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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.