‘Anxiety isn’t just chest pains, crying, and the inability to relax.’

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“Anxiety isn’t just chest pains, crying, and the inability to relax.

It’s biting your nails until they bleed, then picking off the skin on your fingers once you’re out of nails to bite.

It’s driving to the store only to sit in the parking lot for 20 minutes before turning back around, without even going inside.

It’s getting a text message and forgetting to respond promptly, so instead of responding explaining you were busy, you leave the notification there for days, weeks, even months, getting a knot in your stomach every time you scroll past it or every time that person’s name comes up.

It’s hearing a noise and planning in your mind where you’ll hide, what doors you’ll lock, and how you’ll secretly call for help if someone broke into your house.

It’s asking your partner several times a day if they love you, partially kidding, but mostly needing to hear it because you find it so hard to love yourself in that moment.

It’s putting off washing the dishes until there’s no dishes left, but then feeling overwhelmed by how many dishes there are to wash, so you just leave them another day.

It’s understanding that what you’re worrying about is often irrational and not as extreme as your reaction warrants, but not being able to control your response. Often times, it even means you CAN’T understand that what you’re worrying about is irrational or not as extreme as your reaction warrants.

Anxiety isn’t just chest pains, crying, and the inability to relax. It’s taking everyday parts of life and intensifying the excitement or fear they result in times a thousand, to the point that they seem impossible to face. Some days are more manageable than others, and it’s on those days I try to remind myself that I CAN get through whatever anxiety throws my way.

It’s hard for me to share this and a little embarrassing to include this picture, but if even one person finds comfort in knowing they’re not alone in this, then I’m going to push past my comfort zones to do that.”

Megan Lynne Ferrero

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Megan Lynne Ferrero.  The article originally appeared here.  Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.

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