The thing that sucks about anxiety is that it can hit me out of nowhere, no matter who is around me. I could be hanging out in my best friend’s bedroom, cooking in the kitchen with my mother, or cuddling with my person on their couch when my heart starts pounding.
Even when I am surrounded by the people I love most in the world, the people who I am the most comfortable around, they cannot stop my anxiety from attacking. They cannot make it feel any better.
However, there are certain people who always make my anxiety worse. Some are teachers. Some are officers. Some are exes. Some are family members.
Whenever they walk into the room, my heart beats faster. My hands start to shake. My mind starts to wander. I could have been completely fine a second ago, but as soon as I realize they are close, everything changes. My mental state collapses.
It’s not nervousness. I’m not nervous to see them, nervous to talk to them, nervous to be stuck in the same room as them. It’s a feeling closer to fear.
As soon as they enter the room, I wish I could exit. I don’t want to be near them because it’s impossible to concentrate when they are around. They might not even approach me, they might not even say a word, but their presence alone brings me discomfort. It puts me on edge.
Instead of focusing on my work or talking to my friends or enjoying the music in my headphones, the second I see them I start worrying about the what ifs. I’m worried about what they are going to say next, what they are going to do next, how they are going to embarrass me next or disappoint me next or hurt me next.
These people bring out the worst in me. The bring out my anxiety every damn time.
As soon as I hear their voice or their footsteps, I cannot breathe. Not until they leave again. Until I feel comfortable again.
I don’t want to be around them, but they are the kind of people who are impossible to avoid. The kind of people who are going to keep popping up in my world uninvited.
And, of course, they are the kind of people who would never understand my anxiety. I could never sit them down and explain what they do to me, because they would think I was crazy. They would think I was overreacting. They would think I was lying. Even if they believed every word, they wouldn’t care. Not really.
Those people are the reason why I am so careful about who I surround myself with. Even though there is always a chance I will suffer from anxiety while I’m with my friends or forever person, I never want to get close to someone who always brings out my anxiety, who always makes me want to disappear, who always makes me feel like something horrible is about to happen.