my own advice in the hope that maybe I’ll actually take it.
I’m writing this because I am here. I will listen or I will sit in silence with you. You’re more than worth it.
I’m writing this because it’s important.
I’m writing this because it needs to be read.