It’s time for the third installment of “Constant Fear”. This time I will be discussing the fear I have of people not believing me.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD) is a really difficult thing to understand. It’s always evolving, so much so that every day is different. There are things that cause me great distress every time they occur; talking on the phone, presenting to a group of people and, being in a large boisterous crowd. Everything else is different each time a situation arises. For example, some times it is easy for me to get up from where I’m sitting and walk across a room to retrieve something, I have no hesitation, no anxiety. Other times, I am paralyzed by the anxiety of completing the act, and by the pressure I feel from the people I’m with to just get it over with.
At these moments, I beg and plead with the person I am closest with in the group. I beg them to get me what it is I have to retrieve or to throw away my garbage. There is no doubt in my mind that people get annoyed and frustrated with me. So I try my best to keep a smile on my face, I try to project a sense of confidence to hide my terror.
What makes me anxious, can and does change from day-to-day and because of that it creates a huge, constant fear within me. The fear of people not believing me.
A lot of the time my anxiety is not physically noticeable; I don’t start crying, I don’t quiver, I don’t throw up. People have to take me at my word when I say I’m anxious and they become weary when they hear it all the time. I fear that people think I’m just trying to get out of things, that I’m being lazy, or that I’m not trying when I tell them that something makes me really anxious.
One way I think that people should picture anxiety is as a group of little evil monsters. At any moment they can jump and latch onto you, causing your anxiety, other times they’re a scary gang of monsters that stalk you every where you go. Positive thinking, meditation, distraction methods, etc., can put distance between you and the gang but no amount of that will keep them away forever. They will catch up to you, they will latch on.
To the people in my life, please know that I am trying and at times the distance between the gang and I feels like miles. I don’t use my anxiety as a way to just not do things and I wouldn’t say that something was causing anxiety if it wasn’t truly affecting me. To those who know people with GAD and other mental illnesses/disorders, I understand that it can be stressful, frustrating and sometimes confusing when everything is constantly changing but know that your friend/loved one, is also stressed, frustrated, and confused.
Sometimes I feel as though I shouldn’t bring up my anxiety. I feel like to some people it’s just a synonym for lazy and I feel that when I do bring it up people roll their eyes at me.
Living your life to the fullest is hard when you have GAD, it’s even harder when you’re constantly scared that people don’t believe that you’re struggling.