Most people know the definition of anxiety disorders, but still, they don’t understand what it is really like to suffer from one. Because the truth is, anxiety comes without reason and without warning. And it is a different experience for everyone depending on the severity of their situation.
For me, this is what anxiety feels like…
Oftentimes I get intense and inexplicable feelings of fear and worry that something bad will happen to me. Everything can go really well in my life, and instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, I feel like something is missing and I am afraid to be happy because my mind tells me that I will soon be sad again.
I will convince myself that I am a mess and my life is falling apart. One minute I would start worrying about one thing only to begin beating myself up about another thing the next. My mind constantly tries to present everything worse than it is.
And I do try very hard to calm down… but I can’t. It’s impossible.
Sometimes these dark thoughts throw me into depression. And my depression tells me that I am crazy and irrational for worrying out this much, so I begin to hate myself. This is the worst part. During my depression, I isolate myself from everyone and everything.
I am alone with my illness and I get terrified to speak about this with people that are close to me. I know they are worried about me, but I just can’t explain what I am going through because I fear they could never understand me and they would judge me.
I feel needy and repelled at the same time. And it drives me crazy.
During this depression stage, the hardest thing for me is to find my peace again. And while I am trying to calm down and feel peaceful, my mind decides to start worrying again and keep me up all night which results in me, being aggressive and irritable the next day.
But others who don’t suffer from an anxiety disorder don’t understand this. They don’t understand that WE CAN’T CONTROL OUR SITUATION. It gets the best of us every single time we try to get out of it.
We don’t need you to tell us that we are foolish for feeling this way and that we should start appreciating our life. WE KNOW THIS. And you, telling us to calm down is not helping us. It only makes us feel worse.
You should know that our anxiety attack can happen anytime. And when it happens, please have patience with us and understand that we can’t control it. It will pass eventually, and we will be back to normal soon, don’t worry.
Understand that we are fighting our illness. We are fighting with our anxiety with all our strength. We hate our situation, and we know that you hate it also seeing us like that. Instead, be our team player. Just sit still during the attack and listen to us if we need to talk. Hold us if we want to be held. And leave us alone if we need to.
Don’t take it personally. And please, for the love of God don’t think that we are only overreacting and that we should stop worrying and calm down. Don’t you think that if we could do that we would have done it already?
Just being there and understanding us is all that we need.