Kelly Gallagher

@whathumanlookslike | contributor
Hello, I am a human. I love and hate and suffer like everyone else does but in my own unique way. Some people love me and some dislike me maybe even hate me and that's okay. I am a pretty outspoken woman, a mother and wife, daughter, sister and friend. I cuss too much but don't care. I love the outdoors and especially the Moon and Trees. I enjoy writing and sharing if it helps me cope and if it helps someone else feel less alone. Illness is lonely. - K
Community Voices

Struggling With Friendships Because of an Anxiety Disorder

We make friends all through our lives. Some we will keep for a short time, and others will stay for years or decades. Some friends will truly become family, and those friendships last a lifetime. These friendships may change, grow, or fade as our lives develop and change, which is normal. I truly believe we meet everyone in our lives for a reason and that we will learn something from all the interactions we have. Unfortunately, though, these relationships may not always be enjoyable. My anxiety has not made my ability to have and keep friendships easy. This does not surprise me because having to deal with myself is hard enough. I often feel like a burden to those close to me. At times, I try to hide my struggle and put a smile on my face, trucking through like all is fine. Other times, I can be more open and vulnerable when I am feeling safe with specific people and secure in my surroundings. I am unable to say exactly how long I have been struggling with anxiety and panic disorder , but I have pinpointed one moment when I was around 17 or 18 years old when it was clear to me that I struggled with anxiety. When I was taking the public transit to work for a shift at the mall, the bus wasn’t even all that busy, but the chatter of people talking and noise of the bus itself started to make me feel irritable — even sick to my stomach. I felt like I needed to cover my ears , close my eyes and make it all disappear, or I would scream for everyone to shut up. I made it to work, and I was OK, but after that day, I spoke to my family doctor to get help. On the outside, most people cannot see the pain and struggle I have inside of me on a daily basis. I am 44 years old now, and managing my anxiety is still a work in progress. There have been good days, months, and even years along with bad, terrible, and ugly times. What I have found over the past 20-plus years is that for me, it is much easier to maintain friendships and relationships if you keep your “shit” to yourself, hide it, stuff it away, and be “happy.” Guess what? I learned that is easier for other people in my life — but not necessarily for me. This can make life more difficult for some people with anxiety — when you manage your anxiety alone and then make sure it doesn’t affect anyone else either. Well, that is often not a sustainable option, and it can be exhausting and downright miserable. In my opinion, stuffing down my anxiety can feel like abuse of myself. I don’t think I am being authentic or fair to myself by pretending I am someone I am not. The problem is that doesn’t always make me the most desirable person to be around. At times, I am a pessimist, moody, sad, self-loathing, and scared, but over time, I have learned to seek help. Despite how others may perceive me, I am happy a lot of the time in my safe spaces, with comforting people where I can be myself and not worry about judgment. I want to feel happy, I do not want to complain, and if I am speaking up, it is because I need some support — not because I want to whine and cry. I found that through medication, therapy, reading, and researching that what helps me the most is sharing and asking for what I need. I have three daughters and a husband , so this can be crucial for our health as a family. If I anticipate anxiety on the horizon, like if a stressful event is coming up or some additional stress has landed on my plate, I can discuss it with my family or close friends. Then they know what I need from them during this time. I am so thankful for their patience and support. I personally don’t want to share all my struggles with everyone all the time, but if I am sharing, it is likely because I could use some encouragement or support. Sometimes the timing of that need is not good — friends sometimes have their own struggles, and they can’t always take the time to invest in you the same as your family does, which is OK. If that is communicated to a person with anxiety, it can receive a lot of fears that they are not being ignored, they are heard, and they are supported from afar. As a way to protect myself, though, I can’t continue to put myself out there to friends who are unable to attempt to see things from my perspective and give me a chance. There comes a time when you may need to reevaluate if this relationship is positive for you and your friend. What I am beginning to understand is that it can be hard to be my friend. I believe I am a great friend, and when a little time is invested and a little care and understanding is given, I am a true, dear, loyal person. With all my great qualities and my not-so-enjoyable qualities, I have good intentions. I will do what I need to to keep myself healthy and happy for my own sake and for the sake of my children, who need a strong, healthy momma. Friendships may come, and some may fade, and that is OK. Maybe they will come around again when the time is right. I am thankful for all of my past, present, and future friends. I am thankful for what they have taught me, how they have allowed me to grow, and how they have shown me love and understanding. To my new and future friends, hold on — it might be a wild ride, but I can tell you I will always give you the love, support, and respect our friendship deserves if I nurture myself first.  

