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What I Want the People Who Don't Understand My Anxiety to Know

I am fighting in a war, every single day. I’m a warrior, but I am encompassed by fear.

My anxiety is 24/7. It doesn’t switch off when the lights go out. It can attack at any moment. Any time, any place, it can corrupt me wherever I am. Each day is different, unpredictable and impulsive. It overpowers my need for constant routine. It has fallen into my lifestyle, planted a bomb and exploded. When the war is over and all that’s left is the aftermath, my mental illness will leave a scar that will always be with me. But perhaps I can conceal it.

I’m quiet. I’m distant. I’m a wallflower.

I am functional, so maybe you don’t see each day is a battle. A mental and physical fight that leaves me exhausted, emotional and needing to be strong when I feel so weak. It’s part of me, and it hurts me every day.

My anxiety tells me to be afraid of everything and prepare myself for the worst. Instead of seeing positives, I seek out all the negative possibilities and I encourage them to grow and grow and grow… until I believe they will happen. Obsessively considering all outcomes is something my mental illness hands me on a silver plate. I am assured the world is against me, I can never achieve the best of my potential. I am never good enough, that’s what I have made myself believe.

But although I may feel like I am shattering into a million pieces at times, I am doing OK. I try to surround myself with people I love and I am attempting to erase negativity from my life.

It may seem confusing when one minute I appear OK, and the next I am struggling with the mental or physical symptoms that target me. Sometimes I don’t know the trigger. I can inhale fear and I become lost on a journey I don’t understand either.

I don’t expect you to fix it.

My anxiety is not a personal attack on you. You aren’t expected to solve it, I just need you by my side. I need to know I am not alone, so when I win, I know you were there to help me in my fight. Positivity and patience can be the greatest aids to my success.

I will always be the same girl. I just bear a few wounds.

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Thinkstock photo via Andesign101.