You Know What Sucks? Having An Anxiety Disorder

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You know what really sucks?

Avoiding sleepovers like the plague because you know they lead to migraines, vomiting, IBS, and full-body shivers that last late into the night.

When it’s looking like you’re going to get to at least second base with a super hot girl who invited you back to her hotel room, but regrettably knowing you never will as you make a mad dash for the bathroom so you can puke.

Feeling completely fine at a social gathering with your close friends one moment, then lightheaded and horribly nauseous the next.

Being in the middle of blissful, passionate, consensual sex with your boyfriend and suddenly breaking down sobbing from a rush of anxiety.

Giggling and enjoying strawberry hookah with a girl you want to date, trying so desperately to be cool, but having to run outside and inhale the cold night air in sharp gasps because you got overwhelmed.

Practically hyperventilating when you are told you have to make a phone call.

Feeling bound by oddly-specific rules you invented in your head that regulate how often you can go to the bathroom, when and what you can eat, and whether you can take any medicine or not.

Throwing up all over yourself and the guy you’re dating immediately after he says “I love you” for the first time.

Trying desperately to fight attacks that come at work and bite back the tears that sting your eyes while your supervisor is baffled by your behavior and attributes it to shyness.

Knowing your dad writes it off as nervous butterflies purely associated with romantic relationships and not a serious disorder.

Having your mother accuse you of poor stress management, of being weak-willed, of carrying guilt over some terrible secret that is the actual reason you can’t sleep at night.

You know what’s the worst?

Having an anxiety disorder.

You know what I will never romanticize?

Having an anxiety disorder.

You know what I’m doing when I write about my anxiety disorder?

Validating its existence.

Liberating myself from the chains of self-doubt.

Dissecting the demons in my head to see what stirs them up and figure out what will quiet them down.

You can be damn sure I’ll never romanticize my anxiety.

All I intend to do is write myself free. TC Mark

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