I’m pretty sure I’ve stated several times that I have anxiety. I am an anxious person regardless of having anxiety. I have to live with anxiety every single day. I’ve been on anxiety meds, and they work pretty well (as long as I take them). However, there are times when I still get anxious and meds don’t help.
That’s okay, though, because I can get through those moments. I can break through what’s driving my anxiety up the wall, and get through it.
Until someone makes some stupid-ass comment about how “I just need to get used to it.”
That is, as I can confirm, not at all how the hell this works. If anything, you’ve most likely just pissed me off.
MY anxiety is not the same as a person who might get anxious one day in fifty. I live with my anxiety. I live with this little being that gnaws on the back of my neck, making me constantly say, “what if, what if, what if, what if”
No amount of socialization is going to fix that.
And you know what? I’ve come to accept that. I have decided that even if I’m wearing something I like to wear and I’m telling myself “they’re totally judging you, they’re making fun of you, blah blah blah” that unless it’s a super fucking bad day, I’m not going to let it control me. I accept you, anxiety, even though you’re a piece of shit and have caused me to enter into a parasitic relationship. You just decided to attach yourself onto the next body to pass by and that happened to be me.
But when someone says, “You need to do X so that you’ll be used to it,” I probably at that moment shut down. I start to close in on myself, and I know I get defensive.
Imagine a baby. You take that little baby, with all their chubby cuteness, and big, drooling mouth, you just pick that baby up and you rock it for a little bit. And then…
You toss that baby into a pool and yell “LEARN TO SWIM.”
(This is a good analogy for anyone with a mental illness.)
It doesn’t work that way.
The baby needs you to hold them in the water. Then the baby needs proper swimming equipment, like floaty wings and one of those inflatable inner tubes. You still have to hold onto the baby before you can let go. Otherwise, the baby is going to drown.
This is literally why I don’t want to do stuff on my own. This is why I take meds. Friends and proper dosages of a prescribed medicine are my inner tube and floaty wings. I need a barrier because A) I’m usually panicking whenever someone talks to me and B) I don’t know how to talk to people I don’t know.
But when you make a stupid ass comment about how I, or anyone who has a mental illness, not just anxiety, needs to get “used to it,” you are literally what is driving me to not want to interact with all of the beautiful people out there.
I’m not saying I need you to hold my fucking hand when I’m outside. I don’t need you to be there every. single. moment. to. tell. me. I’m. fine. I need you to understand that I need a calming influence, and if I get upset, I have support. If I ask for help with something from someone I know, instead of a stranger, it’s because I don’t want to bother them. I don’t want to seem annoying. I do not want to present myself as someone completely and utterly incapable to a person I’m never going to see again.
And you know what? On top of not wanting to bother a complete stranger, I probably don’t want to have to bother you, either. In fact, my anxiety probably peaked a little bit when I asked YOU for help.
So! Please remember, not everyone thinks precisely like you do! People don’t just get over stuff, because you told them to! A lot of the time, there’s a lot of thought put into what I’m doing, even if it seems like the minimal amount of effort. I am doing my best to not let my anxiety overrule me, but to live along side it.