Anxiety is a big part of my life – I’ve never been able to explain how my anxiety affects my life… now I can.
I’m lucky, I have more starts at 0 than someone with a more severe anxiety problem. However, add some of my triggers and I jump from 0 to 4 without passing through the previous levels – there is no build up. Some days I wake up already on a 2 or 3 and that jump can take me to a 5 or 6.
I have rare days where I’m a 7 or 8 after the jump, but I’ve not yet experienced 9 or above… yet.
Whenever I start to explain that part of my mental illness diagnosis includes severe anxiety, I always receive confused looks. They are usually followed by judgmental comments about how “everyone has problems and stress in their lives”, telling me that I need to “learn to cope and work through it all”. I get told that I “shouldn’t let every little thing get to me” and that I’d be so much happier if I “stopped stressing over everything and just mellowed out”.
I have others that have gone so far as to make accusations about whether my anxiety is even real or just in my head. They’ll question how I could claim I’m “too anxious” to go somewhere to fill out paperwork yet am “perfectly comfortable attending things like farmer’s markets or street fairs”. I’ve tried to explain that it isn’t the same thing. I don’t have social anxiety. People and…
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