Anyone who experiences the pain of dealing with an anxiety disorder on a daily basis will understand exactly what I'm talking about!
We are by far the most amazing actors and actresses.
We have developed this 'knack' for making it seem that we are absolutely fine, when in actual fact we are dying inside and want nothing more than the floor to swallow us up!
First of all, we've all heard of the expression 'laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone' well this is like a constant broken record playing over and over again in our minds.
No one wants to be in a constant state of tears and negativity, so why would someone else want to listen to us moan and cry all the time about our increasing anxiety?
Secondly, because of stigma that is so cemented on mental disorders in general, people tend to shy away from anyone who is affected with anxiety or depression, because plain and simply, the minute someone hears the word 'mental disorder', words such as "crazy", "insane" and "psycho" seem to come to mind.
This results is many anxiety sufferers being alone with no support at all.
Therefore, due to these two reasons, anxiety sufferers drown in a constant state of negativity and pain, and not only do we have to deal with the symptoms that come along with anxiety, but stigma and mockery from a society that just doesn't understand or have enough knowledge to deal with anxiety disorders efficiently - so we simply pretend that we are okay, even though we feel completely alien inside!
It is not like normal anxiety at all.
The fact that you managed to get out of bed, or you managed to leave your house to go to the supermarket or even that you managed to drive yourself to work, and all without flying into a panic attack...to the average non anxious person, this would seem quite strange to them, and they would probably try to stay as well away from you as possible, and with good reason, as these are all normal everyday things that we all have to do on a daily basis.
Maybe now, non anxious people can get a tiny glimpse of just how debilitating this disorder is, because yes, sometimes we want nothing more than to just hide under the covers, and I mean the covers - right under them, because we don't want to know the world on that day, and when this happens and we simply have to get out of bed, that is a MAJOR accomplishment for us!
For myself, I find leaving my house to be a great struggle, and when I return home after going out, I have to always take a deep breath and pat myself on the back, even though nothing is more exciting at that time than the click of my front door lock - symbolizing that I am home, safe and I don't have to go out again that day!.
So anxiety sufferers, I present you with medals, ribbons, trophies...whatever you like because today you.....
- Got out of bed....when you wanted to hide
- Got dressed for work, even when you wanted to quit
- Left your house....even when you were afraid of people
- Drove yourself to your destination...without hyperventilating
- Met someone new....without stuttering your words
- Smiled....when you wanted to frown
- Had an anxious thought...and got through it
- Spoke to a stranger on the phone.....and kept a conversation
- Managed to cook something....without spilling it
- Laughed....when you wanted to cry
To all the non anxiety sufferers out there....it can be hard and equally frustrating to try and comfort someone who has anxiety disorder, but my advice is to gather as much knowledge as you possibly can. You might be the only person they have to turn to.
For more information on anxiety disorders....please visit www.myanxietycompanion.com