The Awful Truth About Living With Anxiety

The Awful Truth About Living With Anxiety

“Imagine overthinking minor interactions into oblivion and jumping to the worst conclusions every time to the point of being physically sick. Remember when you were a kid and your mom left you in line at the store and you panicked like there was no tomorrow? Imagine that every time you go shopping, out to eat, etc.” — Biraynia

“Purposefully taking the long route at the mall to avoid the petitioners. Rehearsing your Starbucks order 20 times so you don’t mess it up. An unnecessary amount of anxiety when someone is calling you or you have to make a call. Your friend is having a bad day, so it must be because of something you did. Someone didn’t respond to your text message so they hate you and never want to talk to you again. The cashier gave you back the wrong amount of change but you don’t want to be annoying so you don’t say anything.” — Sweet_Tangerine50

“People assume that it’s just feeling nervous. It’s not. It’s overthinking something so much that it makes you physically ill. Cramps, headaches, that horrible feeling of needing to rush to the toilet. Yes, you get nervous. But that’s only the start of it. You find it hard to breathe, you think you’re actually gonna die, because you can’t get air. Sometimes you pass out. I do. But it’s different for everyone. It’s worrying about anything and everything; things that don’t even need worrying about. I get so worked up, and my stomach gets so knotted, that I can’t physically eat, because it just wont stay down. You’re constantly feeling like people are judging you, looking at you, even when they’re not. You constantly feel like no one likes you, even when they do. And it’s the constant feeling of something bad is going to happen. Believe me, social anxiety is not just being ‘shy’.” — [deleted]

“It’s like having a monster live inside of your head. It never leaves. It’s there first thing when you wake up in the morning and last thing when you close your eyes at night. It doubts you and everything about you. It keeps you prisoner. It laughs at you and tells you nobody thinks you’re interesting anyway so why bother saying what’s on your mind. It has a shitty retort to everything you think. It’s like being in an abusive relationship with yourself, living in crippling fear of saying ‘the wrong thing’ or making people laugh at you because you’re obviously a waste of human life. This fear wears you down until you give into it before it starts—you stay home all the time, stop answering calls, don’t even want to comment on social media in case someone pokes fun at what you have to say. You don’t even want to go to the grocery store because people might make eye contact with you, or you’ll have to say three words to the cashier. You order things online because the thought of going outside makes your heart race with fear. So you are alive, but you’re not living. You exist. And you hate your existence because you feel you’ll never be able to live like ‘normal people.’ For the record, I keep my anxiety at bay through medication, healthy eating, moderate exercise, and forcing myself to try new things socially. I’m very happy now.” — TheCommentLetterer

“It’s like being scared, constantly. Physically, it’s like the feeling of accidentally skipping a stair while going down the stairs, but imagine that feeling while doing everything in life. Sending a text, no matter who it’s going to, whether your mom or best friend or boss, is like a twenty-minute process. ‘Does this sound okay? What if she takes it the wrong way? Is the emoji too much? What if she’s busy and she gets annoyed that I’m texting her? Does she even like me?’ Repeat on and on and on. Imagine coming out of every conversation, but instead of having a nice time, imagine your most embarrassing experiences and make that feeling every experience of your life. ‘Does this person like me? Was I being too loud? What if she secretly hates me and she’s just putting up with me to be nice? What if what I said sounded stupid? What if everyone thought I was being obnoxious? What if they actually don’t want to be friends with me? What if I was being too much? What if they secretly make fun of me behind their back? etc.’ It’s a lot of constantly worrying, panicking over tiny things that really don’t even matter, but to the point where you feel physically sick to your stomach. I’ve had to leave in the middle of classes, parties, various social events because of my anxiety. It’s such a bad way to live life, but I have no choice besides either try medication, therapy, etc.” — wideorbit

“Let’s say you’ve just gotten on the bus. You do realize that everyone is staring at you don’t you? And those two people talking to each other – you guessed it, they’re talking about you. You’re sweating a bit, but you find a seat. Oh dear, what’s that smell? There’s a scruffy looking person sat in front of me. Oh no, the rest of the bus thinks it’s me. I know, I’ll get off a stop early and walk from there; I ring the bell and get up – everyone’s still staring at me. Am I sweating still? Is the back of my shirt wet? Are they talking about it? I step off the bus into a cool breeze and calm down. Then I notice two girls smiling at me. No, they’re laughing at me. Is it because I look weird or my clothes are a mess? And continue on, and on…” — welsh_dragon_roar

“Crying in the grocery store because you can’t find the limes, but the thought of asking someone makes you physically ill. Not going to the dentist/doctor for years because calling to make an appointment is outside your abilities. Skipping meals because there isn’t any food in the house, but ordering means having to answer the door.” — Tinydingo