Anxiety... It is a disease that you can't see, it isn't like the cold where your head is stuffy, your nose runny and your eyes puffy. You can't see it. You can’t touch it. You can’t smell it. But I can feel it on every inch of your body, consuming me, and grabbing hold of me and pulling me in, pulling me under.
It shows its ugly face at the most inconvenient time. It's a parasite that without permission finds its way inside my brain. It’s the monster under the bed, it won’t go away no matter how many times I try turning on the light. It’s the scariness lurking in the dark waiting for me to walk by, wanted to instill fear at the worst possible moments.
Not even in m dreams do I feel safe; it'll appear, taunting me and telling me I'm not enough. It'll whispers as I fall asleep telling me, You are worthless. No one likes you, just give up.
A new day doesn't just make it disappear. It'll whisper to me, making my brain run in a million different directions. It makes me want to sleep. It makes me want to hide away. It makes me want to give up, because I'm worthless.
If you pay close attention to me my anxiety appears through the wringing of my hands, and the casual way I bite the inside of my cheek so hard it'll bleed. It shows up through the way I tap my foot almost as if I'm getting ready to run. Running away from the anxiety, from the pain, from the way I view myself.
It appears in hundreds of unanswered questions all at once that pound at your head without warning. Am I good enough for him? Am I good enough for this job? Do I look pretty today? Is this mistake going to cost me my career? What if I never succeed? What if all I ever do is fail? Am I good enough? Am I as pretty as she is? Am I smart enough? Do I make enough money? Am I tall enough? Am I too fat? These questions sit in my head and taunt me everyday!
Anxiety shows up in my constant yawning, in a desperate attempt to get more air into my collapsing lungs. It shows up in the weight on my chest, making me feel like an elephant is standing on my heart. Making me feel like I'll never take another breath of air.
It creeps into my life, at the happiest of moments. It starts so quietly, almost like it'll be a day without it. Out of no where I begin to get consumed by it's raging fire.
There are the day I wake up and I don't have the elephant on my chest, I feel happy, I feel free. I think it is gone, gone for good! But it comes and goes in waves. When the waves come they'll consume me once again.
Anxiety is EVIL. It'll attempt to hide away for months at a time, out of nowhere it is back, consuming all of me, eating my soul, eating my self love, eating my dignity.
It shows up in the way I look into the mirror one too many times before leaving the house. Through the swinging of my foot. Through the tears that show up unexplained. Through the picking of my hair. Through the sleepless nights. Until all I feel like is death warmed over.
Anxiety is all consuming. And just because it can't be touched or examined. Because I'm not having panic attacks everyday or other people don’t notice it written on my face, doesn’t mean that it’s not there. And it doesn’t mean that it doesn't scare the shit out of me. I've learned to live, I've learned to deal