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How Anxiety Makes Me Worry I'm Not Worthy of Love

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Everything will be fine, I can feel content, and then the smallest thing makes my heartbeat skyrocket, my palms sweat and my chest feel like it is caving inwards. Here I welcome an anxiety attack.

Now, it varies what sets my anxiety off into a spiraling attack. It can be having to speak in front of people, going somewhere alone or seeing something my brain can twist out of proportion. And my anxiety can go from zero to 100 at the drop of a hat. I describe my relationship with anxiety as us taking turns in being a bear and a thorn. Sometimes I am the thorn, and my anxiety has me right in its palm, in control of everything. Other days, it’s a thorn in my palm; it is there but it is a small scratch I can ignore sometimes and if I am lucky, some days I can pull that thorn out for a little while.

I know when I am being illogical; I know when I am being sensitive, when I see something that sets off an attack. But anxiety means I act illogically. I say things I wish I hadn’t, usually pushing away the person at the end of my words. And I am sorry to everyone I ever had at the receiving end of words infected with anxious thoughts, fueled by thoughts that have been twisted and taken to the worst case scenario. I’m sorry I jump to the worst case; I’m sorry for what I say; I’m sorry for the accusations and the cold words. I’m sorry for being incoherent, for mumbling, crying, for shouting and for being deathly silent and all the in-betweens.

I am sorry for pushing away the people I want around me the most. I despise myself to the very core when I do it — and I have done it a few times.

Anxiety turns a message left on “read” into a blame, into “what have I done? Are you fed up with me? Am I boring you? Why aren’t you replying?”
It turns the sight of someone else into “who is that? Have you replaced me? Do you want them instead? What is going on? What did I do?”
It turns a lack of Xs into “why don’t you want to talk to me? What changed? What did I do?”

All spirals from easily explained situations. Things that are innocent. My anxiety manifests thoughts in my brain like a seed that spreads its roots deep inside. Thoughts become more and more insidious as the anxiety tries to figure out what could be the reason, what is happening, before pointing the blame at me. It’s all my fault. What did I do?

“I’m not good enough. I’m a nightmare because I am so insecure. I did this; I have no one to blame but myself.”

My anxiety makes me convinced relationships — romantic and platonic — will never last. Because I will say something. I will push away.

I become too much, because how can you comfort someone whose insecurities are always pulling her underwater?

But this isn’t necessarily the case. I know my mental illness does not make me into an object no one can love. Logically, I know one day someone will love me despite my illness, and they will hold my hand through the fights and sit in the dark with me. I know I have friends who won’t ever leave my side because of it. I know this.

But when anxiety is the bear, I feel like I will be alone.

I am enough. I am a valid person worthy of love. I didn’t do anything.

I can fix things after the waves pass.

I am valid.

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Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

Originally published: November 21, 2017
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