The Truth About Anxiety


There’s only so long you can take anxiety before it makes you loathe everything around you (and everything about yourself). Because there’s only so long you can beat a dog before it bites back. But where do you direct the anger you feel toward anxiety? Who do you bite? All the anxiety, everything that makes you hurt, seems to be coming from inside you. And it starts to eat at your insides, causing you to want to rip them out, throw them across the room, and scream. Imagine that: ripping your guts out and just chucking them 10 feet, seeing them splat against the wall. Imagine that actually being satisfying. That’s what anxiety does. Even though that image is disgusting, it can be preferable to letting that horrible, clawing feeling stay inside you. 

Or there are the times when you feel guilty for feeling sorry for yourself at all. You don’t have cancer, you’re not really going to die, and a lot of people don’t even think anxiety is real. With everyone doubting you, with you doubting yourself, it’s hard to feel sympathy for yourself. When you ask yourself Is it okay that I feel this way? Is it okay to cry because I want it to stop? Is it okay that I don’t want anyone with anxiety to sympathize with me? Because why the hell would you want to commiserate with some other poor sap who also hyperventilates in the middle of the night when you can’t even “commiserate” with yourself? Odds are, you see yourself as weak for letting the anxiety get to you in the first place, so you’ll likely not want to blabber about it to others.

Sure, you say you’re open about it. You tell people you have an anxiety/panic disorder, but you’re so cavalier about it. “Yeah, I get really anxious. I have panic attacks. They’re scary.” But you never go into the heartbreaking/gut wrenching details. “I used to think I was going insane” or “I automatically think I’m unsuited to be a parent whenever I have an attack.” Because talking about attacks, and what they do to you, terrifies other people. No one likes a psycho.

Attacks. What a way to put it. Accurate, yes. Possibly dramatic? Sure. But not really. Everything you’ve ever hated throws itself against your heart at once. Every unknown that ever scared you jumps out of the bushes again. Every bad memory, no matter how deeply buried, troubles you once more.

But it’s all you, all inside you. And unless you rip your guts out and sling them across a goddamned room, you don’t know how to make it go away.

Every single person in the world needs to understand this, because I’m sick of hiding myself to everyone else. Sick of having to pretend that everything is fine, sick of skulking off into a dark place so I can flip out in solitude. Not that I’d want to have another panic attack in public, because that’s more traumatizing than anything else I’ve experienced. But I don’t want to feel like it’s this big secret, like I’m some monster that comes out at night. It doesn’t mean I can’t function in normal society, it just means that sometimes I can’t function within my own head. 

When nobody else understands this, or maybe they even act like you’re being dramatic and lying to yourself, it’s hard to get better. So I’m getting better through therapy, because psychologists understand. 

There’s no one to blame for the way that my brain works, and that’s including me. I am not to blame, because I do not do this on purpose. So I guess this is sort of an education session for y’all: People with these problems aren’t being dramatic, and they deserve support, not skepticism. 

So go out and accept everyone, my little muffins! I know how wonderful you all are, and you give me support on a daily basis. Go do good for everyone else. 

xo

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