These Are The Five Things Anyone Who Lives With Anxiety Wishes You Understood


There are so many times we want to tell you why our heart is pounding, why our thoughts are racing, why we’re biting our nails and twisting our hair…but we can’t. We try and try to conjure up the perfect words to explain our anxiety to you, but the words never come out right.

We know we’re a lot to handle and sometimes hard to love. We do things that drive normal people insane, but we simply can’t control it. We want to be the perfect daughter, husband, sister, friend…but we often fall short.

Trust us, we feel terrible that we can’t lead completely normal lives and go with the flow. We’re OCD and hard headed which many of times gets in the way of joyous occasions. So many moments that should be filled with happiness are clouded with our anxiety. It’s like living in fast forward all the time.

While we’ll never be able to perfectly explain how we feel or why we are how we are, we want you to know a few of our persistent anxious thoughts.

1. We can’t predict it.

Unfortunately, our spells hit us out of the blue. There’s no warning signs or caution tape to alert us. When we’re bombarded with our anxiety, we have no choice but to work through it. Sometimes that means reaching out to others, and other times it means suffering in silence.

2. We can’t control it.

When talking with family and friends, we’re often asked why we haven’t figured out a way to control our anxiety. We feel like failures for succumbing to this annoying life-altering disorder, as if we have a choice. Sure we take medication, meditate, go to therapy…but anxiety’s a beast that can’t be conquered. All we can do is learn ways that help us cope.

3. We can’t explain it.

One of the hardest things about living with diagnosed anxiety is trying to explain our struggle to others. People who don’t live with this mental illness will never truly grasp the experience. We can try to articulate it until we’re blue in the face, but for most it’s hard to truly comprehend. We continue to try because we desperately want you to understand us.

4. We can’t fix it.

As much as we’d like to “fix” ourselves, there’s no resolution that can rid us of this curse. Some people see anxiety as an excuse, a crutch, something to get pity from others. If only that were the case. We’d love for this to be a placebo, something we could merely turn off. Unfortunately, despite the naysayers and hypocrites, anxiety is very real…and we can’t fix it.

5. We can’t escape it.

Our anxiety is like a padded room with no door. We continually look for an exit but are never able to find one. That’s because we’ll never be able to fully escape this maddening disorder. No matter where we go or how old we get, we’re bound to our anxious minds forever. When we finally realize this, it’s a tough pill to swallow. Knowing there’s no escape makes it tough to get out of bed somedays.

Unfortunately, having a friendship or a relationship with us will take extra work. We won’t always be able to tell you what we need or explain how we’re feeling. We may withdraw into our own world or go off the grid for a bit. We may overdo ourselves by going nonstop and hiding behind a smile.

We may seem shady or wishy washy because we make plans and break them when anxiety hits. We aren’t trying to be a bad friend, we just physically and mentally can’t do it. We want to hang out with you and go on adventures, but our anxiety doesn’t always allow us to do that.

We may appear to have it all together, but please don’t make us walk through this alone. As much as we seem to be fine, we’re all suffering on some level. Some of our anxious thoughts don’t get to us anymore because we’ve worked hard to minimize their effects. Other times, we simply need you to be there for us.

The bottom line is we can’t completely explain what our anxiety does to us. Maybe one day we can find the words to fully convey our disorder to you. Maybe one day we can find a way to beat this monster. Until that day please continue to love us and be patient. We need you more than you know.