This may be the single most accurate picture I’ve ever seen.
I was diagnosed with anxiety only recently but it’s been something I’ve had to deal with my whole life. I just never realized what it was. Every time I would hang out with my friends, I’d get this awful feeling. I’d be overly and unnecessarily nervous, which you really shouldn’t be when it comes to friends. I’d always second guess everything. “Is it really pajama day? What if I’m wrong? Okay, the date is the same as today’s. But what if that’s wrong too? What if I’m the only one dressed in pajamas?’ or “Okay, this is the same address as the one of the invitation, but what if there is another street with the same name around here? Okay, there are balloons and the mailbox has their last name on it. It could be another family with the same name. That’s stupid, but what if I’m wrong? Then I’ll have to try and find the real house and then I’ll be late. That would be so rude. I’m scared to go in. I’m early. Only by five minutes, but still. That’s rude, right? What if nobody else is there yet?” These were ACTUAL conversations I remember having with myself.
For years everyone would always just kind of look at me like I was weird. I thought I was too. I didn’t really understand anything about anxiety as a disorder. I didn’t have any reason to try and diagnose what was wrong with me. I knew I was socially awkward so I thought it was no big deal, just another thing that made awkward. What nobody understood was that I was actually having problems with anxiety.
If you don’t understand what it’s like to constantly be anxious, if you don’t understand this picture, all I ask is that you take it into consideration. Be observant and realize that certain people may not be comfortable with the same things. Don’t be that person who makes someone feel insecure and stupid because you think showing up to someone’s house should be easy, or talking in front of people should be a cinch, or because you think that it shouldn’t be this big, long, confusing process just simply choosing what to wear in the morning. Some people can’t do these things with simplicity. I’ve been ridiculed before because I had trouble with small things because they made me anxious. It only makes it worse for the person struggling.
Anxiety is a mental disorder but this does NOT mean that someone with anxiety is weird, abnormal, diseased, freaky, sick, etc. They’re completely normal. It just takes a lot less to unnerve them. They get overwhelmed, stressed, and upset easily.
If you have anxiety, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. You’re not some freak, though you may feel like it at time. You’re a normal, healthy, beautiful person inside and out and even though you may become easily worried, you’re not weak. You’re wonderfully strong. You manage to live with anxiety and if you’re reading this, it obviously hasn’t killed you. You know why? It’s because you’re a warrior.