Struggling With Friendships Because of an Anxiety Disorder

We make friends all through our lives. Some we will keep for a short time, and others will stay for years or decades. Some friends will truly become family, and those friendships last a lifetime. These friendships may change, grow, or fade as our lives develop and change, which is normal. I truly believe we meet everyone in our lives for a reason and that we will learn something from all the interactions we have. Unfortunately, though, these relationships may not always be enjoyable. My anxiety has not made my ability to have and keep friendships easy. This does not surprise me because having to deal with myself is hard enough. I often feel like a burden to those close to me. At times, I try to hide my struggle and put a smile on my face, trucking through like all is fine. Other times, I can be more open and vulnerable when I am feeling safe with specific people and secure in my surroundings. I am unable to say exactly how long I have been struggling with anxiety and panic disorder , but I have pinpointed one moment when I was around 17 or 18 years old when it was clear to me that I struggled with anxiety. When I was taking the public transit to work for a shift at the mall, the bus wasn’t even all that busy, but the chatter of people talking and noise of the bus itself started to make me feel irritable — even sick to my stomach. I felt like I needed to cover my ears , close my eyes and make it all disappear, or I would scream for everyone to shut up. I made it to work, and I was OK, but after that day, I spoke to my family doctor to get help. On the outside, most people cannot see the pain and struggle I have inside of me on a daily basis. I am 44 years old now, and managing my anxiety is still a work in progress. There have been good days, months, and even years along with bad, terrible, and ugly times. What I have found over the past 20-plus years is that for me, it is much easier to maintain friendships and relationships if you keep your “shit” to yourself, hide it, stuff it away, and be “happy.” Guess what? I learned that is easier for other people in my life — but not necessarily for me. This can make life more difficult for some people with anxiety — when you manage your anxiety alone and then make sure it doesn’t affect anyone else either. Well, that is often not a sustainable option, and it can be exhausting and downright miserable. In my opinion, stuffing down my anxiety can feel like abuse of myself. I don’t think I am being authentic or fair to myself by pretending I am someone I am not. The problem is that doesn’t always make me the most desirable person to be around. At times, I am a pessimist, moody, sad, self-loathing, and scared, but over time, I have learned to seek help. Despite how others may perceive me, I am happy a lot of the time in my safe spaces, with comforting people where I can be myself and not worry about judgment. I want to feel happy, I do not want to complain, and if I am speaking up, it is because I need some support — not because I want to whine and cry. I found that through medication, therapy, reading, and researching that what helps me the most is sharing and asking for what I need. I have three daughters and a husband , so this can be crucial for our health as a family. If I anticipate anxiety on the horizon, like if a stressful event is coming up or some additional stress has landed on my plate, I can discuss it with my family or close friends. Then they know what I need from them during this time. I am so thankful for their patience and support. I personally don’t want to share all my struggles with everyone all the time, but if I am sharing, it is likely because I could use some encouragement or support. Sometimes the timing of that need is not good — friends sometimes have their own struggles, and they can’t always take the time to invest in you the same as your family does, which is OK. If that is communicated to a person with anxiety, it can receive a lot of fears that they are not being ignored, they are heard, and they are supported from afar. As a way to protect myself, though, I can’t continue to put myself out there to friends who are unable to attempt to see things from my perspective and give me a chance. There comes a time when you may need to reevaluate if this relationship is positive for you and your friend. What I am beginning to understand is that it can be hard to be my friend. I believe I am a great friend, and when a little time is invested and a little care and understanding is given, I am a true, dear, loyal person. With all my great qualities and my not-so-enjoyable qualities, I have good intentions. I will do what I need to to keep myself healthy and happy for my own sake and for the sake of my children, who need a strong, healthy momma. Friendships may come, and some may fade, and that is OK. Maybe they will come around again when the time is right. I am thankful for all of my past, present, and future friends. I am thankful for what they have taught me, how they have allowed me to grow, and how they have shown me love and understanding. To my new and future friends, hold on — it might be a wild ride, but I can tell you I will always give you the love, support, and respect our friendship deserves if I nurture myself first.  

