Anxiety disorder isn’t something you can heal with a quick visit to the doctor and a pack of antibiotics. Anxiety disorders are no fun for anybody. Most people will never understand the true struggle to go through life with senses and feelings amplified to the point of a total madness. Because they will never be able to notice them.
Because from the outside you might think that girl has got everything figured out. You might assume that if her hair is all curled up and her cheeks are blushing, she must not have a single care in the world. And you might assume that since you can’t see something, there isn’t anything there.
You’ll make the mistake to judge the book by its pretty cover. And you’ll be terribly wrong.
Because anxiety is so much more. It’s an excruciating pain inside a person’s chest. It’s the constant heart rush which has the power to make a person crazy and agitated within a second.
It feels like every cell in the body is moving so fast, that despite the normal heartbeat, inside these people’s ears it feels like listening to a chaotic drum line. Or a daunting white noise from a broken tv.
Anxiety is not realizing that you’re gritting your teeth or insanely cracking your knuckles, or continuously tapping with your legs just because you’re out in a room full of people and you feel like your head is about to explode any minute now.
Anxiety is avoiding eye-contact at all costs. Not because you’re not listening to the person’s conversation, but because you’re listening to the frightening, and loud sound of your voice, desperately hoping that no one will ever find out about the madness inside your head.
… Because it is a freaking loud and disturbing noise while your palms are sweating like hell and you’re on a verge of a breakdown because somehow you forgot to speak with anything else than your deepest insecurities.
It feels like raging fire inside your chest. It feels like a sudden burst of fear and worries that something isn’t right. And it doesn’t add up like in high-school mathematics. You struggle to find the square root of the problem. But most of the time, there isn’t a problem.
Your mind is playing you and it tricks itself into believing that something is really wrong, when it really isn’t. There aren’t any life or death situations. There are no tragedies and disasters. At least not in the world outside your brain.
Because, inside your minds, there are only feelings. And these feeling tend to appear all at once. Some say it sometimes feel like drowning, but also burning. And it lasts forever…
And what’s even more disturbing, people tend to think that anxiety is a normal state of mind. A current sensation, that just like the state of feeling hungry, it’ll eventually pass. As if pain didn’t exist, unless you’re bleeding, or you have a broken bone. Because rarely anyone wants to talk about the difficult stuff.
Loving a person with an anxiety disorder and trying to understand their confusing, never-ending train of chaotic thoughts is not easy, at all. It requires a commitment and thick nerves. It requires the utmost attention, acceptance and most of all, love. A lot of unconditional love.
So, please, try to understand what it feels like to have no control over your mind. Try to put yourself in their shoes and become aware of their illness. Because when they feel like they’ve turned against themselves, that’s when they’ll need you the most.
Make sure to be there.