I’ve been living with anxiety for 10 years now. And I still find myself explaining to people what it is…what it is like to live with and how it impacts my life. Some days I wish I could simply wear a bright sticky note stuck to my forehead that says, “I have anxiety, please know I’m trying my best”. Because on my more difficult days, when my anxiety is screaming at me and all-consuming, the last thing I want to do is explain why my eyes are puffy, why my legs are shaking uncontrollably, or why it looks like I’ve isolated myself. It can be hard to be around a group of people when the thoughts in my head are so loud. I find myself having to concentrate that much harder.
I couldn’t tell you how many times I have said “I hate my brain”…I know this is not the best thing to do or say. But when you battle your own mind all day every day, it can be exhausting and all you want is a break. I’m working on not saying that phrase, some days are just harder than others.
So, here I am to explain what my anxiety is like instead of posting a sticky note to my forehead.
- I’m the girl who says crying in the shower doesn’t count because your tears just blend in
- I enjoy being prepared for everything. (Impossible I know)
- I can sit on my bed and stare into my closet and cry because I can’t make a decision on what to wear
- I can go out with friends one night and not wanna go the next time
- I take my weighted blanket almost everywhere I go
- Other people’s energy impacts me, so I find it difficult to be around people who are negative
- I hate being late
- Lighting stores scare the living crap out of me – I went in one with my mom a couple of years ago and I have never ran out of a store so fast in my life
- Some days are easier than others and no I don’t plan for when my anxiety will impact me
- I will replay old situations over and over and over in my head to try to figure out what happened or what I could have done differently
- I think I’m bothering people if I text them and they don’t respond
- I’m afraid to let people in because they tend to leave so I build a wall around my heart
I shake, I fidget, I play with my hair, I bite my lips, I bite my nails and the skin around them, I’m always looking for a safe escape route. I cry, I pace, I plan, I organize, I take medication, I shred paper or clean when I can’t sit still. Most importantly, I write, I talk and I share my experiences.
This is who I am.