When I say that I have an anxiety disorder, many of the people I talk about are just nodding and telling me that everything will be fine. When I say, “I’m sorry today’s anxiety has taken over, can we move the appointment?” they smile, they tell me that there is nothing to worry about, that if only I could get out of bed I would realize that it’s all right. When I do not want to go from one bar to another because I already know that drinking my anxiety will only increase, I can say, “You are fine, it will be fun.
Meanwhile, my heartbeats so strong that I almost fear it can get out of my chest. But it does not happen. My head twirls, but I have no crossed eyes, as it would mean my blurred vision. The knees do not slip along with the trembling muscles, trying to resist the urgency of collapse. My face is not pale; I have no eyes injected with blood. No, from the outside I have the same look as ever. The hair is clean, the matching clothes. I’m conscious, alive and breathing normally. So that’s all right, right?
This is precisely the problem of anxiety disorders. Apparently, we’re fine. We do not have a broken leg, our languages have not been cut off sharply. We are not injured or aching. Because anxiety is not a physical disability. But this does not make it less debilitating.
Anxiety is a complex disorder, it does not deserve to be liquidated with a simple smile or nod of the head. Continuing to tell us that it’s all right does not help, indeed it makes us even worse because no one seems to take it seriously.
It’s not constant
There are days I can face without having to stop, breathe or take Xanax. I can laugh and smile. I can be productive, go to work, have dinner out, and see a movie with friends. Believe me, I know how hard it is to understand that one day I’m fine and that after I’m not able to get out of bed. But that’s how it goes.
It is “waves”
Anxiety is a weird beast. Let me have fun for a couple of days and think, “mmm, maybe he finally let me in peace.” But after a few days I wake up in the morning unable to just think lucidly because, for some reason, the beast has come back another time and there is nothing she can do to stop it: awakening is there, planted on my chest I smiled as if you were welcoming myself.
It can be completely paralyzing
I do not know if it happens to others as well, but I know this is an important part of my disturbance. When anxiety hits, I’m immobilized. I can stand up to carry on the day, but my mind is elsewhere, kept captive by a “demon” dwelling in me. I can only think of my inability to think, breathe, feel emotions. I have the feeling that my brain is literally paralyzed, as if it were locked into a limbo with no doors, windows or exits.
It can ruin relationships
Not only those of love but relationships of all kinds. Friendships and relationships of love can be destroyed in the same way by this disturbance. I have experienced both, and I assure you that it is the most devastating loss. Because? Because it is not our fault.
It is a disease that can explode over time if you do not know how to treat it properly. In the long run, it becomes too heavy for others. If someone establishes a very intimate relationship with you, so much to live on the skin the effects of your anxiety, the situation can become untenable and that person may decide to break every bond for his mental health. And it hurts a dog.
But I cannot blame anyone for if I could decide to stay away from anxiety, I would do it in a moment.
It can make the trust almost impossible
I know that it seems tremendous to attribute anxiety to their own trusting issues but, in all honesty, it is not a matter of guilty, but a responsibility. Anxiety always keeps you thinking of the worst of all situations.
If a person does not answer my message, then I do not like her anymore. If someone does not write me first, it means I’m not thinking about it. Maybe you’re busy? Not even for idea. He just has better things to do than spend his time with me. You seem ridiculous, right? Welcome to my life by anxious. Sorry, we do not sell biscuits but maybe you may be interested in a bit of oppressive solitude sitting at a table for one? No, I’m afraid not.
I do not want it
Do you really think that if I could, I would choose to disappoint people who love me because I cannot even manage a simple exit? Do you think I want to be so frightened of the idea of getting up from bed, then end up taking a free day and crying looking at Gray’s Anatomy for 13 hours in a row? Probably not. Would you like it? I doubt it.
When you tell us that we are doing too tragic and that we are just looking for care, stop by a second and think about your words. Nobody, I repeat, nobody wants this.
Every day I wish I did not
It does not pass that day I do not hear that voice in my head, ready to remember how wonderful my life might be, if only I was not. If I could just not have anxiety, everything would get in place. I might be really happy and not see that happiness as a joke, a trick; do not always think of the worst of the possible hypotheses, because it will not show up. But I’m not so.
It does not count for how many times I repeat that everything is fine, that I am behaving in a ridiculous manner … there is nothing that goes, simply, “well”. In fact, even the simplest things are a disaster.
There are treatments and I’m willing to try them out
Many people affected by anxiety are prescribed drugs to control the disorder. They often help me to endure better and make me a bit more efficient in everyday life. However, taking medication is usually not enough.
I tried with the gym. Endorphins help a lot. Many people take yoga lessons or try out breathing exercises. Apparently these techniques are helpful, I have not tried them yet but are on my list.
I do so many things that make me happy
I find it very reassuring to write, sing, and color books. In addition to all these activities, I have found that word therapy is the most effective remedy, which is worth every penny spent. Having a psychologist who is always at your side and lets you talk without judging or getting hurt for your disorder is a truly liberating experience. I strongly recommend to anyone who is struggling with anxiety.
I will defeat her
But it will take time. Combating anxiety can prove to be an incessant battle, with high and low frequencies along the way. I’m still facing the path and it’s not easy, at all. It’s by far the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life. And I’ve had so many. But anxiety wins over all.
Learning to dominate anxiety is the toughest task I have ever been assigned to. And certain thoughts, those that are not really mine, are like poison for the soul. But in the days when I can make it I feel like I can conquer the world. I want every day to be so, and I will not stop until I have achieved this goal.
Here’s the point: Anxiety can be heavy and frightening. It is not a visible wound, but this does not make it less legitimate. We need people willing to help us, to support us, to understand that their support really needs them. I will not think of you badly if you do not feel ready to support the commitment to be part of my life, but I just ask you not to give me false hopes and then disappoint me.
So when I say “I have anxiety”, that’s what I mean. Treat me kindly. Be patient with me. Give me a hand. Know that when I do something I think of the consequences that will have on you. Lot every day to resume control of my life, try to understand it. I’m a rogue, I know. It’s not always easy to have me in your life, but if you let me in, I’ll always be there. I will never forget the way you kept it hard with me when everyone else surrendered.
When I say “I’m anxious” I’m warning you, of course, but I’m also thanking you for choosing me the same.