My anxiety has stopped me from attending parties. It has convinced me to stay home instead of getting drinks with friends. It has forced me to call out sick from work and skip classes.
My anxiety has made me miss out on fun opportunities throughout my lifetime — but it has not stopped me from reaching success.
I still have a career, even though there are days when walking into work seems impossible. Even though there are times when I keep quiet during meetings and look like I am not paying enough attention. Even though there are times when I take hours to answer the simplest email, because I am typing and erasing, typing and erasing.
I make up for the days when my anxiety eats me alive by doing the best damn job that I can the rest of the week. By putting in effort. By chasing my passions. By making sure my bosses know I am working my ass off.
My anxiety has made it difficult for me to look my coworkers in the eyes and make friends with them, but I refuse to let my mental health get in the way of my dreams. I am not going to stop pursuing my passions out of fear. I am not going to give up that easily.
I have suffered from anxiety for my entire life, which is why I know how to handle it by now. I know there are going to be times when socializing turns my cheeks red, and when that happens, I will disappear into the bathroom, splash water on my face, and get my breathing under control so I look ‘normal’ when I’m back in the public eye. Maybe I will even cry my eyes out inside of one of the stalls until I feel okay again.
Either way, I am going to find a way to push past my anxiety. I am not going to let it stop me from finishing what I set out to do.
Because of my anxiety, I am bound to have setbacks. There will be times when talking on the phone with my boss will use up all of my energy. There will be times when I need to take the day off because the idea of being around people is too much to take. There will be times when I wonder whether I am ever going to fit in, whether I am ever going to make it.
But no matter how hard it is for me to survive in the workplace, having anxiety does not mean I need to shelter myself indoors.
Having anxiety does not mean I am never going to reach my dreams.
Having anxiety does not mean I am destined to be a failure.
Will it make my journey harder? Probably. Will it make me second guess my capabilities? Definitely.
My anxiety has the power to make my hands shaky and cause a headache. It has the power to make me question myself and bring out my worst insecurities — but it does not have the power to convince me to give up. I am never going to do that. I am going to reach success. I am going to achieve my dreams.