What I Mean When I Say I Am Sick of Anxiety
I’m sick of being sick. I am sick of my inability to function like everyone else. I am sick of the sight of the bags under my eyes, the acne scars that won’t go away and the sides of my nails that look like my dog has been at them. I’m sick of the sleepless nights and the conclusion that tell me “you must do this right now or your whole life will fall apart.”
I’m sick of the way people look at me when I have to sit in the emergency department but I look like I am perfectly fine. I am sick of the calls I have to make to the urgent healthcare line because I am ashamed to go to the hospital without the reassurance I am doing the right thing. I am especially sick that every crisis I have happens in the middle of the night. I am sick of the condescending comments from doctors telling me that if I get a job I will get better, and even though I am married, I shouldn’t even think of having kids.
I am sick of the worry that is permanently carved onto my husband’s face and the fact he feels he needs to work around the clock to make sure I do not have to have a single worry; I wish I didn’t have a single worry. I am sick of making excuses to my mother, or telling my brother how, of course, his sister is coping just fine. I am sick of putting on a brave face around my in-laws so they don’t think their son has married the most useless choice of a wife.
I am sick of waking up and shaking because the doorbell rings. I am sick of ducking under counters in my kitchen because I can see my neighbor having a cigarette in the garden. I am sick of having to pee every impossible moment because apparently anxiety can do that. I am sick of obsessing over how I look, even when I haven’t even left the house for weeks. I am sick of jumping out of my bed because the dog made a slight sound I didn’t expect – and now I have to check her breathing in case she dies.
I am sick of being afraid of death. I am sick of the twisted ego that tells me that yes, my symptoms do mean I am terminal and yes, I must have developed every single cancer out there. I am sick worrying about family members who get ill, and so my mental illness mimics it and for months, I have to convince myself I do not have the same illness. I am sick of having to convince doctors it is not in my head, there is seriously something wrong and in five years, when it is too late, they will wish they took me seriously. And I’m sick of now being afraid to go to a doctor at all, even though my body is telling me I desperately need one.
I am sick of confusing reality and my nightmares. I am sick of seeing my friends have a good time without me and my anxiety telling me I wasn’t invited because they don’t actually like me. I am sick of my obsession with being accepted. I am sick of the time I spend trying to be perfect for literally everyone else but myself. I am sick of mirroring the habits of those whom I get to know; I am sick of finding a personality that is actually one I developed after meeting this mate from Australia in school, or that one-night stand I had five years ago.
I’m sick of my suicidal thoughts being called selfish or having people tell me to think of my family. I really do want to live and I do so much to keep myself alive. I think I am even lucky enough to have removed any authority these thoughts have, but it doesn’t make them less traumatizing. If I live, and I am sure I will, it needs to be for me — not for anyone else.
Mental illness it isn’t just worrying, overwhelming sadness and tardy behavior. It controls every aspect of you, with the power to not only position your brain with hypnotic thoughts but also to damage your insides and outsides. In many ways, mental illness can become more dangerous than many illnesses because it can spread to every part of your body and turn you into someone you are not. So, even if you are living, you feel like you do not know who you are; you feel unable to exist in a world that tells you that “you’ll be fine.”
But do you want to know what I am sick of the most? I am sick of people looking at me like I am unable, dishonest and hungry for attention. I am sick of being treated as less of a human because I express and show my feelings — which, by the way, we all have. I am sick of the trolls and the people who think it’s OK to judge me when they have no idea about everything I’ve been through. I’m sick of the comments from people telling me I am attention seeking, while they seek attention from me, except my feelings are wrong and their opinion is right, apparently. I am sick of people pretending like we don’t all have minds and mental health; I am sick of the fact people pretend what has happened to me won’t happen to them.
I am not a disease. I am not a bad person. I am sick with an illness I need help to control, which is made really blooming hard when people decide I don’t deserve to exist among the ranks of the “mentally healthy.” I deserve to be allowed to live on this planet without being judged for my life and my response to a life I would not wish on anyone. We all deserve to live a life that is not made worse by people refusing to listen or understand.
Photo by Kat Love on Unsplash