I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember. Not the normal anxiety that gives you a yellow flag when you might be unsafe or something unusual is going on. Not the adrenaline rush that comes from almost getting in a car accident or being close to danger. I’m talking about constant, high intensity anxiety, all the time. I never get a break from it, no matter what I’m doing or how hard I try to relax. It’s always there, always telling me I’m in danger, even when I’m not.
I’ll be laying in bed and it will tell me that I’m about to die or that something terrible is about to happen. It will fill me with dread about the next day trying to ‘prepare’ me for danger. My anxiety is like general anxiety on steroids. It’s analyzing every situation I’m in, every conversation I have, every little thing that happens. It’s constantly analyzing my past trying to ‘learn’ from it.
I think the anxiety is trying to be helpful and trying to protect me, but in reality, everything it tells me is a lie.
Every time I hang out with a friend it tells me that I’m not safe and that I need to be careful what I say. It analyzes the energy of my friend, every reaction they have to what I say and tries to get me to say things I know my friend will want to hear. It makes it so hard to have real, authentic friendships because the anxiety is always telling me it’s not safe to be myself or share my struggles. It’s trying to protect me from rejection, but it’s wrong. The truth is that it’s OK for me to trust people who are trustworthy. It’s safe for me to be open with my friends and show them who I really am. But the anxiety doesn’t want me to take that risk.
It makes it so hard to enjoy life because it’s always trying to prepare me for something bad that might happen. Even when I’m not in danger and everything is OK it still blares the alarm bells and keeps me tense all the time. It wants me to always be on guard just in case something bad happens so that I’m prepared. But it’s no way to live and it doesn’t keep me safe like it thinks it does.
I so badly want to enjoy life and feel safe. I want to be able to relax and feel OK.
Everything the anxiety tells me is a lie but it feels so automatic, it feels impossible to not listen to it. Even when I know it’s lying to me it’s still hard to ignore it because it’s so loud and convincing.
I’m currently working on this in therapy. I have an amazing therapist who is teaching me to challenge those anxious thoughts and connect to what’s true. It’s definitely taking a while and it’s very hard but I have hope that one day I won’t have to live like this anymore. I have hope that one day my voice will be louder than the anxiety’s voice and I’m going to keep working through it until I get there.
If you have anxiety like this, too, you’re not the only one. I’ve talked to a lot of people who struggle with the exact same thing. I definitely encourage you to find a therapist who can help and if you want support from other people who are going through the same thing, the WhiteFlag app is amazing. You’re not alone in this and I know that we can both get through it. Sending you lots of love. I’m glad you’re here.
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