The most difficult thing about dealing with Leticia(my anxiety) is the constant overthinking and the fear of the unknown. When I think about it now I’ve always had her for a while but I didn’t know that this is a mental health problem or what it is even called.
When I think back to most moments in my life, I can see the symptoms and the consistency in my behavior.
Living with anxiety is the hardest thing I’ve had to go through in my life and I know that I am not alone because a lot of us have our own personal Leticia’s that we are not aware of.
It is the little things like changing your outfit 2 or 3 times before you go for what you usually wear because everything else just doesn’t look good on you and it will make people think you are too thin or too fat.
It is things like making plans with your loved ones and hours before they happen you think “no thanks, I rather stay in bed” and not because you don’t want to go but you don’t know if you can handle being around people for a long time or if you can keep a conversation going without things getting awkward.
It is avoiding going to the bathroom for the 2nd time within 30 minutes because people will look at you funny. I hope I am painting a clearer picture for you and now you follow how we live with my Leticia.
It is like an ocean wave, we have our highs and lows as the tide grows bigger so does the fear, panic and shortness of breath.
I am the girl who rehearses what she’s going to say in her head countless times so I don’t make mistakes.
I rather watch my phone ring and then text you back than having to go through the trauma of being on a call.
The chances of me giving an answer in class are close to none because I can’t stand the piercing looks I’ll get from my peers, when I stumble on my own words even though I know the answer.
Leticia and I avoid walking the same path twice in case we meet the person we couldn’t greet the first time again.
I carry my phone wherever I go so people don’t see the fiddling of my fingers or the shaking of my hands,this is sort of my crutch.
I know as some of you are reading this you are ticking boxes of your own struggles and you now realize that we have a mutual friend. How many times do you have to remind yourself to breathe? How often do you have to tell yourself it is not that bad? Do you ever stop to think about why you tell yourself you’ll be okay at least 6 times a day?
Well the answer is all the time and you already know why.
People like me are rarely in a relationship because we are not easy to be with let me highlight a few examples of what I mean, because I am not exaggerating:
*You have to text me back immediately if not within a few seconds because if you don’t I feel neglected.
*You need to keep checking on me and if you don’t I feel abandoned.
*You can’t make plans with me in advance because that gives me enough time to overthink and we end up canceling so the best time is now.
*Don’t stay mad at me for too long because then I start feeling shitty about myself and look down on myself.
*Sometimes I need personal space and company at the same time, as confusing as it may sound don’t leave me alone at this time.
*Sometimes I am clingy and loving other times I am just distant and irritable because this for me is a coping mechanism. The further you are from me the lesser chances of me getting hurt, crazy right?
These are just the major ones but trust me there’s more, let me not get into that.
For now let me remind you to be gentle and kind to the likes of me because we are struggling and fighting anxiety is far from being easy.
Written by : Sarah Banda