Remember, it doesn’t matter whether anyone else understands.
There are going to be people in your life with good intentions who say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Maybe they’ll tell you to just breathe as if that will solve all your problems. Or maybe they’ll look at you like you’re overreacting when you panic about ordering food at a counter or answering a phone call. Even though it sucks to know some people are never going to understand what you’re going through, it’s also freeing. They can’t understand how hard simple tasks are for you. They can’t understand how much effort you put in every single day. You’re doing so much more than anyone realizes. You’re handling so much more than the world could ever know. If no one else is proud about that, you should be.
Remember, you’re allowed to feel frustrated.
You don’t always have to handle your anxiety with dignity and grace. Even though you’ve dealt with it your whole life, that doesn’t make it easy. There are going to be days when you accept your anxiety as a part of you – and other days when you’re sick of it. You’re allowed to be frustrated when your symptoms get in your way. You’re allowed to be jealous of people who can strike up conversations without breaking a sweat. Even though there’s nothing shameful about having anxiety, you’re allowed to feel however you feel. Your emotions are valid.
Remember, just because you feel like other people are judging you doesn’t mean it’s true.
You might worry that everyone at your workplace thinks you’re stupid. You might worry that your friends are secretly sick of dealing with you. You might worry that family members would be happier if you weren’t around. But you have to ask yourself, is there any concrete proof that this is the case? Forget about how you’re feeling. Try to think about the situation logically. If no one has given you a real reason to feel that way, if they’re always there for you and offer you a warm smile when you walk into the room, there’s a pretty good chance your anxiety is lying to you.
Remember, your body can lie to you as much as your thoughts.
You might have a racing heart and sweaty, shaking palms. You might feel like you’re in danger, like you aren’t able to breathe, like you need to leave the room immediately. However, you need to remember that your body can be impacted by your anxiety as much as your mind. Anxiety isn’t just thoughts that are lying to you. You’ll also get signals from your body that something is wrong – and those signals could be lying to you, too. Despite what some ignorant people might say, your anxiety isn’t all in your head. It’s in your body too, and that’s what makes living with it so difficult.
Remember, you are more than your anxiety.
Your anxiety is a part of you – but it isn’t the only interesting thing about you. It isn’t the only thing worth knowing about you. It isn’t the main aspect of you. Your anxiety has shaped your personality and your existence, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only part of you anyone sees.