Struggling With Friendships Because of an Anxiety Disorder

We make friends all through our lives. Some we will keep for a short time, and others will stay for years or decades. Some friends will truly become family, and those friendships last a lifetime. These friendships may change, grow, or fade as our lives develop and change, which is normal. I truly believe we meet everyone in our lives for a reason and that we will learn something from all the interactions we have. Unfortunately, though, these relationships may not always be enjoyable. My anxiety has not made my ability to have and keep friendships easy. This does not surprise me because having to deal with myself is hard enough. I often feel like a burden to those close to me. At times, I try to hide my struggle and put a smile on my face, trucking through like all is fine. Other times, I can be more open and vulnerable when I am feeling safe with specific people and secure in my surroundings. I am unable to say exactly how long I have been struggling with anxiety and panic disorder , but I have pinpointed one moment when I was around 17 or 18 years old when it was clear to me that I struggled with anxiety. When I was taking the public transit to work for a shift at the mall, the bus wasn’t even all that busy, but the chatter of people talking and noise of the bus itself started to make me feel irritable — even sick to my stomach. I felt like I needed to cover my ears , close my eyes and make it all disappear, or I would scream for everyone to shut up. I made it to work, and I was OK, but after that day, I spoke to my family doctor to get help. On the outside, most people cannot see the pain and struggle I have inside of me on a daily basis. I am 44 years old now, and managing my anxiety is still a work in progress. There have been good days, months, and even years along with bad, terrible, and ugly times. What I have found over the past 20-plus years is that for me, it is much easier to maintain friendships and relationships if you keep your “shit” to yourself, hide it, stuff it away, and be “happy.” Guess what? I learned that is easier for other people in my life — but not necessarily for me. This can make life more difficult for some people with anxiety — when you manage your anxiety alone and then make sure it doesn’t affect anyone else either. Well, that is often not a sustainable option, and it can be exhausting and downright miserable. In my opinion, stuffing down my anxiety can feel like abuse of myself. I don’t think I am being authentic or fair to myself by pretending I am someone I am not. The problem is that doesn’t always make me the most desirable person to be around. At times, I am a pessimist, moody, sad, self-loathing, and scared, but over time, I have learned to seek help. Despite how others may perceive me, I am happy a lot of the time in my safe spaces, with comforting people where I can be myself and not worry about judgment. I want to feel happy, I do not want to complain, and if I am speaking up, it is because I need some support — not because I want to whine and cry. I found that through medication, therapy, reading, and researching that what helps me the most is sharing and asking for what I need. I have three daughters and a husband , so this can be crucial for our health as a family. If I anticipate anxiety on the horizon, like if a stressful event is coming up or some additional stress has landed on my plate, I can discuss it with my family or close friends. Then they know what I need from them during this time. I am so thankful for their patience and support. I personally don’t want to share all my struggles with everyone all the time, but if I am sharing, it is likely because I could use some encouragement or support. Sometimes the timing of that need is not good — friends sometimes have their own struggles, and they can’t always take the time to invest in you the same as your family does, which is OK. If that is communicated to a person with anxiety, it can receive a lot of fears that they are not being ignored, they are heard, and they are supported from afar. As a way to protect myself, though, I can’t continue to put myself out there to friends who are unable to attempt to see things from my perspective and give me a chance. There comes a time when you may need to reevaluate if this relationship is positive for you and your friend. What I am beginning to understand is that it can be hard to be my friend. I believe I am a great friend, and when a little time is invested and a little care and understanding is given, I am a true, dear, loyal person. With all my great qualities and my not-so-enjoyable qualities, I have good intentions. I will do what I need to to keep myself healthy and happy for my own sake and for the sake of my children, who need a strong, healthy momma. Friendships may come, and some may fade, and that is OK. Maybe they will come around again when the time is right. I am thankful for all of my past, present, and future friends. I am thankful for what they have taught me, how they have allowed me to grow, and how they have shown me love and understanding. To my new and future friends, hold on — it might be a wild ride, but I can tell you I will always give you the love, support, and respect our friendship deserves if I nurture myself first.  

