To The People Who Don’t Believe I Have Anxiety

Yoann Boyer

“It’s all in your mind. You can get rid of it anytime you want.”

No. You just don’t understand.

Do you think it was our choice to be in this kind of dramatic breakdown? Do you really think we are in control of what our minds make us feel? No. Not really.

You would always merely account for it as a case of overreacting or drop that ‘it’s all in your head’ card, like it was never a serious matter to consider. You would always say “Nah, just shrug it off” as if it was as easy as erasing a pencil mark on a sheet of paper. Or even get to that advising part wherein you would tell us “to stop overthinking and just focus instead on more important tasks than playing a depressive game with our feelings” or that “go outside, walk in the park, talk to people, go to the church” dialogues.

No. You just don’t understand. You just didn’t dare to understand how hard it is for us. It’s not that simple. If only that’s the case, then I won’t be writing this letter anymore.

We tried. Many times. Yes, we constantly dress ourselves for battles against it. We never wanted it to win over us, or maybe at least, for me. Who said we didn’t want to be like normal people? We do. A lot, in fact. It’s just that we can’t control it all the time. We can’t always keep it hidden inside. Sometimes, it’s just like a stubborn kid who wants to go out and play when the rain makes a show outside the window.

We hate it. I hate it.

Anxiety is not a mere “passing feeling”. Nor is it virtual. It is real. Alive even. Dark. Shadowy. Enormous. Terrifying. And if we let it win, it will definitely eat and destroy every part of us without having second thoughts. To it, we’re a potential savory meal.

Personally, I hate it when I have to cry my heart out and scream at the top of my lungs just to get rid of the heavy feeling inside that keeps on trying to drown me into the sea of depression. It feels like I want to rip my heart out just so I won’t have to be in this pain anymore. I want to throw everything within my reach just to vent out the anger that’s eating on me.

I hate it when I have to wake up in the middle of the night or not having to get myself into sleep at all. We’re in this scenario a lot of times. And if you only knew how much we pray to God just to get our eyes closed and let us catch even a mere glint of sleep.

I hate it when I lost myself deep in thoughts of things that I should not be thinking about. Like giving up. Giving up on everything. On myself. On my career. On my friends. On my family. On the world.

I hate it when I can’t explain the reason behind why I am like this and like that. It’s like being insane or stupid, crying over things without any concrete reason to hold onto.

I hate it when I have to shut myself out from people just so I won’t harm anyone when I lose control. With my words. Harsh words. And even actions that I won’t be able to readily make sense of.

I hate it when I have to force myself to sleep just so I could run away from this ghost even just for a little while. Hoping that when I open my eyes, everything will turn around again. Normally.

I hate it when I have to bury my face on my pillow just so I can control the sobs from waking up somebody in the middle of the night. Or creating a confusion for the people behind my door or behind my walls leading to questions why I’m crying, if something hurts, if I’m okay.

I hate it when I have to come to the point where this monster forces me to believe that I never even once made anything right in my whole life leading me to blame myself for being nothing but a dirt, regretting every mistake I did, forgetting the good things about my life, and shutting myself from the world.

I hate having to be strong yet vulnerable enough to break down when it pays me an unwanted visit for another time. Being on the same routine again.

I hate it when I have to fake a smile just for people to see that I’m doing fine with my life yet the truth is that I’m dying inside. Shattering into bits of glass.

I hate it when I have to wake up after crying so hard and having to go on with life like nothing happened.

I hate it when I can’t even start up with my tasks because of attacks.

I hate it when I can’t even understand what’s going on in my head.

I hate wiping the same tears again and again for the same reason.

I hate it. I hate this.

It’s too tiring. And it’s getting more and more unbearable everytime. But I have to be brave. I know I have to and I need to. I have to take a stand against this monster who constantly wants to eat me alive and take away my sanity. I have to keep myself from falling into the pit of my destruction. I have to shove away the feelings that would most likely kill me if I let them take control over me.

We are fighting a battle not known to everybody. And most of the time, we get judged without being understood.

And it hurts a lot. It hurts when people look at this as if getting rid of it is an easy task to do. It hurts that some just don’t care. We don’t need advice. We don’t need additional tasks to do aside from getting away from this mischievous ghost. Most of the time, all we need is a hug. To feel that we are not alone. To have something to hold onto while we cry. To be understood, not hastily judged.

What we have is not a simple fight to win over. It’s a great battle where you would most likely lose with a wrong move. It’s not a game we control. Please, this thing should not be merely taken for granted. Anxiety is not a joke. It’s real. It’s alive. It’s breathing inside us, waiting to be woken up and most likely to destroy. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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