1. It takes time to recover from an anxiety attack.
To this day, I remember my first anxiety attack. I was walking across the room, my heart heavy, my palms sweatier than ever, my stomach in a knot that felt like it had been churning 50 times over and a mind racing too fast for me to process. The walls of my heart burnt up quickly and the beating intensified. After an anxious episode, you find yourself sitting down, focusing on breathing slowly so you can think clearly again and know what’s going on around you. You have to wake up from the clouded bubble you’re in, come to terms with the fact you survived that attack and bring yourself back to peace and comfort – this takes effort.
2. Anxiety makes our decisions for us sometimes
With everything running crazy through our mind, we may make a decision in a moment of anxiousness that isn’t what we’d choose ideally. However, because of anxiety, it’s the first and safest thing that comes to our mind.
3. Anxiety is in us. But we are not anxiety.
Trust me when I say there are days when I wish I could go back to being 13 and never having anxiety or even knowing what anxiety really is. We didn’t choose anxiety. Anxiety is a part of us but each day we fight it stronger than yesterday.
4. It’s not a phase.
Don’t tell us to get over it or to stop acting selfish. I’m bothered by the narrow perception people carry on anxiety. If you haven’t been through it, who are you to judge? Anxiety is consuming. It isn’t something you can just ‘get over.’
5. Stop making us feel like a disappointment.
Sometimes we make plans, but we don’t go. You may think we’re being ignorant but this is anxiety. We want to do certain things, but our anxiety shouts no. We’re used to being misunderstood. Next time you think we don’t care about you, please rethink: It’s not that we don’t want to catch-up, it’s that we’re mentally struggling to push ourselves to do so. Anxiety can make us feel so little as it is, so when you put us down, it only leaves us feeling worse. Don’t make us feel like we shouldn’t be feeling how we are, because it’s something we are working on.
6. Small things seem like big challenges.
There is always so much happening in the enclosed but highly active walls of our viciously beating box-filled anxiety. It’s exhausting mentally and physically. Things people don’t have to think twice about, we must mentally prepare ourselves for.
7. It can be so hard to switch off
Sleep can be so difficult because our mind just won’t shut up. We’re never really present in a moment or completely settled because we’re always overthinking or thinking ahead, and that freaks us out. We find ourselves thinking things that seem silly to others, but we can’t control that.
8. Random things set us off
Simply thinking about visiting somewhere new can feel so daunting, or if we don’t achieve all the things we set out to do that day, we panic. Think about it like this: we already visualise and plan in advance before things happen so if there is a sudden change of events we must re-visualise it again, and it’s an apprehensive process.
9. Finding friends who understand our anxiety is hard
Finding someone who truly understands what’s going through our mind when we don’t even say a word isn’t common but is something we value. I must say, I have a very special place in my heart for the ones who were with me at my lowest and still loved me when I wasn’t very loveable. It’s rare to find someone who takes the time to understand us and our anxiety. When we find them, we hold onto them.