1. You’ll lose friends. Some friends won’t understand why you’re turning down invitations to their house. They’ll be offended when you say you’re too tired and don’t feel like leaving your room. They’ll think that you’re lying and are making up excuses to avoid them.
2. You’ll miss out on opportunities. You’ll want to go to your best friend’s birthday party. You’ll want to accept a cute boy’s offer to take you on a date. You’ll want to live your life. But your anxiety won’t let you. Some days, it’ll win, no matter how strong you are.
3. You’ll make yourself look bad. You’ll put off making that phone call or writing that email, because just the thought of it gives you anxiety. But that means you’ll look like a slacker. A procrastinator. A bad worker.
4. You’ll have a bad relationship with your body. You hate how much your fingers shake. How red your face gets. How violently your stomach twists. When you’re nervous, everyone can tell, and you hate it. You hate how your body gives your thoughts away.
5. You’ll live in fear. Occasionally, you’ll get scared of things that make zero sense, things that you do on the daily. Driving to the supermarket. Having a conversation with your parents. Getting out of bed.
6. You’ll be called lazy. Or dramatic. Or a liar. You’ll be called these things by people that don’t believe anxiety is holding you back. They’ll blame you and your lack of motivation. They’ll make you feel like crap.
7. You’ll experience mood swings. One second, you’ll be fine. Completely and utterly fine. And the next you’ll feel an urgent need to escape. To run to the bathroom. To your car. To your room.
8. You’ll lose confidence. Whenever you actually muster up the energy to leave the house, you’ll feel like you’re out of place. Like you’re stepping into territory where you don’t belong. Like you’re pretending to be as human as everyone around you.
9. You’ll lie to people that care. You’ll swear that you’re fine when you’re not. It’s for their own protection. Or maybe it’s for yours. So they don’t pity you. So they don’t look at you like they’re sorry for you.
10. You’ll create invisible problems. When everything is going well, you’ll come up with problems that don’t exist. You’ll think about how much your friends hate you. Or how you’re going to lose your job. Or how you’re going to die alone. You’ll be stressed, even when there’s nothing rational to stress about.
11. You’ll be exhausted. You’ll get sick of dealing with your own brain while everyone else is out having mindless fun. Some days, you’ll lose hope — but then that hope will boomerang back. Because you know you can beat this. You can. And you will.