What Anxiety Actually Is. It’s More Than Just Worrying.
Lots of people are under the misapprehension that anxiety is simply another term for worrying about something, and that people with anxiety are simply making a big deal out of nothing.
The truth, however, is far more terrifying.
Those of us who suffer from anxiety know just how debilitating it really is. We know how crippling it can be, how it can make whole days, weeks, months, and years of our lives slip past in a grey blur, our strongest memory being that sinking, gnawing feeling we get in our gut that leaves us unable to fully enjoy life or feel the full spectrum of emotion that other people do.
Anxiety is that feeling that something is badly, deeply wrong, and that if we don’t sort it out something awful is going to happen – we just can’t work out what it is that’s so wrong in the first place.
Anxiety is feeling tired every waking moment of your life. It’s feeling exhausted by the tiniest obstacles, and totally worn down by the constant barrage of minor difficulties that life presents us with.
Anxiety is obsessing over the details of the past and fretting over the things that haven’t yet happened. It’s wondering if people hate you, or if you were weird the other night when you saw your friends. It’s sitting there quietly, unable to speak because you’re afraid of what others might think about you.
Anxiety is feeling pushed to tears overs unanswered texts or not being able to get a hold of the people you love.
It’s apologizing for everything, even when you’ve done nothing wrong. It’s noticing every slight change in someone’s tone, and then obsessively thinking about whether or not a shift in their voice means that they secretly dislike you.
It’s lying awake at night, staring at the ceiling, replaying the same thought loops over and over again in your head and feeling yourself falling deeper and deeper into that pit inside of you that makes you want to give up on life completely.
Anxiety is the process of slowly imploding in on yourself. It’s mental self-destruction that a sufferer simply can’t help but perform. This is the paradox at the heart of anxiety; someone who’s drowning can’t help but try to fight and thrash themselves up towards the surface. In the exact same way, someone with anxiety desperately worries and obsesses over something as they try to keep themselves afloat. In the end, though, all this does is make their situation worse and strengthens their anxious habits. The more anxious they feel, the worse their anxiety becomes, until every day is torture and it’s all they can do to get out of bed.
Anxiety is the need for certainty, the need for control. It’s far, far more than nervousness or worrying; it’s a powerful, destructive medical condition, and it needs to be taken seriously.
It’s thinking too much. Caring too much. Fearing too much. It is loving too much.
Anxiety is caring more than anything; not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings, not wanting to do anything wrong. It’s wanting to be loved and accepted as who you are. Anxiety and all.