themighty logo

To Those Who Think I Cancel Plans Because I 'Don't Feel Like Going'

I am going to be very, very honest here. I wish it was that simple. I really do. If only I could tell you that I canceled a lot of plans because I “just didn’t feel like going.” It’s just not the truth, it’s not even close.

I cancel because I can’t go. I cancel because my head feels like it’s about to explode, because my legs feel like they’re going to break and, most importantly, because every fiber in my body screams “fear, fear, fear.”

I cancel because I have severe social anxiety.

Days, sometimes even weeks before an event, my anxiety kicks in. My brain starts to make lists of how awful it’s going to be, how I’m going to embarrass myself and how everyone will laugh at me, point at me, or talk about me. As a response, my body gets tense, and that’s where the panic attacks come in.

Trouble sleeping, breathing and functioning. It’s exhausting.

That’s what makes me cancel plans. And even after I’ve canceled, the anxiety stays with me for hours. People might think I’m an awful human being. People may think that I’m doing exactly what the title of this article says. Believe me when I say, “I can’t come to your party.” It’s not because I don’t want to, but because at times it feels like an impossible task.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or mental illness, and what would you say to teach them? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.