Community Voices

When every noise makes you feel crazy...

Anyone else feel like every tiny little noise made in your surroundings is amplified by a 1000. I’ve been feeling extra anxious yesterday and today. Everything is making me agitated. I have been working from home, helping with online school, my husbands presence is making me nuts, he’s trying to be helpful but it seems to make me more anxious.

The noise of the dishes being done make me want to scream. The sounds of anything “small”. Sometimes I just feel like I’m crazy and my family doesn’t understand what I’m feeling so I try to just not say a thing about it.

Thanks for listening. #Anxiety #trigger #noise #Family #workfromhome

14 people are talking about this
Community Voices

When every noise makes you feel crazy...

Anyone else feel like every tiny little noise made in your surroundings is amplified by a 1000. I’ve been feeling extra anxious yesterday and today. Everything is making me agitated. I have been working from home, helping with online school, my husbands presence is making me nuts, he’s trying to be helpful but it seems to make me more anxious.

The noise of the dishes being done make me want to scream. The sounds of anything “small”. Sometimes I just feel like I’m crazy and my family doesn’t understand what I’m feeling so I try to just not say a thing about it.

Thanks for listening. #Anxiety #trigger #noise #Family #workfromhome

14 people are talking about this
Community Voices

When every noise makes you feel crazy...

Anyone else feel like every tiny little noise made in your surroundings is amplified by a 1000. I’ve been feeling extra anxious yesterday and today. Everything is making me agitated. I have been working from home, helping with online school, my husbands presence is making me nuts, he’s trying to be helpful but it seems to make me more anxious.

The noise of the dishes being done make me want to scream. The sounds of anything “small”. Sometimes I just feel like I’m crazy and my family doesn’t understand what I’m feeling so I try to just not say a thing about it.

