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The Most Daunting Phrase to Hear When You Have Anxiety

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I believe the phrase, “we need to talk,” is the most daunting sentence for someone with anxiety to hear. When I hear those words, a slew of anxious thoughts swirl around my brain and it can physically feel like I got the wind knocked out of me. My thoughts quickly spiral out of control and build into every worst-case scenario I can think of.

When I hear this phrase, these are the things I think my loved one is saying:

I don’t love you anymore.

I’m leaving you.

You’re a terrible person.

I’m sick of you and dealing with your anxiety.

I see these conversations play out over and over and hopelessness creeps in as I prepare for the worst. It may seem dramatic, but the anxiety is very real and once I get into this state of mind, it feels impossible to pull myself out of it. I will mentally beat myself up thinking I am at fault for whatever is happening, even though I don’t even know what that is yet.

Many people may write this phrase off as a simple heads up to a future conversation, but as someone with anxiety, it feels like a death sentence. In situations like this, being transparent is important. When I have an idea of what the situation is, it helps ease any anxiety. Even when you feel like you’re stating the obvious, I need that reassurance to calm down.

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Thinkstock photo via Elliskaboo.

Originally published: September 15, 2017
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