- It isn’t just mental. It’s also physical, its my heart rate reaching 110-117 when my normal heart rate is 76 resting. It’s feeling like I’m going to throw up, or a tight feeling inside of me. I start to shake. I cry. Anxiety causes physical pain too, even if you can’t see it in someone. I get a lot of questions about if I have an eating disorder, and I don’t. But, for me anxiety does make it hard to eat. My stomach is in knots and rejects food.
- It will consume me. My life no longer can be normal, because when the anxiety takes over, it eats me from the inside out. I have a hard time eating, I can’t focus on the conversation I’m having, and there is no way I can fake it till I make it. Basically, the anxiety takes over and controls me. I can usually tell if this is about to happen so that I can prepare, I’ll make sure I have some hot tea and things like that, but it doesn’t mean it won’t come. I can take all the steps and the anxiety will still be there. Sometimes it will be worse than others; this week has been a week where it has consumed me. My hands shake, I have trouble focusing, my heart rate is unusually high and I can’t sit still. I know people notice and are either too nice or too afraid to say anything about it. It is hard to focus on anything else.
- I can’t make it go away. Trust me, I also wish I could snap my fingers and make this go away. I just can’t. It goes way beyond stress or that I have a lot going on. Anxiety is something that is part of a mental illness that I fight. There are of course steps I take that will help calm me down, and I’ve gotten better at noticing signs that an anxiety attack is probably coming. There are times I’m able to catch the warning signs and get away from people, but there are times I can’t. Luckily after over a year of therapy, I have learned what to look for in myself and have learned some of the things that will trigger the anxiety. But on the other side of that, sometimes nothing at all triggers it. Sometimes it hits me out of nowhere and I start to panic.
- It is not my fault. I know a lot of people think I use anxiety as an excuse so that I can stay home. I have known people who look at me and don’t understand that it is not my fault. They assume that I just don’t handle stress well, or that I make it up for attention. I also blame myself sometimes, because maybe if I wasn’t like this I would have more friends. Maybe I would be able to handle life if I wasn’t like this.
- I blame myself. The anxiety is really good at being that little voice inside of my head that tells me that I am the reason all of this happens. It tells me that I deserve this. It is easy for me to listen to the voice inside my head. Maybe if I worked harder, I wouldn’t have to fight this. Maybe if I was successful I wouldn’t have to fight this. It is a constant battle in your own head between who you are and the voice that tells you, you’ll never be enough.
If you are someone who does not struggle with this, I hope this gives you a small insight of what people you know and love are going through every single day. If you are someone who is fighting this, keep fighting. We can do this.