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Why Every Day Is Halloween for Me as Someone With Anxiety

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Halloween. What is the point of Halloween at its root? If you said fear, I believe you are absolutely right. I mean, look at the decorations, the costumes — even the food. Every aspect of this beloved holiday seeks to stir up fear.

I can’t help but wonder what life would be like if every day were filled with fear and fright, and then I realize, in a way, it can be.

If you live with anxiety, every day can bring fear. As someone with anxiety, every day, I wear a “costume.” This year I am going as: “I’m OK.” It’s my favorite costume. I nail the impression.

When you have anxiety, every day can be a challenge — even the even the good days. Pretty spooky right? Every day has its own challenges, that’s normal life, but for those of us with anxiety, every problem can feel like a “do or die” situation.

You know that feeling you get in your stomach when you watch a scary movie? It’s like you know you’ll be OK, but when that killer inevitably pops out, your life is on the line. Well, for me, that is every stressful situation I encounter in a day. For me, fear isn’t dormant every day except for October 31st. Every day in my life is filled with zombies and ghosts. My ghosts however, look like me. My ghosts aren’t made of a sheet with holes cut out or a silly costume. They are me. Every insecurity, or situation is a ghost in my life.

So I wear a costume. I’m going to at least look the part, amiright? Every morning when my feet touch the floor, my mask goes on. A smile is plastered on my face. Will my day be a trick or a treat? Well, that depends on my own mind.

Somehow however, I do it. I wake up, go to school, take off my fake smile and go to bed. All 365 days a year, this is my life, and I don’t even get the candy associated with this holiday.

When every day is Halloween, life is a flight or fright situation. My fears don’t live within decorations or horror movies. My fears are real. They are a constant.

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Unsplash photo via Julia Raasch

Originally published: October 31, 2017
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