I wish I knew how to talk to people. I wish I knew how to say no. I wish I knew how to look others in the eyes instead of self-consciously glancing at my feet, the wall, or my phone.
I wish ringing phones and knocks on doors didn’t scare me. I wish I was brave enough to join into conversations instead of sitting silently in the corner — or even brave enough to leave comments on websites instead of lurking in the background, feeling like I’m part of the group and also an outsider at the same exact time.
I don’t need the ability to speak in front of large crowds. I don’t need the ability to strike up a conversation with a complete stranger at the grocery store. I just wish I knew how to talk to my coworkers. My friends. My cousins. The people I see on a daily basis who I should already feel comfortable around.
It sucks to be the friend who has to repeat her meal order inside her head over and over again before the waitress returns and is too afraid to ask for extra ketchup. It sucks to be the girlfriend who comes across like a snob because she never adds to the conversation and all her smiles seem fake. It sucks to be the student who aces every test but gets less than an A because she failed to raise her hand and participate in group discussions.
It sucks to have anxiety because everything is harder. Making friends. Ordering pizza. Going to work. Calling out from work. There is always something for me to worry about. No one understands how difficult it is for me to make it through my day. They don’t understand what a big deal it is when I pump gas by myself or make a doctor’s appointment with my own phone.
The people who care about me the most don’t even understand what I am going through and I cannot blame them, because I am confused myself.
I have had anxiety all my life, but it’s not something I have ever gotten used to experiencing. I am disappointed with myself every time a conversation goes wrong. I feel like shit every time I stumble over my words or end a text convo prematurely because I could not think of a suitable response. I feel like a complete idiot whenever I have to leave the grocery store without my items because I am too afraid of approaching the cashier. I hate myself when I grow nervous waiting on line to order my coffee or while sitting in the drive-thru.
You would think I would be used to the extra struggles that anxiety brings me by now, but it has not gotten any easier as time passed. It never sucks any less.
I hate my anxiety because it makes every little piece of my world more inconvenient. It makes me look unfriendly and unapproachable. It makes me feel like I am completely alone.