If I didn’t have anxiety, I’d actually be excited for parties. I’d have fun getting dressed up and mingling with strangers, instead of stressing about what to wear and where I’m going to sit if I can’t find anyone I recognize. I’d make new friends and make new memories, instead of stuffing chips into my mouth and checking my phone in an amateur attempt to look busy.
If I didn’t have anxiety, I wouldn’t freak out about sending a text or answering a phone call. I wouldn’t have to practice what to say in my head before walking up to a cashier or ordering dinner from a waitress. I’d just say what I had to say without doubting myself, without needing a game plan beforehand.
If I didn’t have anxiety, then I’d feel more independent. I wouldn’t have to ask my mother to make a phone call for me or my roommate to answer the door for the pizza guy. I wouldn’t be afraid to travel on my own, go shopping on my own, or eat dinner on my own. I’d be comfortable taking care of everything by myself.
If I didn’t have anxiety, I wouldn’t have to check the mirror (again and again and again) before I left the house to make sure I looked presentable. I wouldn’t have to swap shirts several times and reapply my eyeliner until I finally got the wings perfect. I wouldn’t be overly concerned with my appearance, because I’d be able to laugh things off if anyone made a rude comment.
If I didn’t have anxiety, I wouldn’t have to hide away in the bathroom when the stress of socializing overwhelmed me. I wouldn’t look like a snob or a bitch, because I was sitting there quietly during a conversation or left a party early. I would come across as fun and carefree, like I’ve always wanted to.
If I didn’t have anxiety, I’d be able to have a casual conversation with someone without shaking and sweating. And when that conversation was over, I wouldn’t chastise myself for telling a lame joke or asking a stupid question. I’d stop analyzing every little meaningless word and just get on with my life.
If I didn’t have anxiety, I wouldn’t talk myself out of having fun. I wouldn’t convince myself that my friends would have a better time without me there. I wouldn’t focus on all of the things that could go wrong instead of looking forward to all of the things that could be a blast.
If I didn’t have anxiety, I wouldn’t stress over the little things. I wouldn’t freak out if I took a turn down the wrong road or couldn’t find the bathroom in a restaurant. I wouldn’t want to die if I told a joke that bombed or dropped ketchup on my blouse. I’d take everything with a grain of salt.
If I didn’t have anxiety, I wouldn’t hate myself as much as I do now. I’d be more confident. I’d be more willing to try new things. I’d be more myself, because I wouldn’t have a nagging brain telling me that I’m not enough, that I’m stupid and ugly and boring. I’d actually know my worth.