I’m told that everyone fears not being liked and that it’s impossible to be liked by everyone. These statements however correct, aren’t comforting. You see, I’ve always been self-conscious and I’ve always been shy. These things put together with my anxiety make socialization very difficult. I’m not worried about being the most popular girl on campus, and honestly if some random people don’t like me based on limited information it doesn’t really affect me unless I like them and am actively trying to befriend them.
What I fear is the loss of friendship. I fear that one day the people I’m friends with are going to give up on me. That they aren’t going to want to be around me any longer, and that my existence will be an annoyance.
This isn’t a baseless fear.
Having anxiety is hard to deal with it. It’s hard for other people to understand and that makes relationships difficult. My anxiety isn’t a terribly new revelation. I’ve had it in minor cases throughout my life but it was only in 2013 that I can honestly look back and say, “That’s when it got bad. That’s when everything began its downward spiral.” It was a slow downward spiral…until it wasn’t.
Coming to college was simultaneously the best and worst thing that’s happened to me. For now the good things outweigh the bad, and I hope the scale never tips to the other side. The worst things about coming to college are that it made my anxiety worse, either that or it finally put me in a position to realize just how bad it actually is. Over the past few weeks my anxiety levels have increased and though I hadn’t realized it at the time, being that anxious and depressed turned me into a different person. I pride myself on being rational, not always logical, but rational nonetheless. I was not rational those weeks. Sure I did the things I normally do and I thought everything was fine with how I was acting but looking back on it, it wasn’t. I understand that now, but even the knowledge of how it changes me won’t prevent it from happening again, and again.
I am afraid of losing my friends. I am afraid that since I don’t have my anxiety under control, they won’t want to deal with me. How I act when I’m not in control of it has already caused major strains on the relationships I have formed here. I live with the constant fear that I am a terrible person, and with the knowledge that how I act when incredibly anxious is unacceptable. I fear that I am no longer good enough to call them my friends. I fear asking them about the status of our friendship. I fear that they find me annoying.
Above all, I am completely and utterly terrified that I am right.