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4 Reasons I Say 'I'm Fine' When I'm Actually Anxious

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Living with anxiety is surely no piece of cake. It comes and goes in the most unexpected ways. You might be having a great day until all of the sudden it gets ruined by anxiety. It might be triggered by something you hear, something you see, a comment someone makes or for no reason at all.

When I’m feeling anxious and someone asks me, “Are you OK?” or “How are you doing?” I’ll probably want to cry for help, but I’ll most likely end up lying and saying, “I’m fine.” Here’s a few reasons why:

1. My anxiety tells I’m a burden.

Anxiety can make you think poorly about yourself. It might tell you you’re worthless. It might tell you the ones you love would be better off without you. It might tell you by speaking about how you feel, you’re only bringing trouble or discomfort to your loved ones. (I don’t want to worry you.)

2. I don’t want wear you out.

Anxiety can be hard and overwhelming not only for the ones experiencing it, but for their loved ones. Maybe you won’t know how to help me and that will drain you as much as it drains me.

3. I don’t want to disappoint you.

Like I said, anxiety comes and goes, and I am afraid if I’ve been good for a while and anxiety comes back, you might think all my progress has gone to waste.

4. I don’t want to feel judged or invalidated.

On plenty of occasions when I’ve decided to speak up, I’ve had responses like: “You’re too negative;” “You shouldn’t worry so much about that;” “You never look at the bright side;” “You are always expecting the worst;” “You have no reason to feel that way;” “It is absurd that you are worried about that;” “It is absurd to think/feel that way;” “What you are saying doesn’t make any sense.”

It’s true the thoughts and feelings generated by anxiety may not make any “sense “at all. Mental health conditions may not make any sense at all. I don’t expect you to understand why or how I’m feeling, but I would like for you to try and listen. Just listen, and make no judgement. Offer me comfort, offer me love, offer a hug, a shoulder to cry on, a safe space, and remind me that everything is going to be OK and that I’m not alone.

Follow this journey on BPD Feels.

Getty image via Mandryna

Originally published: April 5, 2019
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