I consider myself relatively personable. I’ve never had problems making or keeping friends. I’m not terribly outgoing or social, but I have plenty of friends and a comfortable social life.
I’ve never quite been comfortable telling others about my anxiety. But currently, I have four friends who know about my anxiety and help me through rough times. I don’t know by what bit of fate these wonderful people came into my life, but I thank God for them every day.
It started with one friend. I don’t know what it was that made me tell her, but I did and I am so glad. I was having an anxiety attack and I had never told anyone, but I told her and she seemed to know exactly what to say. She stayed with me and talked to me and did not do the one thing I was terrified she would do: leave me because I was anxious. It helps that she herself has struggled with depression and anxiety. She always knows how I feel even if I don’t actually say it, and she always assures me that my feelings are valid.
For a while I was comfortable with my best friend being the only one who knew. But time passed, and a day came along when things were falling apart at the seams and I could barely keep afloat in the ocean of my life. I told another friend and she was as sympathetic as humanly possible. She didn’t mind that I told her about my anxiety and encouraged me to get help. She has walked me through a night when I was so nauseous I couldn’t function properly and has always made an effort to check in on me.
My third friend appeared in my life out of nowhere. I had only known her for a few months when she caught me on a day when I was dealing with the aftermath of a panic attack. She had a terrible headache and I asked her if she was OK, and we both agreed it was just “one of those days.” I admitted that I didn’t want to talk about what I was going through, but I told her over text. She has helped me through bad days and terrible nights, school stress and panic attacks. We have so much in common, we could be sisters, but we differ in ways that help us help each other. And I don’t know what I would have done if she didn’t appear in my Spanish class second semester.
The most recent friend I told has actually been close for longer than any of the others. We bonded freshman year because we somehow ended up in three classes together. I helped her through breakups and boy troubles, as well as bad days with her depression. It wasn’t until a month or so ago that she realized something was up. I finally told her about my anxiety and was happy to see our friendship wasn’t changed at all, which I had always been afraid of. She understood everything I was telling her and reminded me that I didn’t have to deal with this alone.
All four of my friends have dealt with and still deal with depression. Three of them deal with similar anxiety to mine. I do not know how they all ended up in my life. I do not know if I am just drawn to others who are struggling or if they were drawn to me. I am unimaginably lucky to have four completely different friends who help me through thick and even thicker. Different ages, different personalities, vastly different ways of helping me but all as close to me as family. I don’t know what I did to deserve these people in my life. All I know is that I would definitely be hurting without them.
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