People often misconstrue the two ideas. People couldn’t be more wrong. People can be so misguided and judgmental. They sacrifice empathy and understanding for quick witted commentaries on how people live their lives. No, anxious people aren’t just going through worried times. There’s a stark difference, and you should make an effort to understand why one is serious and why the other isn’t. When people worry, they only burden themselves with a nagging thought that comes and goes whenever it pleases. When people are anxious, they live in a perpetual state of dread and terror that induces palpitations and hurried breathing. It’s understandable how the similarities between having anxiety and just plain worrying can confuse people, however, the underlying implications of such feelings can’t be any more different than they really are.
Anxiety is when you find yourself experiencing constant sleep deprivation. You spend most nights in a dark room staring up at the ceiling trying to count the hours until you have to get up and face another day. You toss and turn; open and close your eyes; hope that any minute now your body allows you to relax. Your physical faculties are exhausted but your mind is still practically running a marathon because of how much activity is going on in there. The troubles of everyday life are overwhelming to you and you succumb to your natural impulses to engage in overthinking. It’s like you’re dealing with nightmares even though you’re still awake. The stress of negative thoughts continue to rack your brain as the night goes on.
Anxiety is when you wake up, but you’re already tired, and you’re just not ready to start the day. Anxiety is when you have to work double time just to be able to make sure that your fatigue does not betray you throughout the day. Anxiety is when you play multiple scenarios (whether past, present, or future; whether real or fictional) over and over again in your head until you feel like it practically burns out but it never does. It just keeps on going and going, and you’re left wondering how long your body will be able to keep up with this kind of heavy mental and emotional stimulation. Anxiety is an endless autonomous reimagining of memories in your head, playing what-ifs and could-have-beens until you’ve exhausted all possible scenarios. You’re not even given time to recover because your mind then moves on to another set of reimagined memories.
Anxiety is when you feel like you want to kill yourself because you aren’t getting a reply. Did you type the wrong thing? Was your cellphone working properly? Were you offensive in how you wrote your message? Was there something you’ve done in your past to warrant a late reply? It’s all your fault. It must be. Your anxiety is telling you that you are imperfect and people can see your imperfections as if they’re written on your forehead. In reality, they really don’t think much of you, but in your anxious state, you’re always thinking that you’re the subject of people’s impure thoughts and ridicule.
Anxiety is what makes you feel like you’re waiting for better days that you don’t think will ever come.
Anxiety is what makes waiting unbearable and what makes impatient outbursts the much more appealing approach. Restlessness and the natural impulse to make corrective measures where they were never required are common practices for anxious people. Anxiety can trigger unnecessary acts of redemption where no failures or downfalls were present in the first place. Anxiety ignites a natural affection for hyper awareness in the sense that you over-sensationalize what people think of when they see you. Anxiety is when your self-driven thoughts make you so agoraphobic that you start avoiding certain triggers and situations altogether, making you feel like a social pariah.
Anxiety is when you become hypochondriac to such an extent that you’ll become the master of self-diagnosis and you’ll probably have every medical test done on yourself to rid yourself of the stress of having one illness or the other. Anxiety leaves a chronic bruise on the ego, and it continually eats away at peoples’ self-esteem and confidence. Anxiety is what encourages people to just lock themselves up in their room and find distractions to what’s slowly chomping at their insides. Anxiety is when you try so hard to be productive, but the fear ends up paralyzing you into inactivity and idleness. You have so much built up mental energy, but your body is too physically exhausted to manifest your anxieties into anything productive. You only have your anxiety, but nothing positive to show for it.
Anxiety is when you feel the need to just control every aspect of your life but also when you recognize your own helplessness. It’s what makes people think that they are powerless in the universe and that it’s virtually impossible for anyone to maintain a grasp on anything in this world. Anxiety is what causes even the strongest minds to burn out.
Despite the harsh realities that anxious people have to live with every single day of their lives, there is but one idea worth salvaging: that anxiety exists in other people as well. Anxiety is not a monster that people need to face alone and that is enough to comfort them in their battles. For those of you reading this who are, in fact, facing this demon everyday, please know that you’re not alone and it will get better, you will see better days.
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