Your anxiety is lying to you
As someone who has spent countless hours with sweaty palms and a somersaulting stomach, I’m here to tell you something super important.
Your anxiety is lying to you.
I’m not here to patronize you. The worst is when you’re trying to explain your anxiety to someone and all they tell you is that you need to get over it because ‘it’s all in your head.’ Obviously it’s all in our head. No one needs or wants to be told that.
But sometimes, it helps to be reminded that the horrible things we tell our anxious selves aren’t true.
So, here I am. I know this might not help. There were times I could be reminded a hundred times how all thoughts leaving me on the edge of a breakdown were nothing but fiction and it wouldn’t make a difference. Sometimes, though, it just took that one extra time and it’d start to sink in. I could finally grab hold of the reassurance from my patient friends and start to fight back. Like it was a tiny little sword and shield I could take to battle.
So now I’m handing you yours.
You’re not bothering your friends.
If they’re not texting back right away, it’s not because they’re tired of talking to you. They’re probably just tired. We all get busy and we all have our own lives to worry about, and sometimes we just need a little time to ourselves. That doesn’t mean they hate talking to you.
You’re not a failure.
It’s okay if you don’t do great on a test, it’s okay if you don’t get hired at a great company straight out of college. Things will happen for you when they’re meant to, and it doesn’t matter how fast you think your friends are ‘succeeding’ without you. Life isn’t a race or a competition, and you’re not failing. You’re just living your life the best you can and you’re doing things at your own pace. There’s nothing wrong with that.
You’re not always saying the wrong things.
I know sometimes it feels like we’re one awkward comment away from needing to leave civilization, but most of the time we’re the only ones who even remember what we said! No one has a script. We all fumble and say things we wish we could take back. And more importantly, we all understand when someone else does it, too. It’s no big deal.
You’re going to be okay.
Anxiety can make you feel like you’re about to die. Literally. Sometimes you don’t even know why or what you’re afraid of, you just know you are and you need to hide. Or run. Or cry. I know sometimes it’s hard to believe, but you’re going to be okay. There are people who love you and will help you if you need it.
You are good enough.
I think one of the worst things about anxiety is that it finds the worst things you think about yourself and has you panicking that everyone else thinks them, too. They don’t. I promise you, you are good enough.
Anxiety isn’t rational, and I know sometimes you can be damn near certain your brain isn’t telling you the truth but still – you can’t shake that fear. That pit in your stomach, that aching feeling of dread like something awful is lurking just out of sight.
All I can do for you is do what my best friends did for me. I can just be your 101st reminder that your anxiety is lying to you. I can hope this gives you at least a moment of relief until you find a bigger sword and shield.
Just don’t give up fighting.