Having anxiety for the past year and a half has not been the easiest “thing” for me to handle. And unfortunately, it hasn’t been for my friends either. I use the term thing in quotations because I still don’t know what to make of it. I’ve lost sleep because my mind is racing, there have been times where I barely have two meals a day because my appetite is barely there and I’ve had crying fits because I feel like I can’t handle whatever thoughts are going through my mind.
That is just scratching the surface of what anxiety feels to me. I wish I could tell you what exactly triggered me to start getting anxious. I told everyone it was school (or some guy trouble), but that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. I was excelling at school. College wasn’t stressful and it wasn’t a surmountable amount of a challenge that I couldn’t handle it. If anything school work kept me balanced but not even that was enough of a distraction from my middle of the night thoughts.
I think the only good thing about going through it is the fact that I didn’t feel alone. I had my friends there to support me. I would call them with every little mundane thought I had and they would reassure me that everything was OK and that I shouldn’t entertain “those” thoughts.
And everything was great, for a while.
My anxiety got the best of me when I realized that I wasn’t getting any better and I thought I was getting on my friends, nerve. There is not a worst, feeling in the world then when you’re going through something and you feel like you can’t rely on anyone. I kept rehashing the same problems over and over again to my friends and they would tell me the same solutions that I felt were not working for me.
Eventually, and I don’t know how, the idea that I am getting on their nerves with my problems surfaced. Here’s the thing. I was reminded of something important in one of my early moments with anxiety.
People have their own life to focus on
Of course, I knew that already. I am not self-absorbed to not realize that people have their own life to go through. I remember in one of my counseling sessions I told my counselor “I don’t feel like I am being there for my friends” but it wasn’t until recently that I figured “how can I be there for my friends the way I am feeling?” There is a difference between being with them physically and helping them emotionally.
That doesn’t mean that they can’t come to me when they have something going on. Thankfully I can get my shit together and say the right things when they need me. At least I think so. They haven’t said otherwise. However, it was recently brought to my attention that the way that I have “been feeling” — without any desire to hang out or do anything, is going to hinder my friendships. That if I keep bringing up the same subject over and over again my friends were going to stop trying to hang out with me. That was an actual conversation I had a couple of nights ago.
That could very well be true but friends are supposed to help each other not make one feel incompetent in trying to figure out how they should proceed with feeling better alone. So while I understand that people have their own life to focus on they shouldn’t forget about people they call friends who are going through anxiety or something in general.
Not everyone is meant to help you deal with it. Not everyone is equipped with the necessary tools to help you overcome whatever you are going through. But if I feel like I can’t go to you in my time of need then au revoir mon ami. I’ll deal with it on my own and I won’t bother you with it. It’s that simple. Our friendship won’t suffer just because I feel like you can’t be there for me. But if you still need me by all means, I am always open.
But I am thankful for the few friends who I feel that I could talk to about this. They have been terribly great at not making me feel like I am bothering them, even though that is a thought that constantly pops up. They are busy with life but they still manage to make time for me. So I wanted to say thank you. For not giving up on me when I was so close to shutting the door. For keeping me sane when I felt like I was going insane with worry, thoughts and anxious moments.
I am really thankful because 'til this day, they haven’t given up on me.