The Unfiltered Reality Of Battling Anxiety

woman in black top looking downwards
Ernest Brillo / Unsplash

My hands are teetering again as I sit in my first morning meeting.

They shake like small electric shocks are wriggling under my skin.

It’s bad this morning and I hope no one notices.

I refrain from lifting my coffee mug to my lips.

I hate feeling so unsteady.

I reach into my cluttered purse full of ten too many tubes of lip gloss, tangled earbuds and gum wrappers searching for the see-through orange bottles with the white lids.

I’ve spent hours at the gym and running at the park trying to wear myself out.

I just want to rest.

The world has become a place where I am forced to walk outside to get to work.

I’ve become increasingly good at forcing myself to do things, but only in the monotonous order that I do them every day because it’s safe.

Wake up. Get Ready. Feed Cat. Drive to Work. Work. Gym. Park. Homework. Dinner. Write. Bed.

I don’t think people understand what it is like to seem like a successful high-functioning member of society while fighting a battle internally.

High functioning anxiety looks like exactness and diligence.

It is fingernails chewed until they bleed and sheer panic when something shifts.

It is anticipating the end before it even has a chance to begin.

It is enduring and persistence.

I find it infuriating at times.

Especially when it comes to relationships.

It makes me persist rather than give up because it’s simply me. Even when there are a hundred reasons to let go I will find one reason to stay.

And no matter how good I am at something, no matter how much praise I get, I will always feel the need to work harder and harder.

Do you know how hard it is to date when you are terrified of another ‘fail’ checked off on your list?

Anxiety is irrational; you can know something shouldn’t scare you, you can think of a million reasons why you will be fine, but how you feel never reflects that.

Anxiety is the aftermath of one too many words said when you feel as though you should have said nothing at all.

Anxiety is breathing through a coffee stirrer. A battle against yourself, a desire to keep living yet at the same time the desire to stop.

Anxiety is like being a runner whose legs are broken. You want so badly to do what you love but you just can’t.

Anxiety is love’s greatest killer.

It is asking for too much reassurance.

Anxiety is a little thought bubbling to the surface like molten rock until it reaches the brim, then without any warning it erupts and destroys everything.

This is why I always talk so much. I am trying to quiet the battle in my mind.

I hope you can understand that there is more going on that what you see on the surface. I look fine on the outside and at first I will fool you.

But as time passes you will catch me biting my nails, isolating myself, putting myself down for no reason at all, and you’ll get sick of the weeks I spend convincing myself I am going to get fired.

But I am kind, intuitive and empathetic.

I am sensitive yet resilient

I won’t shut you out.

I see you have battles too. I accept them even if I don’t understand them.

Don’t give up on me.

To the people who haven’t given up on me, I know you wish you could take it all away.

I know you worry about me.

Your kindness does not go unnoticed.

Thank you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

“You’ve got to let go of who you were, to become who you are.”

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