6 Things You Need To Know About Me and My Anxiety

6 Things You Need To Know About Me and My Anxiety

I'm still me

Well, here it is, I'm finally coming clean about something that has been (literally) haunting me for as long as I can remember. I have anxiety and it affects the way that I live my life. I've struggled with it for almost as long as I can remember and a lot of times it goes unnoticed by the people in my everyday life. A lot of my personal relationships suffer because of the way my mind talks to me. As the years have passed, I'm learning to cope with my anxieties and approach them in a sensible manner, but part of that requires letting the people in my life know some major things about how I personally deal with the way that I am.

1. Sometimes, I just need to be alone

If it has been a really long and stressful day at school or at work, the first thing that I want to do when I get home is go straight to my room and sit on the floor. I need the time to recollect my thoughts of the day because truthfully, I'm still processing some of the awkward run-ins I had with people in my 8 am class. I like to just sit by myself and recall the entire day moment by moment before I'm ready to deal with other people.

2. I'm very nervous

I know tons of people who don't really understand this one, but I get nervous about absolutely everything. I get nervous pulling out my ID to get on the bus and standing in line for my favorite ride that I just got off of less than five minutes ago. Deep deep down, I know that nothing is wrong, but my shaking hands and wobbling legs find it very very hard to believe.

3. I'm an overthinker

Truth be told, that one conversation we had 3 years ago where you made that joke about how my fly was unzipped, still haunts me every time I see you. You might have forgotten what you had for breakfast but I remember (sometimes verbatim) conversations that I've had with people, even if they mean absolutely nothing.

4. I get angry

This one a lot of people know, but I'm easily angered and frustrated. Most of the time it's my anxiety taking over my thoughts and I'm angry at myself for letting it get to me. I just need you to understand that me being mad at you, is most likely me being mad at myself for being mad in the first place.

5. I value relationships

Because I find it really difficult to develop relationships with people, essentially because of my fear, I value the relationships that I have with people. It takes me a long time to open up about who I am and the things that my mind tells me.

6. I'm just me

Most importantly, I've been dealing with this for so many years of my life that I've been able to become more vocal about the thoughts that eat my brain. This is something that I deal with on a day to day basis, and I just want you to be aware. Don't treat me differently because all of a sudden you think I'm fragile and weird. I'm just me and that has never changed.

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How My Friends Help Me Manage My Anxiety

Living with anxiety can be a constant struggle, but having friends who understand can help.


Sometimes I can predict if something will cause me anxiety, but sometimes it creeps up out of nowhere. Just because I can predict that a situation will cause me to feel anxious doesn't mean I can just avoid it. Most of the anxiety-inducing situations I encounter I want to overcome, like taking an exam, public speaking or going to a party. I have my own coping methods for when I feel anxious, but having someone close by for support makes a world of difference.

Not everyone will have the same experience when having a panic attack, and just because these tips work for me does not mean they will work for everyone, so it is important to ask your friend what they want you to do. When I started being honest with my friends about my anxiety and they asked how they could help, here's what I told them:

It's okay to ask me if I am having anxiety. I have learned that talking about my anxiety when I am feeling it can help ease my mind. Sharing my feelings provides a sense of relief and allows other people to better understand why I am acting the way I am. When I am at a party and someone asks why I am taking a break in the corner, I've found it is way more beneficial for me to tell the truth than try to brush off how I am feeling. It may seem weird to have this kind of honest and open discussion in the middle of a party, but hearing myself say it out loud and having someone understand how I am feeling can actually lessen the stress of the situation.

If I am having a panic attack, please don't touch me. I tend to feel very claustrophobic when I am having a panic attack. I feel like everything is closing in on me. Some people may feel comforted by a hug, but it is important to ask the person you are comforting at the moment what they want you to do. For me, holding my hand or just being a calm presence in the room is enough.

I asked that they don't leave without telling me. I depend on my friends as a crutch in situations I find stressful or overwhelming. If they leave me alone when I am counting on them, I feel completely abandoned and it increases my chance of a panic attack.

I understand it is very easy to get frustrated, especially because a lot of time I can't explain why I am feeling the way I am. It is fine to ask why I am feeling anxious because there may be something that can be done to ease my mind, but if I can't find a reason for feeling panicked then please don't push the subject.

Another bonus of telling my friends how they can help me control my anxiety is that I stopped getting anxiety about if I would get anxiety. Just knowing my friends have my back if I ever start to feel panicky is a weight lifted and eases the pressure of having to pretend that everything is okay.

I also want to emphasize please take me seriously and please don't stop inviting me places. I love spending time with my friends, meeting new people and going on adventures. I don't choose to have anxiety. I am so grateful my friends are there to support me when I need them, and I always try to be there for them in any way I can.

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