To the friends, family and even strangers whom I have affected,
I would like to say I am sorry, and I guess I am to some extent, but apologizing for my anxiety is like apologizing for being me; my anxiety is a part of me. My anxiety has doomed a lot of my friendships, and even romantic relationships have been ruined because of my anxious thoughts and sense of worry that hovers over my existence. Instead of apologizing for this part of me, I will personally say to you: I’m sorry I was hard to handle, and I’m sorry my anxiety affected our relationship.
To the people who walked away, I feel like I should give you an explanation to justify my behavior, but I really don’t have one. Instead, I have a list of 16 things I personally wanted to tell you about my anxiety from my point of view.
Here are the 16 things I wish you would have known and understood:
1. It’s not that easy to just “chill” or “relax.”
2. I can’t help it. I overthink and overanalyze a lot which often leads to overreacting.
3. It’s easier said than done. You can control anxiety, but you cannot just cure it.
4. It doesn’t help when you tell me I’m “out of my mind.” I need you to be understanding.
5. Anxiety is not like a light switch; I can’t just turn it on and off as I desire (even though I would like to).
6. I don’t want to have anxiety.
7. My anxiety is a part of me whether you (or I) like it or not, and I am sorry if it is too much to handle; it is me.
8. I am not overdramatic because I’m having an anxiety attack I cannot control.
9. I am aware I ruined a lot of relationships through my anxiety, like ours, and it makes me miserable every day.
10. Trust me, it sucks.
11. I constantly need comfort to fight off the negativity bursting inside of my mind.
12. I always have my guard up and expect the worst to happen.
13. I know you did not always see where I was coming from, and I didn’t always need your advice; I just needed you to listen.
14. My emotions pull me into various directions.
15. I get it, my thoughts are not logical right now, but they are real.
16. I wish you didn’t give up on me.
Please keep being a part of my life if you have already managed to stay afloat on the rocky sail so far. To those who have slowly and surely drifted away, I am sorry for my behavior which may have seemed to be irrational, but like I said, it’s not irrational to me.
A version of this post originally appeared on University Primetime.
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