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When My Anxiety Questions Itself

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For years I have experienced different manifestations of anxiety. From OCD to generalized anxiety, to feelings of panic. I have had triggers that come and go and triggers that stick around for the long haul.

For anyone who has an anxiety disorder or who has loved someone with an anxiety disorder, it can make for an unpredictable life. New worries crop up as old ones fade. Anxiety is a mystery in many ways.


But the most baffling feeling is when my anxiety questions itself. When it looks at itself in the mirror and questions its own existence. That is when it starts to get scary.

There is a feeling of dread when I’m deep in a spell of anxiety and suddenly I think to myself, “Maybe I’m just making all of this up. I’m not really anxious.” Bam! All of my feelings of credibility are out the window. I suddenly feel as though I’m over-exaggerating my anxiety. As though I’m making all of this up for attention.

“I’m not really anxious…”

Then, the feelings of guilt come in. I feel terrible for allowing myself to stay in, lounging on my couch and watching my favorite reality shows to ease my anxiety. I feel disgusted for crying to my boyfriend, ranting about my anxiety and the frustrations I have with myself. I feel awful for having made him worry about me. “Why am I making such a big deal out of this? I’m not really anxious.”

Some might say this is a result of stigma. That I’ve internalized what the world says about anxiety and mental illness. And that may be true, but that doesn’t make this feeling any less real.

I need to learn how to give myself credit. Not only for what I’ve accomplished, but also for what I feel. I feel how I feel. I have an anxiety disorder. I am anxious.

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Thinkstock image by Grandfailure

Originally published: July 16, 2017
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