When anxiety holds you back



     I think that I’m a relatively positive person, but I’m also a very anxious person. Some people seem to think that I can’t be both of those things, as if one takes away from the other, which is not true.
     When things were a bit rough, practically everything made me anxious, especifically situations where I had to interact with other people. I was afraid to look stupid, or that people wouldn’t like me or that somehow something would go wrong. And I’ve been told many times that “Oh, but that’s normal, everyone gets a bit nervous sometimes!”. But it was not normal.
     Yes, everyone gets nervous, but they still go out and do what they need to do. When it got really bad, I would panic and cry for almost an hour if my parents told me to go up to a coffee shop worker and order something. Most times I would just stay hungry. The few times I would actually do it, I’d spend the next few hours if not more being mad at myself for how stupid I’d looked.  And I did this with every single interation I had with anyone else outside my family and very small group of friends, and sometimes even with them.
     I knew it wasn't racional. I just couldn’t help it. Everything seemed like such a big deal in my head.
     Of course eventually my mom realised this wasn’t normal, along with other things I had going on, and she sent me to a therapist. Even that made me anxious but I still went and together we explored some of the things I had on my mind (but I didn’t tell her all of it, so some things never really got any closure). A few months ago she got pregnant and decided I was in a good place at the moment and it was a good opportunity to see how I would do by myself (instead of sending me to a coleague, which is what is usually done, even though that means building up the confidence to open up to a stranger all over again). I’ve been handling things on my own for a few months now and more or less, I’ve been doing fine.
     However, I’ve noticed that I still get anxious sometimes, and lately it has happened more than it should: I’ve missed two birthday parties of really close friends because of how many people they invited and I panicked and cried because I wanted to see my sister’s play so badly but I didn’t want to take the bus alone to a place I didn’t know. Hearing how disappointed she was on the phone was heartbreaking. 
     It makes me mad that people don’t understand, and it makes me feel awful when they say things like the one my friend said to me: “You should at least make an effort”. I am making an effort. Does she have any idea how hard it is to even tell her why I don’t wanna go, instead of making up excuses? I thought she would understand, but she just made me feel bad about something I can’t control.
     I could hear my sister being disappointed on the phone, and I didn’t know how to explain to her I really wanted to go because I knew she would say something like “then come.”

     It’s a terrible feeling when being anxious holds you back from living your life and you can’t really do anything. I'm trying very hard to beat this shit, I swear, but it's hard. 
     There's no positive conclusion or advice I can give you, because I don't know what I'm doing either. Fuck.

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