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What I’d Love to Sincerely Hear From Friends When I'm Struggling With Anxiety

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Anxiety can show up anywhere, any time. Case in point:

The past two days, I’ve had a mild rash on my left forearm that has left me paralyzed in fear. That, combined with a weirdly watery eye has led me to believe that clearly, something is tremendously wrong with me, and I should hide under a bridge to live out the rest of my days as the troll I am.

Not surprisingly, my therapist has prohibited me from accessing WebMD. Ever.

For those of us who live with anxiety, we know there are peaks and valleys. I haven’t had a big peak for a while. I wouldn’t recommend it. Speaking solely for myself, here I things I’d love to sincerely hear from friends and family when I am in this space.

“You aren’t alone.”

“How can I help?”

“Do you need company?”

“I’d be happy to check in.”

“What tools help in times like this?”

“I’m here to listen.”

“Is there a creative way you can channel this for good?”

Similarly, when tentatively I share things with you, small achievements that I’ve managed to conquer while in this space, these are things I would absolutely love (and need) to hear.

“I’m proud of you.”

“That took a lot of courage.”

“You’re doing a great job.”

“It may seem insignificant to you, but what you did was really a big deal.”

Please don’t minimize my accomplishments. Don’t explain to me why it’s really not the big deal I feel it is. Don’t make me feel small, or insignificant, or talk down to me like I’m a child. It takes courage for me to tell you I ate breakfast, or got out of bed, or got outside. Don’t ignore me and allow me to further isolate myself. Try not to take it personally when I cancel plans.

Believe me. If nothing else, please, believe me. Trust me, I am well aware this, too, shall pass.

Follow this story on the author’s blog.

Photo by Eddy Lackmann on Unsplash

Originally published: June 28, 2018
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