I have anxiety.
Not the ‘I’m a little anxious about public speaking’ type of anxiety. More along the lines of ‘How Badly Do I Really Need a Full Paycheck This Week Because I Don’t Think I Can Be Around People Today’ type of anxiety. Lately, it’s taken a turn for the worse. I struggle every morning with the decision to get out of bed and get dressed. The thought of running my oldest daughter to school and then hiding away from all human-kind (minus my youngest daughter) in the safety of my home crosses my mind every single morning without fail. My type of anxiety also comes with a period of deep depression every few months.
I’m not shy about the fact that I suffer from anxiety. I’ve written about it before. It’s a big part of my life. An every day part of my life. It’s also one of those things that gets easily dismissed or easily judged. After all, I don’t really have anything to be anxious about, right? I have my health, my girls, a beautiful home, a nice car, no money woes, a great job. On the outside looking in, I have literally nothing to be anxious or sad about. I should be able to count my blessings, pray it away, pull myself up, and move on.
But that’s the funny thing about anxiety – it has no reasoning. It’s a tiny voice in my head constantly telling me that I’m not good enough; constantly telling me that I should be embarrassed by my entire existence. This voice tells me that no one should love me. It reminds me of how easily replaceable I am in my job. It makes jabs at my appearance and intellect. It screams at me that I’m a terrible mother and that my girls deserve better. This is the voice that reminds me that I’m a bad friend. A bad everything to everyone. It tells me that I’m too much of everything and too little of everything all at once. This little voice tells me about all the ugly in the world – the suffering and sadness – and amplifies it until I literally feel sick worrying about people who have no idea I exist.
This is just me and how my brain works. I have ways of coping that I’ve perfected over the years, but it still sometimes gets the best of me. I try not to use my anxiety as an excuse. I don’t want pity. But I do want those who interact with me on a daily basis to have an understanding that it’s not them – it’s me.
If I don’t want to talk or respond to messages or go out or put on real clothes or do any of the things that I normally love to do, it’s because I’m struggling at the moment. I’m probably beating myself up over something that I did that no one else has any recollection of. I might be worried over something that someone else might consider silly. My anxiety is a knot in my stomach at all times. It’s not eating. It’s sleeping a lot. It’s feeling wired and tired all at once. It’s having no drive and wanting to do everything at the same time. It’s me in a perpetual state of breath holding, just waiting for everything to fall apart. It’s a daily walk of a rope bridge with missing boards while I try to scramble my way to the other side without falling and pulling anyone else down with me.
The moment will pass eventually – maybe in a few hours or a few days or a few weeks; but until then, it’s going to feel like the longest moment in the whole world for everyone involved, and for that, I am so incredibly sorry.
I’m trying hard, but I have anxiety.