1. After sending a text. Sometimes I’ll be in a good mood, ready to socialize, and will text a friend to check in on them. But by the time they text me back, my anxiety will overtake me. I won’t want to have a conversation anymore. I’ll be nervous the entire time I’m waiting for them to reply. I’ll worry about what words to type once they answer. I should enjoy catching up with someone I care about, but instead, my anxiety makes me a nervous wreck the entire time.
2. Before leaving the house. It doesn’t matter whether I’m attending a party or event that I’ve been looking forward to for weeks. Once the moment arrives, there’s a chance my anxiety could convince me it’s a terrible idea. Suddenly, I will have the urge to stay home. I will be tempted to cancel. I will start shaking and breathing heavy and feel like I’m going to vomit. My anxiety rarely lets me enjoy a good thing.
3. During a confrontation. I want to sound confident. I want what I’m saying to be taken seriously. I don’t want to break into tears. I don’t want my voice to shake. I don’t want to give the other person a reason to feel like they’ve won the argument. I have strong opinions. I have a strong personality. But sometimes, my anxiety makes people mistake me as weak.
4. While hanging out with friends. Unfortunately, some people will be offended when I’m anxious around them. They will feel like I’m insulting them. Like I’m telling them I don’t trust them and don’t feel like I can be myself around them. They don’t understand that my anxiety has nothing to do with them. It’s not something I can control. Half the time, it doesn’t make any sense. I’m as confused as everyone else.
5. Late at night. I might spend the entire day calm and relaxed, but then my anxiety will come out in full force at night. I won’t be able to fall asleep. I won’t be able to empty my thoughts. I will replay embarrassing memories and worry about all the things that could go wrong tomorrow. I won’t get any rest because my mind will be too active. It won’t want to give me a break.
6. On a first date. I might feel like a person fits me perfectly — but my anxiety might be bothering me anyway. Although I want this person to see the real me, I won’t be sure if I’m ready to talk about my mental health this early. It puts me in an unfair position. I can either tell them how I’m feeling. Or I can lie.
7. Out of nowhere. If I’m about to give a big presentation, at least other people will understand why I’m nervous. Even better, once that presentation is over, I know I’ll feel okay again. But when anxiety hits me out of nowhere, I have no idea how long it’s going to stay. I won’t even feel comfortable telling others how I’m feeling because they will expect me to have a reason behind my discomfort. They’ll think I’m lying when I tell them absolutely nothing is wrong. They won’t understand what I’m living through.