A short word but one that is, I think, often misunderstood.
It’s horrible to have and often makes you feel shut off from the rest of the world, it can affect many areas of life, typically social life. Having anxiety is feeling like you’re in a box and then as it builds up the walls start slowly closing in around you, getting smaller and smaller and smaller. Sometimes you don’t know why you feel anxious, sometimes you do but whatever the reason the situation gets analysed over and over again, this could happen, this always happens, this could be there, that will definitely happen, there is a slightest chance of this happening, I will be like this, I will feel like this, until eventually you arrive at one conclusion….I am most DEFINITELY not doing that! In reality the likelihood is that although you will 99.9% percent of the time feel like you can’t breathe and all the other annoying things that come with having anxiety, the situation will probably not turn out that badly.
I think the main thing that I personally, have struggled with is that the people around you just don’t understand, they think you are being unsociable and weird, they think your just giving out all the excuses under the sun to not hang out with them, they never get that anxiety can inhibit you from doing daily activities. Travelling, activities and clubbing/parties are a prime example of this, travelling, I would love to go travelling! I have a list of places I would love to go but…..I get hot all the time and struggle to cool down which makes me feel ill and tired and I never enjoy anything, I’m a medical conundrum and I’m always injuring myself one way or another, who knows what I’ll do! What if I need to go to hospital??? Oh God i hate them! wait…..They aren’t like the English ones…..are they better or worse??? Whats happens if I end up lost in an area I don’t know and there are gangs there that want to kill me???……maybe in a few years time…. Clubbing/parties, I admit I’m not a massive fan but there are places I would love to go, such as the Ice Bar in London…..but……Oh gosh I have to get a train late at night who knows what people will be on there! What happens if there’s a fight? Its happened before….(I’m not good with blood), what happens if someone throws up? ergh! What happens if I get cornered by people in the street or in the club?? Oh no I can’t wear this just in case I need to run away or oh no! I can’t wear a dress or skirt just in case it attracts the wrong sort of attention and oh God! I’m not strong enough to push anyone away!……Definitely not going…Hot chocolate and a film sounds nice……Activities, I love ice skating, gymnastics, rock climbing and would like to try out many more but……what if I fall over and hurt myself??? I’ll probably throw up or feel ill and faint, oh my god that would be so embarrassing! Wait what if someone else hurts themselves, the same thing would probably happen! What if I’m no good and look stupid?? What if there are loads of people there and I cant do it in my own time???……maybe another time….
All this may sound ridiculously stupid but just life in general is a struggle when you have anxiety and people often think your just unsociable! This isn’t the case and its a struggle to get people to understand that no, I’m not being unsociable, I want to go but….anxiety.