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What Happened When I Said 'Yes' to a Double Date When My Anxiety Said 'No'

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When my boyfriend asked me if I wanted to go on a double date again, I sat there staring blankly at the text message on my phone debating which excuse I should use this time. Another text came through.

“Hello?” It said.

I didn’t know what to say. I thought, What if he sees through my excuse? No one ever prepared me for this, for the constant feeling of being on edge — wondering, debating, making excuses and worrying. My anxiety had prepared me for every possible outcome that could possibly go wrong with this situation. So I sat there… still staring at the message, blankly. When finally I saw my fingers moving, I saw the message being written out, “Sure” it read with a smiling emoji.

What did I agree to? Why did I agree? What are they going to think about me? What do I wear? How should I act? Should I try to start a conversation? No you’ll just make things worse.

So many thoughts, so many feelings running through my head. It was as if I saw myself write the message out but I couldn’t stop myself. I know my mind. I know my anxiety. So why did I do it?

I crave to be “normal” and go out with friends and socialize like everyone else does. That’s why! My heart says “yes,” but my mind says 2,000 reasons why “no.” Every day it’s a constant battle with my thoughts. Agreeing to go out knowing my anxiety would start acting up was like knowing it was going to rain outside, and still walking out anyways without an umbrella. You go despite the fact you know the outcome.

But I have finally come to realize, sometimes we don’t always know the outcome. Sometimes it’s OK to not feel “normal” it doesn’t mean we’re “weird” or the odd man out. Having anxiety gives you a different perspective on life, a different view and opinion and that’s OK!

So I went on the double date… and although I thought I knew the outcome, it went completely differently than what my mind had set me up for it to be. It was fun, full of laughter and conversing. There was a feeling in my stomach, It felt like butterflies… like the butterflies you get when you see your significant other. But instead these were a sign of pure happiness with myself! I had gotten over my fear of socializing, I was getting past my anxiety for once! For one second I had finally stopped thinking of the outcome of things or what other people may had been thinking about me. But rather I was enjoying the moment, I was laughing and conversing too… for once it had felt “normal.”

I walked into this thinking I knew exactly how it would turn out — terrible, like walking out into the rain with no umbrella, knowing you’re bound to get soaked.

But instead I walked in and came out with nothing but clear skies and radiating sunshine.

My advice to others: don’t let your anxiety get the best of you. It’s OK to be scared. It’s OK to feel on edge because that’s normal as a human being, just remember to try. Try to overcome your thoughts, try to overcome your fears, try to find your happiness. Don’t ever stop trying because one day you will get your clear skies and sunshine, you will.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via DGLimages.

Originally published: August 29, 2017
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