Anxiety is a part of me

Tears running down my face.

You know the ones that mark your sweater with black dots because you thought it would be a good idea to wear mascara today. They leave a trace of black specks down your cheek because you thought you could hold it together today. But now your eyelashes are all clumped together because you cried so many tears today and you have a pile of used Kleenex with ruined mascara all over them.

Anxiety can have me feeling alone and isolated. I can be in a room full of people I know, and suddenly a wave of anxiety overcomes me and I’ve become numb. I’ve got tunnel vision now, and the voice inside my head is louder than anything else. And then *snap* someone calls my name and I’m back to reality.

I’ve been struggling lately with feeling like I’m not enough because I’m learning who I can and can’t count on. It’s exhausting and utterly heart breaking to find out that you didn’t mean as much to someone as you thought you did. That they disappeared without an explanation. And then I replay everything in my head, what could I have done differently? But I remember that if they truly cared, truly understood the monster that my anxiety can be, they wouldn’t have left me. That they would love me and accept me for all my features and flaws. They wouldn’t have gone away. They would have reached out and answer messages.

I don’t think you would believe the number of people that have left my life because of my struggles. Or that’s at least what I think has happened. Some just leave with no explanation. My life is different, than theirs. I live with my anxiety and depression 24/7 and with that comes: medication, psychiatrist appointments, CBT appointments, emotional support dog, crying in bathroom stalls, forgetting that I am stronger than I think…and the list goes on.

One of my best friends, that I have known since I was 5, has been understanding, checks in on me and allows me to do what is best for me. Even if that means cancelling or rescheduling plans. I am so thankful for her.

I was talking to my mom the other day, after a rough week for both of us. She sees the ups and downs, the pain and the triumphs that I go through. I told her that even though I go through a lot every day, I wouldn’t change it. That living with this for 10 years has made me a better person. I believe I’m more understanding and compassionate because I know what it is like to not receive that.

It’s hard to let people in. It’s hard to open up. It’s hard to fight battles I shouldn’t have to. It’s hard to remember that I deserve the best. It’s hard to feel like the forgotten one.

I sit here with tears running down my face, asking myself to be brave again. Asking myself to forget about the people who forgot about me. Asking myself to forgive and love myself first.


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