Have you ever been in a swimming pool? Of course you haven’t your a journal. But you, reader, have you? Have you ever been in a pool, at the deepest end, drifting to the bottom? Your lungs filling with water as you grasp the air above trying to climb out. Your hands grab at nothing, yet you think by moving more viciously you will be able to escape. You don’t. You can’t breathe but yet your still alive, you see everything clearly, and somehow in the back of your head you wish you didn’t. This is anxiety.
Have you ever had to speak in front of an audience? A large audience? Imagine feeling that ten times magnified, but you’re only speaking to one or two people. In your mind you’re wondering what your going to say. What if they dislike your comment? What if you don’t say enough? How will they treat you then? Your eyes start to wonder around the room trying to distract your thoughts while they’re conversation continues. Have they noticed that you haven’t spoken? Your chest gets tight and the room starts to feel crowded. You wish you had never entered into that room. You wish you had never gone to that place. All you want is to be alone and leave that awkward and painful situation. This is anxiety.
Have you ever ever been invited to a party or a getogether? After the seventh time you get asked you are forced to go. You get there late. You stand alone, maybe pick a corner. As it gets more and more crowded you get more and more nervous. Who do you talk to? You don’t know anyone. You knew you shouldn’t have come. You promise yourself you’re never going to a party again. You blame the person who took you. Why did they leave you alone? Are they not a good enough friend? If you leave what will people say? But what are they saying now? Weirdo, creep, awkward, nerd, wallflower, dork, even jerk. You feel someone punch your chest yet you breathe like you just ran a 5k, but no one is at arms length near you. You run for the closest exit. This is anxiety.
Even though these things happened weeks ago your mind flashes back and forth. What could you have done better? What am I going to say when I come across someone from the party? Or the person I awkwardly walked away from? What if they ask me to go again? How will I say no? Why do I feel like this? All of a sudden in bed you start breathing fast, you sit up, but way too fast because you get dizzy. Your muscles are sore but you have not done anything, maybe it’s the lack of sleep? Your brain won’t shut off. You feel restless and fatigued. You try to concentrate on one thing but you can’t, your mind is going around in circles, you can’t keep up. How do you go on in life? This is anxiety.