Thanks for listening. #Anxiety #trigger #noise #Family #workfromhome

14 people are talking about this

Helping My Daughter With Anxiety While Struggling With My Own

I have been struggling with my own anxiety since I was a teen, so I am not completely taken by surprise that my middle daughter, now 14, is displaying some intense symptoms of anxiety and stress. She’s always been a bit more temperamental than my oldest daughter and we have struggled and succeeded in getting through some hurdles through her developmental stages together. I am so proud of her and myself really because these were not easy times. We are now here again — in a place of uncertainty, frustration and at times hopelessness while we maneuver through this new challenge for her and us as a family. A positive here is that I understand her struggle; even though her anxiety displays in a different way than mine typically does, I can feel for her deeply. It took me a little time to realize what was happening, and what she was going through. You have a teenage female here; I was expecting some hormones, some ups and downs, happy and sad times, but things just didn’t seem right. I questioned in my head; is she manipulating me and the situation? Does my child just not want to go to school? Once I started really “seeing” her, the pain in her eyes, how she could not bring herself to even leave her bed, let alone the house, I knew this was more than just a teen being a teen. My child was in pain and truly suffering and struggling. I deal with my anxiety mostly by hiding it, and I hide it quite well more often than not. I get up each day and go about my routine, take care of myself and my family; no one knows what lurks inside my head, the pain and the struggle I fight each day. When it all gets too much, I break down, and then I rebuild and I get back to life again. I knew enough to reach out for help for myself from medical professionals, and over the years have found a way to manage with medication, and asking for help from a select few of people I can trust. I have learned ways to manage and get through those more difficult times. My beautiful young girl has a wonderful and promising life in front of her. I can see it all in my head and sometimes she does too. When her anxiety takes over, it looks different for her. My child shuts down, she cries, shakes and taps her fingers. She repeats negative dialogue out loud. She has no positive thoughts during those moments. She will get a headache and nausea long before an event she worries about is even going to happen. My child is going through torture and I am a spectator. We’ve learned some things that help her in these situations but it has not been near enough to help her in the long-term. As a parent, all you want to do is be able to help her, fix the problem and make everything better and easier. Anxiety is not a quick fix; Mommy can’t kiss it better. I hug and kiss her and hold her, motivate and reassure her always, but the anxiety ‘s voice is louder than mine, than hers. What are parent and child to do? We cry together. Her anxiety gives me anxiety; it feels like a vicious circle, but she’s my baby so I will fight through my pain to support her. Right now, we are asking for help; we have reached out to our family doctor and we are referred to the mental health program in our area. The waiting time is months long, but we are going to wait. We have advocated for her and have the support of her school, teachers and support staff and they have been wonderful to her and our family with accommodating as best as they can. I have given her support numbers to call if she can’t talk to me. I think, most importantly, we do not give up. We keep fighting for her, for us, for our family to live in joy and peace. For my child to get the support she needs so she can thrive and live a happy and fulfilling life. This will be a lifelong journey but we will do it together, hand in hand.

Helping My Daughter With Anxiety While Struggling With My Own

I have been struggling with my own anxiety since I was a teen, so I am not completely taken by surprise that my middle daughter, now 14, is displaying some intense symptoms of anxiety and stress. She’s always been a bit more temperamental than my oldest daughter and we have struggled and succeeded in getting through some hurdles through her developmental stages together. I am so proud of her and myself really because these were not easy times. We are now here again — in a place of uncertainty, frustration and at times hopelessness while we maneuver through this new challenge for her and us as a family. A positive here is that I understand her struggle; even though her anxiety displays in a different way than mine typically does, I can feel for her deeply. It took me a little time to realize what was happening, and what she was going through. You have a teenage female here; I was expecting some hormones, some ups and downs, happy and sad times, but things just didn’t seem right. I questioned in my head; is she manipulating me and the situation? Does my child just not want to go to school? Once I started really “seeing” her, the pain in her eyes, how she could not bring herself to even leave her bed, let alone the house, I knew this was more than just a teen being a teen. My child was in pain and truly suffering and struggling. I deal with my anxiety mostly by hiding it, and I hide it quite well more often than not. I get up each day and go about my routine, take care of myself and my family; no one knows what lurks inside my head, the pain and the struggle I fight each day. When it all gets too much, I break down, and then I rebuild and I get back to life again. I knew enough to reach out for help for myself from medical professionals, and over the years have found a way to manage with medication, and asking for help from a select few of people I can trust. I have learned ways to manage and get through those more difficult times. My beautiful young girl has a wonderful and promising life in front of her. I can see it all in my head and sometimes she does too. When her anxiety takes over, it looks different for her. My child shuts down, she cries, shakes and taps her fingers. She repeats negative dialogue out loud. She has no positive thoughts during those moments. She will get a headache and nausea long before an event she worries about is even going to happen. My child is going through torture and I am a spectator. We’ve learned some things that help her in these situations but it has not been near enough to help her in the long-term. As a parent, all you want to do is be able to help her, fix the problem and make everything better and easier. Anxiety is not a quick fix; Mommy can’t kiss it better. I hug and kiss her and hold her, motivate and reassure her always, but the anxiety ‘s voice is louder than mine, than hers. What are parent and child to do? We cry together. Her anxiety gives me anxiety; it feels like a vicious circle, but she’s my baby so I will fight through my pain to support her. Right now, we are asking for help; we have reached out to our family doctor and we are referred to the mental health program in our area. The waiting time is months long, but we are going to wait. We have advocated for her and have the support of her school, teachers and support staff and they have been wonderful to her and our family with accommodating as best as they can. I have given her support numbers to call if she can’t talk to me. I think, most importantly, we do not give up. We keep fighting for her, for us, for our family to live in joy and peace. For my child to get the support she needs so she can thrive and live a happy and fulfilling life. This will be a lifelong journey but we will do it together, hand in hand.

