Things We Wish We Could Say To People Without Anxiety

Things We Wish We Could Say To People Without Anxiety

The things we wish we could explain to those who question anxiety.

"Why are you anxious..?" You ask me.

What's funny is, you have no idea that in my head I'm asking myself the exact same thing.

'...Why am I anxious?' I think to myself.

The truth is, I have no idea. If I knew why I was anxious, I probably would have figured out how to fix it. How to make it go away. How to make it stop interrupting my every day life.. But the truth is I don't know. Life throws me new curve balls every day and I'm going with the flow just like anyone else. Maybe just a little more on edge than some people..

We all have things we'd love to say to people even though we know we can't. Or maybe we could, but we avoid the confrontation because the mere thought of confrontation sends our heads spiraling into a place we'd just rather avoid at all cost.

If you suffer from anxiety, from that pins and needles, chest tightening, overwhelming sense of fear; these may be things you find yourself wishing you could say to people when they question it or offer advice.

"Do you really think this is fun for me? Do you really think I enjoy the constant chest tightening and pins and needles feeling in my hands and feet?" I think people are under the misconception that anxiety is fun. Or that it's a form of attention. Trust me, I'd rather not have your attention when I'm going through this. I'd rather you not know that I feel as if the earth around me is caving in and I have no where to escape. There is nothing fun about anxiety, and I'm searching for everything possible to help me cope with it. It's hard to explain to someone that doesn't understand it or even to those that assume they do.

"Don't you think I've tried just about every thought possible to make this stop? If I could just stop thinking about it, you wouldn't have to tell me to stop because it wouldn't be an issue!" Unfortunately it's not that easy for those of us with anxiety, which is why I go to counseling. I'm learning how to cope with my anxiety. While I know you're trying to help, it's doing the exact opposite. I try and think about millions of other things when I'm anxious..

But it's like riding a roller-coaster that I can't get off of. I can't get off till it's done. There is no emergency stop, there are twists and turns, highs and lows and I'm just riding along. It looks like I'm fine on the outside, maybe even enjoying the ride. But truth be told, I hate roller-coasters. On the inside, I'm screaming for it to stop. Screaming over and over again to some imaginary figure I'm hoping can come along and stop this Hell for me. But I just ride along till it's done.

Sure, I can sit in the roller-coaster and try to picture something as simple as sitting on a boat on the lake. Something calming and relaxing; but the second that roller-coaster flips me upside down, I'm back to reality. That I'm stuck in a roller-coaster that decides for me when I can get off.

"Yes, there is medicine for that. Yes, I'm on medicine.. And no, it's not fun." Now while my medicinal solution is only temporary, as I am getting through post part-um depression, anxiety and OCD, some people aren't as lucky. They have to take this medicine every day and trust me... There is nothing fun about it. The days I forget to take it are terrible. I'm on edge, only a few hours without it and my body already goes through withdrawal. Anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication is not fun. It's not something to aspire to be on, and if you can avoid it at all cost, please do. It's made me an emotionless zombie most days and that's no way to go through life.

And medicine is only a small part in over-coming it. It takes a counselor, a strong support system and maybe even some significant lifestyle changes. Medicine is merely a tiny piece in this giant puzzle we're solving.

So I ask you, please, don't judge your friend, family member or significant other if they say they're feeling anxious, suffer from anxiety or go through an anxiety attack. It's a roller-coaster that we can't get off of. We just learn to ride alone. But some days, the ride is too hard and we may seem on edge, or angry. But we're not.

We're just physically and mentally tired from this roller-coaster and our patience has ran thin. But we're thankful for the patience you share with us. We promise we're learning how to cope with it. It just may take a little while. And while we know you're questions come from a place of love and concern, sometimes all we need is a shoulder to cry on. Or for someone to tell us, it's gonna be okay. Or to say, I'll sit beside you on this roller-coaster and take this head on with you.

I promise, that is the most you can do to help. And while sometimes we may forget to tell you, we're beyond thankful for you and we love you.

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Loving An Addict: The End Of You And Me

I knew this would be how we would end, but I never thought it'd be so soon.

I've rewritten this a thousand times. It's been edited, and edited again. I can't seem to get it right. Maybe because I'm not ready.

Or, maybe it's because there's a part of me that'll never be ready to say we reached the end. Maybe, just maybe, there's a fraction of a possibility we haven't.

I posted this quote once, on Instagram: "One day, whether you are 14, 28, or 65 you will stumble upon someone who will start a fire in you that cannot die. However, the saddest, most awful truth you will ever come to find-- is they are not always with whom we spend our lives."

And you looked at me the next time I was at your house, busted my balls, and said, "I saw your Instagram post about me." You proceeded to recite the entire thing word for word. I laughed, because at the time I posted it, it wasn't about you, and you hadn't even been following my private account, so someone must have showed it to you. It wasn't about you at the time I posted it, but maybe it was always meant to be.

I went to Hawaii last week. And I can't tell you how many times I felt you there; on the tarmac as the plane landed, the sun dipping under the horizon. In the sunshine as I laid my head back, floating in the ocean. On the edge of a cemented outcropping of Diamond Head that's off limits. And most importantly, by my side-- on the beach, at Manoa Falls-- in some small piece of every adventure I had.

I tried to leave you in 2016. Yet you still managed to be the first kiss of 2017 the same way you were the last one of 2016. I never could shut you out or leave you, not really, no matter what you did to me. And I have some small comfort in the fact that I was your last kiss, even though you won't be mine. And that you never left me either, no matter what I did to you.

