Not all people suffering from medical or psychological issues show on the outside. People endure invisible illnesses on a daily basis, alone in their pain. But it doesn’t have to feel that way. Over 40 million adults in the US live with anxiety disorders every day. Together, suffers can cope and heal. Here’s what some of them have shared with each other, and the world.
My body is in constant fight-or-flight mode, and after it passes, I’m left exhausted. On the outside I’m so happy and likable, but on the inside I over-evaluate each and every word I speak and I worry about what you think.
Every day, every minute, every hour feels like an eternity when you have anxiety. It’s like time stands still, like you are running in sand and getting nowhere. Just getting through these moments takes so much out of you; exhausts you mentally, physically and emotionally.
This phrase is starting to sound a little cliche, but it is so accurate, and many people still don’t understand: Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I am very good at appearing calm on the outside, while my insides are fighting a war. My mind is racing, my heart is pounding and I feel like I can’t breath. I start to get a stomach ache, which turns to feeling nauseated and/or needing to use the toilet. I feel like everyone is watching me, judging me, even though logically I know no one has actually even noticed anything is wrong. Most of the time, you won’t notice, but that doesn’t mean I’m not having a difficult time.
Inside, I’m not the calm person you see every day. And I’m not being standoffish – I’m trying to either recharge myself or I’m trying to control the waves of anxiety sweeping through my body.
Having that battle on the inside can isolate someone from the world. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Other people deal with the same issues. And they have decided to do something about it.
No matter what condition you have, there is a place you can go for community. The Mighty is a site where people share their personal experiences with disability, disease, and mental illness.
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