Helping My Daughter With Anxiety While Struggling With My Own

I have been struggling with my own anxiety since I was a teen, so I am not completely taken by surprise that my middle daughter, now 14, is displaying some intense symptoms of anxiety and stress. She’s always been a bit more temperamental than my oldest daughter and we have struggled and succeeded in getting through some hurdles through her developmental stages together. I am so proud of her and myself really because these were not easy times. We are now here again — in a place of uncertainty, frustration and at times hopelessness while we maneuver through this new challenge for her and us as a family. A positive here is that I understand her struggle; even though her anxiety displays in a different way than mine typically does, I can feel for her deeply. It took me a little time to realize what was happening, and what she was going through. You have a teenage female here; I was expecting some hormones, some ups and downs, happy and sad times, but things just didn’t seem right. I questioned in my head; is she manipulating me and the situation? Does my child just not want to go to school? Once I started really “seeing” her, the pain in her eyes, how she could not bring herself to even leave her bed, let alone the house, I knew this was more than just a teen being a teen. My child was in pain and truly suffering and struggling. I deal with my anxiety mostly by hiding it, and I hide it quite well more often than not. I get up each day and go about my routine, take care of myself and my family; no one knows what lurks inside my head, the pain and the struggle I fight each day. When it all gets too much, I break down, and then I rebuild and I get back to life again. I knew enough to reach out for help for myself from medical professionals, and over the years have found a way to manage with medication, and asking for help from a select few of people I can trust. I have learned ways to manage and get through those more difficult times. My beautiful young girl has a wonderful and promising life in front of her. I can see it all in my head and sometimes she does too. When her anxiety takes over, it looks different for her. My child shuts down, she cries, shakes and taps her fingers. She repeats negative dialogue out loud. She has no positive thoughts during those moments. She will get a headache and nausea long before an event she worries about is even going to happen. My child is going through torture and I am a spectator. We’ve learned some things that help her in these situations but it has not been near enough to help her in the long-term. As a parent, all you want to do is be able to help her, fix the problem and make everything better and easier. Anxiety is not a quick fix; Mommy can’t kiss it better. I hug and kiss her and hold her, motivate and reassure her always, but the anxiety ‘s voice is louder than mine, than hers. What are parent and child to do? We cry together. Her anxiety gives me anxiety; it feels like a vicious circle, but she’s my baby so I will fight through my pain to support her. Right now, we are asking for help; we have reached out to our family doctor and we are referred to the mental health program in our area. The waiting time is months long, but we are going to wait. We have advocated for her and have the support of her school, teachers and support staff and they have been wonderful to her and our family with accommodating as best as they can. I have given her support numbers to call if she can’t talk to me. I think, most importantly, we do not give up. We keep fighting for her, for us, for our family to live in joy and peace. For my child to get the support she needs so she can thrive and live a happy and fulfilling life. This will be a lifelong journey but we will do it together, hand in hand.