Do you ever get nervous when something big is about to happen in your life? You get butterflies when your crush is about to pick you up & take you on a date. You can’t sleep the night before a big trip. Your heart races while waiting to hear back about getting a job. Normal stuff. We all get nervous when those events walk into our lives. Now take all three of those feelings, roll them into one emotion, throw them at everyday normal tasks & you’ve entered the life of someone who has anxiety.
I have anxiety. I swear I really do. To say that I have full blown moments of the I-seriously-cannot-breathe-right-now anxiety & the daily attacks that come with it is simply not true. People do suffer in that form & I can’t imagine the daily struggle that must come with that. But I do know that I get anxious to do normal stuff that any other person could do without giving it a second thought. I give it a second thought. And then a third, & then a fourth, & then even a tenth before I freakout & decide that something is just not worth it to me.
When you live in a town like mine, you don’t mind taking the time to drive somewhere to do something because in reality, it only takes you roughly tweny to twenty-five minutes max to get anywhere around here. I know, the agony of driving less than thirty minutes to enjoy a mall, the lake, hiking, downtown, the movies, or even the suburbs. We’re spoiled here. But, driving is still something we all would rather choose to be done in short distances. Well, let’s get in the driver seat of someone who has anxiety.
Let’s first begin by saying this, I usually only get anxiety when I’m by myself & when it invloves going somewhere alone which is quite funny because I am a rather independant person. WebMD describes it as social anxiety disorder, & no, it’s not just a medical term for being an “introvert”. It’s like a real freak out/panic of being somewhere with people & it’s not all the time. But, it happens enough to talk about it. I can start a day off with the idea of going to go do so many fun and new things in my town, solo. I’ll get entirely ready, plan out what I’m going to do, & get so pyshced on doing it. Maybe I’ll even get into my car & start driving there, but depending on how the day started out will determine if I actually get where I intended on going. Some days, I don’t even make it into the car. I either mentally freak out while getting dressed in my room or get too sadden by the idea of doing it alone that I’ll just say eff it & go turn on Netflix which then leads to a darkness for the rest of the day. On the days that I make it out of the house, I sometimes have the best mood & everything seeming to be going my way, only to drive across town to my favorite coffee shop, find the parking lot full & the idea of finding street parking too stressful to bear, only to turn straight around to head home & let the Netflix binging ensue. Other days I park, and can’t seem to get myself out of the car. It’s a good & rare day when I actually have the nerve to finish what I started.
I don’t know what exactly determines which day I’ll have. Whether it’s a facial blemish I’m too ashamed to expose & then can’t stop stressing about. Or the thought/fear of people possibly staring at me. I know mainly little kids stare, & little kids are my spirit animal, but it’s the adult sized children that I fear. I’m so terrified to see someone from my past that I either shamed or who shamed me. It freaks me out to think that I’d have to face them alone. Sometimes the thought of human interaction with a stranger makes my brain hurt. It’s all a head game, but it’s a terribly controlling one. This is where I see the problem.
I mean, it’s okay to have days where you want to be alone. It’s okay to crack out on season after season of a television series. It’s okay to worry and think about what others may be thinking about you. It’s okay to be afraid of doing something alone. It’s okay to be stressed about not finding a darn parking spot. It’s even okay to be saddened by who you used to be. But, it’s not okay to let these fears and these thoughts literally control your life to where you won’t even leave your comfort zone box which is better known as your house. It’s not okay.
Now I may have two little encouragers on my side who think the same way I do. I have these two best friends, better known as my brother and his wife. The three of us are all big nerds when it comes to trying something new. We all tend to crave it, yet we love our normalcy, routine, comfortability, & familiarness of life. But, get the three of us together on a brave night & we may just try something completely new together. With those two by my side, I could seriously never be anxious or nevous or scared to conquer anything in life. We all have that somebody in our life. But guess what, unless you’re married to that somebody (which I sometimes like to argue that I sorta am) then they won’t always be by your side. I’ll have to do some things alone in life, and that’s just reality.
So what’s the solution to getting anxious of doing things alone, but knowing that it just happens in life sometimes? I don’t know. For me, I have to remind myself that it’s okay to feel/think this way, but it’s not okay that I let it put a hold on my life & the daily things I want to do. For me, I have to rely on a God who is bigger than my anxiety & stresses & who will gladly walk into any nervous sitatuation with me because He loves me and He cares for me. He didn’t create me to go through life being scared. But He gives me reminders through that fright that He is greater & stronger than any worry I could ever fathom. He’ll gladly lift my burdens for me & carry them away. He also surrounds me with people who I can bring into the darkness with me, because I think that when we do, they bring with them a light that we never knew we actually needed.
I don’t know if what I have can actually be classified as anxiety, or if it’s just a weird case of “I don’t like people or public places so just leave me alone & I’ll marry my cat” sort of thing. But, I know that it’s no way to live. I know that I hate living this way & letting little things ruin a day/days of my life. And I know, that there are other people out there who deal with this stuff too. All I’m trying to say, is that you’re not alone in this. I’m raising my hand & saying I get it. I do that too. You’re not alone in this. You can beat this struggle that comes & goes. You don’t have to let it control you. Take a few deep breaths, & say, peace out anxiety, you don’t own me anymore. I’m here to talk. I’m here to listen. I’m here to be your buddy in trying something new, because if we’re anxious together, then at least we’re not alone in it.
– abbey kay
I am not a specialist in anxiety. This is just my own personal take/experience on the matter in my own life. If you need further help in battling anxiety, please consult a medical professional. Also, I do NOT own a cat.