Everyone gets nervous or anxious from time to time. But for some of us it effects our every move of everyday; even when we try not to let it. It never goes away. It is basically like getting through life like a five-year-old, lost in a grocery store but it is known as anxiety. I didn’t ever want to keep this mental battle going in my life, I wanted to overcome my anxiety. But because I didn’t, I am here writing today. [ positive thinking, right? ]
A major stigma of anxiety is depression. Once you are diagnosed with anxiety, [ not with self diagnosis, of course ] you are inevitably considered depressed. Although this is the case for some, it is not the case for everyone. I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating it is when I tell someone I have anxiety and they say, ‘so, you’re depressed?’ and if they don’t say it, you know they are thinking it, because in reality, it goes hand in hand. You become an ‘emo kid’ in society’s labels, everyone treats you like a lost puppy. But there is a fine line of a difference between the two illnesses. Both are serious mental illnesses and it is OK to be depressed but I am not. THIS IS ANXIETY. So bare with me.
Your symptoms just show up, one day you will be fine, living like a ‘normal person’ [ I mean as normal as a person can get ] ALMOST forgetting about your anxiety, and before you know it, in the middle of doing something and you’ll be struck. The best way to explain this feeling is; it is like a light switching your brain ‘on and off ‘ [ click, click ], it turns on and off as it pleases and suddenly you are not the same person you were moments before that switch made its move. [ without permission, as always ] Trying to describe how you feel in one of these moments, is honestly equivalent to describing colors to a blind person. [ seriously, try to describe a color. ] You will only understand what it feels like if you, god forbid, experience it. The feeling of being a prisoner in your own mind and body is unexplained and trying to relay the feelings we experience won’t do any justice. Anxiety has mental attacks as well as physical pain; a chest caving, heart wrenching feelings, we actual feel this pain and its even more inexpiable. [ it’s a very uneasy feeling ]. If we could explain what it feels like we would just so you could see anxiety is real, this is real and we are not seeking attention.
What is the reason for all this? Most of the time there is no REAL reason for anxiety. [ if you know of a legitimate reason, please share ] Some people can tell when its one of those ‘dreadful’ days. People will always try and make you feel better and usually it all starts with questions, ‘what’s bothering you?’ or ‘are you okay?’. Sometimes you can answer these questions but for the most part, you can’t. A majority of the time there is no apparent reason and you are left feeling ‘blah‘ until it goes away, temporarily and until next time.
Sometimes you can’t control the way you come off as a person in everyday conversation. If there was a way to ‘calm down’, even once, it would be easier to put into plain words, but understand that with every fiber in my own petite body, you can’t just ‘calm down’, there is always something in your mind. Those two [ simple ] words are so bothersome and make you feel even crazier than before. Sometimes its better to leave it alone and leave us alone. This is not being said to be mean; its just that sometimes we need to handle it ourselves. We appreciate your need to help but its not going to work. [ I am sorry ] No, I am not trying to be rude. I am not lazy and I am most certainly not looking for attention [ quite frankly I don’t want it to be about me ever ]. On the days when I must tip toe around my anxiety, those days are more sensitive than others. Daily, you try your best not to wake up the devil [ the silent devil ]. If those days mean being more reserved or staying within the boundaries of your comfort zones, this is exactly what you will do, with great care. Everyone handles with the inception of anxiety differently. We will always be judged for our illness. It makes you make decisions you can’t change. [ we feel alone but we aren’t, its all in our heads ] Our anxieties are scarier than your judgments. We know most of the fears we have are irrational but we still can’t block them from our minds; it will continue to consume our well being. Your logical reasoning for them to be thrown away is a waste of [ your ] time trying to convince me otherwise or redirect my mind. [ bizarre right? ]
SHOUT OUT, to all you empathetic people out there but really we aren’t trying to be ‘felt bad for’. We appreciate your kind gestures. But it means so much more when someone tries to put themselves in my shoes [ figuratively of course; I have tiny feet ] instead of giving me a weird uncomfortable look and a tagline such as ‘things will get better’; knowing the difference between feeling bad for someone and feeling for someone has a difference of a thousand and one miles and they have totally different effects. You give me no choice [ meaning I don’t want to shut you down, I probably like your presence ] but to accept your apologies with gratitude, but please don’t feel bad. This is me. I wasn’t born with anxiety, but it has made me who I am today. With anxiety, you learn to be a respectable listener, in return for confusing the world with our frame of mind. I am not a scientist [ just an every day human with a mental dispute ] but I’d like to think its because we know what its like to have a bad day. [ who doesn’t have bad days; but it happens so often with anxiety you basically feel like a expert of bad days. I’m all ears for other people. Come at me. ] Sometimes listening is exactly what someone needs, we understand that. Its the value of a good listener and what it holds to the person sharing their story and I am more than happy to be that person for someone willing to speak.
With that being said; there is also the pure annoyance of hearing someone who doesn’t have anxiety, say they do. No hunny, you don’t have anxiety, you are just stressed and/or nervous [ without the anxiety disorder, spur of the moment; you are anxious ], it will pass; those emotions suck too. You are not a doctor, but you can go see someone with a professional degree and they can tell you what you need to know. I wouldn’t wish this illness on my worst enemy, people always say they have anxiety but if they could live how we live for just one day, they would throw the word anxiety out of they [ dramatic ] vocabulary.
We know, life is great and there is more to life than the problems we face through anxiety. We hear it loud and clear. Contrary to popular belief, we agree with you, we know life is precious. We do have good days and for the most part, we are genuinely happy with a twist. We enjoy life just like you. We aren’t aliens, I promise. We just have a more significant number of stressors and they affect us differently than they would affect you. We would love to live in the moment, but instead we are busy reliving the past or predicting and foreshadowing the future. I am sure it is great to unconsciously live in the present. In fact, we wish we could, but nine times out of ten other things are consuming our thoughts.
This illness doesn’t make me a different person that what you know and see today. This is meant for you to try and understand what it is like to have a constant battle of anxiety, and give you some insight on how this ongoing battle affects my everyday life. I have an illness, sure but I am not ‘sick’. I was given this illness and will endure this illness, but from suffering I can share my story. I personally am thankful for all the relationships I have built through my illness, a lot of you have seen me at my best and my absolute worst but stuck it out. I can’t even begin to explain just how grateful I am for everything in my life. I know I am not easy to deal with, yet, you all still; refuse to jump ship. Thank you for being you and for being there for me. [ cliché I know but I mean it ] I hope everyone dear to me knows how much they are appreciated by me. If not, I hope this helps.
[ If this doesn’t speak for you and your illness, I am sorry and don’t mean to offend anyone. I don’t expect everyone to understand but just know this isn’t easy. For anyone, anywhere. For other people with this same illness, I have mad respect for you. ]
This should be as clear as mud to you, and that’s the point.