“It’s like you have two different people in your mind: one who is logical and one who is paranoid and crazy.”

Living with anxiety is all too real for so many people, like me. After dealing with anxiety for some time now, it’s frustrating when those I love don’t understand how I’m feeling, even though it’s not their fault. Nobody truly understands anxiety, not even those who have it.

It’s like you have two different people in your mind: one who is logical and one who is paranoid and crazy. Attacks come without warning and at the worst possible times. It’s a never-ending battle: Anxiety vs. Yourself. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but that’s OK. There are so many things that I wish my friends and family knew about what it is like to live with anxiety.

1. I am not my anxiety.

My anxiety does not define who I am as a person, but it changed me for the better.

2. Anxiety makes me question everything around me.

So if I question our relationship, please don’t take it personally.

3. I am not a pessimist.

I don’t want to have a negative outlook. In fact, I am a very happy person despite my anxiety.

4. I am not anti-social.

Sometimes, I just can’t get myself to go out and do things.

5. Telling me to calm down does the exact opposite.

That is the absolute last thing anyone with anxiety wants to hear.

6. I am not an attention seeker.

I don’t want attention, I want support.

7. Your effort to try to understand what I’m feeling means the world to me.

I know you don’t understand, no matter how hard you try, but it doesn’t go unnoticed.

8. Don’t tell me to stop worrying.

I can’t.

9. I know that I will be OK, even when I don’t feel like it.

Somedays are better than others.

10. I’m doing my best.

I promise.

11. I need to plan things out.

I can’t just wing it, it makes me anxious. So if I continuously ask you what we’re going to do, just give me an answer.

12. I’m not clingy.

I just don’t like being alone. Anxiety is the worst when I’m alone.

13. But sometimes I need to be alone.

It’s the only time I can think.

14. There is always so much going on in my mind, sometimes I can’t keep up with the world around me.

My mind is like traffic during rush hour.

15. Sometimes I can’t sleep because I can’t find a way to turn my mind off.

It’s like a never-ending movie of all the bad things that could possibly happen.

16. The things I get anxious about may seem irrational to you, but they are real to me.

Believe me, I know the things I worry about are silly, but they’re there.

17. I never know when it will hit me.

It will happen without warning and sometimes without cause.

18. When anxiety does hit me, I need you to support me.

Tell me that everything will be OK and try to understand where I am coming from.

19. Try to be patient with me.

Don’t get upset at me for something I can’t control.

20. I can’t make it stop.

No matter what I do, I can’t make it go away. It has to go away on its own.

21. It’s not your job to fix me.

Love me the way I am.

22. Don’t tell me to just “get over it.”

Because I can’t.

23. I get emotionally and physically tired easily.

You would too if your mind ran all day.

24. Change isn’t easy.

I’m comfortable in the same environment and around the same people.

25. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for all of the panic attacks, strain on our relationship, worrying, stressing, anger and pain that I’ve caused you. I know it’s hard, believe me.

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