After the death of Robin Williams, I wrote about my struggles with depression. It felt good to write about it, but now I feel like I have to write about another issue that plagues me even more.
Depression is something that comes and goes for me, but anxiety lives with me every day. There have been a lot of really good articles about anxiety lately, and reading this one today made me think about just how much anxiety steals from my life. There are so many things I have passed up, and continue to pass up because my anxiety is so strong.
Everyone has an anxious moment from time to time, but it is so difficult to explain the type of anxiety I suffer from. I can go from feeling perfectly fine, to being totally gripped by fear in such a short time. The thing is, sometimes I know that the thing I’m worried about is irrational, but at that moment it is totally impossible to convince me that what I’m thinking won’t happen. The fear is so real, and telling me that it’s not, or that I’m overreacting just isn’t helpful. As the article points out, no one questions you if you have diabetes. But they question the fear you have during an anxiety attack. I promise you that the fear that I experience is so very real, and so very hard to shake.
I think my relationships suffer the most because of my anxiety. I’m an introvert, so I already have trouble making friends or meeting people, but once I do, I find I have more trouble sustaining those relationships because of anxiety. This is especially true in romantic relationships. It takes a special person to be able to love someone who suffers from this, and I think that I’m single largely because it becomes too much for a lot of people. I require a lot of reassurance, and that can get really old after a while. Men are fixers by nature, and this isn’t something they can fix, they just have to ride it out and help me through it. That’s not something a whole lot of people want to take on.
I have tried medications in the past with some success. Currently, I don’t take anything, but I see a lot of improvement when I’m eating healthy and exercising. I recognize that putting this out there, coupled with my post about depression makes me sound like a person you really wouldn’t want to spend much time around. Perhaps that’s the case, as I don’t have a lot of close friends, or a romantic partner. But, these are just parts of who I am as a whole, and the whole is not to bad.
If you know someone who struggle with anxiety, understand that you’ll really never know how they feel. The best way to support us is to distract us, reassure us, and just weather the storm with us.