A lot of illnesses or hurts can be seen, but not all of them. You can hear the coughs or sneezes, see the crutches or wheelchairs, but sometimes there’s nothing to be seen or heard.
A lot of people believe that because you can’t see anxiety, it isn’t real, it’s just an excuse.
‘You’re making it up.’
‘Get over it.’
‘Think it away.’
These phrases, and others similar to them, are most people’s quick responses to someone who mentions anxiety. I almost didn’t want to write this post, because I felt like those types of comments would be the responses that I would receive – but that eventually made me want to write it even more – to help people understand.
Anxiety is real, and for the past three years it is something that I have come face to face with. I remember the first time I experienced a true anxiety attack, sitting at my kitchen table in Alaska, suddenly feeling completely overwhelmed, my chest hurting, and my eyes filled with tears.
This doesn’t mean that I feel anxiety 100% of the time, many times I feel just fine. What it does mean, is that I can be sitting at work and for no noticeable reason my chest hurts, breathing is hard, and I’m on the verge of tears. It means sometimes I need a time out. It means sometimes I need to go outside, or drink a bunch of water, or use lavender oil. It means seeing doctors occasionally and taking medication daily. It means not always being able to go to things, because the anxiety is just too much.
There is such a stigma when it comes to anxiety and other mental disorders. My hope is that the more people are honest and vulnerable, and talk about their struggles, the more that stigma will be removed.
People may not always be able to explain to you how they’re feeling – love them anyways.
Loved one’s with anxiety can’t expect when it is going to strike – love them anyways.
Encourage your loved ones and ask questions when you don’t understand.
A friend recently shared this quote with me to describe anxiety:
‘Anxiety is always hearing the fight/boss soundtrack from movies, but never finding the enemy or the danger that the music is warning me about.’
I sincerely thank you for reading this post, and I hope it gave you a little bit of insight on life with anxiety.