“Why are you anxious..?” You ask me.
What’s funny is, you have no idea that in my head I’m asking myself the exact same thing.
‘…Why am I anxious?‘ I ask myself for what seems like the 100th time today.
The truth is, I have no idea. If I knew why I was anxious, I probably would have figured out how to fix it. How to make it go away. How to make it stop interrupting my every day life..
But the truth is I don’t know. Life throws me new curve balls every day and I’m going with the flow just like anyone else. Maybe just a little more on edge than some people..
We all have things we’d love to say to people even though we know we can’t. Or maybe we could, but we avoid the confrontation because the mere thought of confrontation comes with that overwhelming fear that we’d rather not deal with today.
If you suffer from anxiety, from that pins and needles, chest tightening, overwhelming sense of fear; these may be things you find yourself wishing you could say to people when they question it or offer advice..
“Do you really think this is fun for me? Do you really think I enjoy the constant chest tightening and pins and needles feeling in my hands and feet?“
I think people are under the misconception that anxiety is fun. Or that it’s a form of attention. Trust me, I’d rather not have your attention when I’m going through this. I’d rather you not know that I feel as if the earth around me is caving in and I have no where to escape. There is nothing fun about anxiety, and I’m searching for everything possible to help me cope with it. It’s hard to explain to someone that doesn’t understand it or even to those that assume they do.
“Don’t you think I’ve tried just about every thought possible to make this stop? If I could just stop thinking about it, you wouldn’t have to tell me to stop because it wouldn’t be an issue!”
Unfortunately it’s not that easy for those of us with anxiety, which is why I go to counseling. I’m learning how to cope with my anxiety. While I know you’re trying to help, it’s doing the exact opposite. I try and think about millions of other things when I’m anxious..
It’s like riding a roller-coaster that I can’t get off of. I can’t get off till it’s done. There is no emergency stop, there are twists and turns, highs and lows and I’m just riding along. It looks like I’m fine on the outside, maybe even enjoying the ride. But truth be told, I hate roller-coasters. On the inside, I’m screaming for it to stop. Screaming over and over again to some imaginary figure I’m hoping can come along and stop this Hell for me. But I just ride along till it’s done.
Sure, I can sit in this roller-coaster and try to picture something as simple as sitting on a boat on the lake. Something calming and relaxing; but the second that roller-coaster flips me upside down, I’m back to reality. That I’m stuck in a roller-coaster that decides for me when I can get off.
“Yes, there is medicine for that. Yes, I’m on medicine.. And no, it’s not fun.”
Now while my medicinal solution is only temporary, as I am getting through post part-um depression, anxiety and OCD, some people aren’t as lucky. They have to take this medicine every day and trust me… There is nothing fun about it. The days I forget to take it are terrible. I’m on edge, only a few hours without it and my body already goes through withdrawal. Anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication is not fun. It’s not something to aspire to be on, and if you can avoid it at all cost, please do. It’s made either an emotionless zombie or one giant ball of emotions that I can’t control.
And medicine is only a small part in over-coming it. It takes a counselor, a strong support system and maybe even some significant lifestyle changes. Medicine is merely a tiny piece in this giant puzzle we’re solving.
So I ask you, please, don’t judge your friend, family member or significant other if they say they’re feeling anxious, suffer from anxiety or go through an anxiety attack. It’s a roller-coaster that we can’t get off of. We just learn to ride along. But some days, the ride is too hard and we may seem on edge, or angry. I promise we’re not.
We’re just physically and mentally tired from this roller-coaster and our patience is slim to none. But we’re thankful for the patience you share with us. We promise we’re learning how to cope with it. It just may take a little while. And while we know you’re questions come from a place of love and concern, sometimes all we need is a shoulder to cry on. Or for someone to tell us, it’s gonna be okay. Or to say, I’ll sit beside you on this roller-coaster and take this head on with you.
I promise, that is the most you can do to help. And if we forget to tell you, we’re beyond thankful for you and we love you.