I wrote you a letter, last year, and told you some things. Things like you couldn't be in the cards for me; you couldn't even be in the same deck, because you'd always be an addict first and a husband second. That you'd have to fight those demons every day. That I'd never understand that craving, but I would feel that pain. And holy shit, do I feel that pain.

But I was wrong. I owed you more than that. And I am so sorry.

I tried to build you up with my words, but I still managed to tear you down with my actions. I was afraid of being hurt-- again-- and again, and again. So I tried to hurt you instead.

Two wrongs don't make a right, and in the end I think I started to realize that. I tried to turn it around for us; to accept you as you were.

But you told me that effort and trying wouldn't be enough for us. I guess you knew something I didn't. And maybe they wouldn't have been enough. Because as hard as I tried, I could never save you.

You knew my worst fear, babe. I told you a million times. Walking into work at the county morgue and seeing your name on that board. Picking up the phone and listening to some cop rattle off your name while I was expected to take the details, handle the call and your corpse. Waking up next to you dead in bed, stiff and foaming at the mouth.

And while I did wake up next to you, alive, on Saturday, it doesn't change the fact that you were still dead by Sunday. It happened a little differently than I imagined it, but my worst fear came true just the same. I still lost you. And in losing you, I still lost the future I vehemently denied wanting, in a feeble attempt to stave the pain. And guess what? I still feel all of that pain anyways. Part of me will feel all of that pain, for the rest of my life.

I'm not alone, in my grieving. You have parents, and sisters, and cousins; aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas, friends. All of these people that loved you; they all tried to save you the only way they knew they could. None of it could have ever been enough.

You'll never be a husband, or a dad. You'll never meet your future nieces or nephews. You'll never breathe, ever again. You made me the person who's going to be thirty-two, standing at your grave.

And while we may move forward, love, we will never really move on. We'll never "get over" losing you; a brother, a son, a friend. Whatever you and me were.

We'll move forward, and keep spreading your legacy. Because everyone should know just how beautiful you truly were, inside and out. Because for all the pain you felt, and everything we went through, you were still the light in every room.

I'll forever miss your smile, and the way we'd be at each others' throats. The way you'd duck away, trying to hide your laugh and your smile when you didn't want me to know you thought what I said was funny. The way you'd hug me from behind the second I was within five feet of another guy. The way we used to fight. God, I love the way we used to fight. And I can't begin to express to you how unreal this still is to me.

We weren't dating. We weren't even together. We could go months without speaking and pick up where we left off without a hitch. We weren't everything, but we were something. You were my best friend, my biggest weakness, and a giant pain in my ass. You were my future, so long as you were breathing. I could do anything, be anyone, so long as there was hope for you and me in the end.

I don't know how to live in a world where you're not breathing. So far, I've hated every second of it. And I'm not the only one.

I told you that if you died, I died. Remember? And I did. The person that I was before I lost you, is buried in the ground beside you. Who I am now, is something I haven't entirely yet come to comprehend.

And now I'm left standing here, looking at all of the promises we made each other. Promises we never got the chance to fulfill. I knew that some day I'd lose you. That one day I'd wake up in a world where you'd ceased to exist. And still I prayed, I prayed that I'd be wrong. I hoped, until the very last day, that you'd turn it around for me, no matter how stupid that sounds.

But now I lay here in your shirt and I look through videos and pictures and the black cavern that sits in my chest aches at the edges, while grief sucker punches me in the gut and steals air from my lungs. You are so loved, bubby, by everyone who knew you.

I said at the beginning, that maybe there's a fraction of a possibility that this isn't the end, not really. On Earth, maybe. But I know in a sense you're still here; your presence. And even though this is the end of us down here, I know that someday you'll be waiting for me. And you'll say, "Let's go home," like you always did after a long night. And you'll be ready this time. And I'll be ready too. And then we'll begin again.

Cover Image Credit: Rachel Perna

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We Are As Free As We Choose To Be

Unchain your mind.

Isn’t it quite cynical to choose a life that wastes our fleeting days? Isn’t it painfully sad to have an overabundance of opportunities, yet we crawl into bed, unaccomplished, alone, and not where we want to be?

We say, “oh, tomorrow, it will be better.”

We say, “it won’t be like this for long.”

But what if your ways stay stagnant because you’re too reserved to move? You are running in place because you’ve chained yourself to a false reality that has kept you small and comfortable for far too long. It’s easier this way — I’ve said it all before too because at the time I didn’t realize, I was staring fear in the face and it looked like my friend.

As I watch and learn from those around me, I’ve seen it all too and my biggest take away will be that choosing comfort over growth is a fatal decision; it’s in the continuous belittling things we do that destroys our well-being, our consciousness, our integrity until we are morphed into someone who retreats at the idea of failure, rejection, and discomfort — until we morph into someone we are no longer proud of.

We are as free as we choose to be — as blessed and humbled as our minds dare grant us. We have all capabilities in the world to create a life we love and nourish our soul that radiates from the inside out. It should be a simple choice, although it may not always be the easiest because temptation is real and inclusion feels vital. Yet, how do you expect to always fit in if your soul is requiring you to be on another journey, a new path, uncharted territory?

When things go sour, relationships fall through, and opportunities turn a blind eye to us, those instances can be considered a prominent end or a flourishing beginning to start something new or try again. It’s quite special to have all this power inside of you, to be strong in your convictions, to know your worth; so why would you spend one more moment doubting your existence? Why would you spend one more moment pondering all the lost causes?

Why wouldn’t you spend every moment of your life loving deeper and living to the fullest?

There’s one thing I know for sure, I will continue to choose my freedom, without chains, burdens, and obligations because in being truly free, I will know my most true, authentic self.

Cover Image Credit: Ashley DeBoer

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