It’s Not Fair That You’re Forced To Live With Anxiety



It’s not your fault that you have anxiety. You didn’t do anything to deserve it.

It’s not fair that you stay up nights, staring at the ceiling while your most embarrassing memories play on a loop in your head.

It’s not fair that you stumble over your words, even when you’ve repeated what you were meant to say in your head one hundred times before you actually spoke.

It’s not fair that you have panic dreams where you’re late for class or show up unprepared, even though it’s been years since you’ve been in an actual school building.

It’s not fair that you have all your friends mad at you because your paranoia forced you to cancel plans with them to stay home where it’s safe instead.

It’s not fair that you fidget at the dinner table, because you’re worried about getting sauce all over your face or being asked a question while your mouth is still full.

It’s not fair that you have to turn down certain events, because you’re not sure if you can handle being stuck in a crowd for that long.

It’s not fair that you feel uncomfortable, even when you have no ‘rational’ reason to be internally freaking out.

It’s not fair that you feel unwanted, even when you’re surrounded by friends and family who love you.

It’s not fair that you struggle through the most basic tasks like stopping at the grocery store and requesting an Uber ride and going to your dentist appointment all alone.

It’s not fair that you are in a constant state of nervousness. That you have to clasp your hands together so no one sees how much they’re shaking. That you have to breathe through your mouth because you can’t take enough air in through your nose.

You don’t deserve your anxiety — but you have it, which means you have to live with it. You have to thrive with it.

You can still land your dream career, even if it takes you hours to prepare for a Skype meeting and you have to rehearse all of your phone calls.

You can still find your forever person, even if you’re uncomfortable going to bars and don’t want to be touched during the first few dates.

You can still be productive throughout the week, even if you spend a couple of extra hours in bed or hidden in the bathroom because you can’t bring yourself to face the day yet.

You can still be happy with your life and with yourself, even though you get random bursts of fear. Even though, out of nowhere, you can go from being comfortable in a situation to wanting to get the hell out of there.

You don’t deserve your anxiety. You never did.

But you deserve to believe in yourself. To tell yourself that you can handle the quickened heartbeats, that you can move past the awkward moments, that you can be just as successful as anyone without anxiety.

Holly Riordan is the author of Lifeless Souls, available here.