The Anxiety That Comes With Chronic Illnesses


Yes, I am a very anxious person. Yes, I have some invisible illnesses. Yes, they are somewhat related. No, my anxiety did not cause these illnesses.

For example, I am writing this while in bed with a heating pad and after taking half of an emergency pain pill. I made a past obligation to help with a sweet 4-year-old’s birthday party a little more than a month after surgery. I have a significant shortage of white blood cells (and a low immune system in general) so I spent a long time contemplating what measures I should take. I didn’t want to wear a mask because I don’t like when people look at me funny, but I felt I needed to protect myself. Most people do not know that I spend every day sick and in pain and I want it to stay that way until I gain some more self-confidence, so I didn’t wear the mask. I spent the whole night worrying about little kid germs contaminating my water and avoiding the ones with even a sniffle.

After all the kids left I was told that “we” were going to do something. I spent the whole excursion worried about getting sick or dislocating or getting an attack. This, of course, happens but I still can’t say anything so I just feel like screaming internally instead. When I finally got home, late at 8 p.m., I knew I would be out of commission for awhile as I used so much more energy than I had even on this good day. The pain is so bad I cry until I finally lull myself into an OK state.

My anxiety is justified. My illness is justified. Please understand this.

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