What Anxiety Really Is

Anxiety is night sweats, racing mind, sometimes racing heart. Anxiety is medications and pills and fears that nothing no matter what you try is ever going to work.

Anxiety is people-pleasing on overdrive. It’s always wanting to do the right things, give the right answer, and be the right person to everyone, instead of just being able to be happy just being yourself.

Anxiety is a mental disorder.

Worrying is more than anxiety-lite, though sometimes it feels that way. Worrying comes and goes. Anxiety has its hands around your neck at every possible moment and won’t let go.

Anxiety tells you to smile and make a good appearance because your insides feel like they’re being swept up in a hurricane. Anxiety tells you to put a good face on it to make everyone else happy. Anxiety insists that if everyone knew that you feel the way you do, they’d hate you.

Anxiety is lying to your doctor about a prescription that isn’t working just because you don’t want yet another prescription.

Anxiety is wondering if anything ever is going to work.

Sometimes you get compulsive behaviors with anxiety just for fun!b Did I love the door? Did I let the cat out? Is the coffee machine still on with an empty pot on the warmer that is going to shatter and one of the hot pieces is going to catch a paper towel and set it on fire and then the kitchen will be on fire and then the whole house will be on fire? Anxiety is when those kinds of fears rear their ugly heads.

Anxiety is constantly having to feel in control, because really, nothing is in control. So we put our behaviors in order and plan our to-do lists and manage our calendars and our schedules, our classes and meetings and whatnot, so that we feel like we are in control. The notion that we’re not in control is beyond our ability to understand.

Anxiety is an illness and for the people who love us and have some idea of what’s going on, they are kind.

They are loving. They care about us and they want to help. They just don’t know how. Rather, they don’t know that we feel like there is no “how”.

Anxiety is a sensation of caring too much; we care too much of what others think and what they would do so we spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about and planning for their feelings, their responses, and how we will respond if they do this, or that, or this. Anxiety is an illness of caring.

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