When I have to give a presentation or attend an important meeting or even make a phone call to the pizza parlor, my anxiety makes it difficult for me to breathe. My pulse starts pounding. My lungs stop working. My heart beats at triple its usual speed.
I have a hard time socializing. Sometimes, even if I’m planning to hang out with people I have known for years, I will become nervous. I will want to back out. I will debate whether I can get away with canceling plans or if I have to go through with them even though my stomach is clenching.
I am always scared of something. Of saying the wrong thing. Of wearing the wrong thing. Of making a fool of myself in front of people I was hoping to impress. There is always something eating at my mind, making me uncomfortable.
But when it comes to crazy daring adventures, I am fearless. I have gone skydiving. Jet skiing. Parasailing. Bungee jumping.
I have trouble standing in front of a room filled with strangers, but I can sit on a cliff edge without freaking out. I can fall from a plane and feel completely relaxed.
I like the adrenaline that extreme activities bring and I think it’s because it’s controlled adrenaline. It’s adrenaline that I was asking to receive.
With anxiety, every single day is uncomfortable. I am used to shaking because I have to speak in class or have a one-on-one meeting with my boss. I am used to feeling like I am going to die and it’s the end of the world and everything is going wrong. Maybe that’s why adventures don’t scare me so much.
When I have those same symptoms for something like jumping out of a plane, it’s not as embarrassing. I actually feel better because at least I am doing something that is worthy of making me nervous.
Sometimes, girls with anxiety can actually be the most adventurous girls, because they are used to leaving their comfort zones. They are used to feeling terrified every time they walk past a group of laughing boys or answer the door for someone selling magazines or have to speak to a cashier. They have had plenty of practice doing the things that scare them the most.
Sometimes, girls with anxiety are actually the most adventurous girls, because they never let anything hold them back. They might be afraid of attending an interview, but they still force themselves to go. They might be nervous about sending a text back, but they eventually find the words. They might not even want to get out of bed on certain days, but they will make it happen.
Likewise, they might be scared of riding horses or roller coasters or zip lines, but if they want to do it, if they believe in will bring them happiness, they will find the strength to go through with it.
Girls with anxiety might feel like they are living in fear — but they are actually the bravest people out there.