Dear Friend with high-functioning anxiety I want you to know something. I understand. I really do.
I understand that trusting others is hard. Often you prefer to just do it yourself, especially if it’s something for or with your children.
I understand that being late literally sends you over the edge inside, but often you are because you have to check everything 100 times before leaving the house.
I understand that if I don’t call, text, or message you back, within a few hours that you start thinking about if I am mad at you or if you said or did something wrong.
I understand that you are a chatty friendly open book, but after you are around new people you replay your conversations in your head over and over to be sure you didn’t say anything wrong. This happens to the point that you wish you had said nothing at all and start to resent the outgoing side of yourself.
I understand that you often can’t sleep at night because you lay awake worrying about your loved ones, people you just met, pets, children, and quite frankly the world.
I understand that when your kids leave you to go to school, friends or even a family members home that you have to force yourself not to text or call every hour to check on them.
I understand that when your friends take a girls trip and ask you to go with every part of your brain you know it’s healthy for you and your family to have time apart for rest and to appreciate one another, but the overwhelming feeling of fear and guilt in your stomach outweighs any joy or peace that could be gained from leaving.
I understand that it’s hard for you not to obsess over the small things that some people might not even notice, such as a look, comment, or lack of friendly gesture from an acquaintance or friend, even though you know in your mind they could have not even seen you or have had many other things on their plate at the time. The fear that you have upset someone or that they don’t like you is overwhelming.
I understand that most see you as an overachiever. You volunteer, you organize, and you always follow through with your commitments. This is done for two reasons. 1. You fear failure more than anything. Success helps you cope with the anxiety. 2. You do love helping others, but also staying busy distracts your mind from your internal uneasiness.
I understand when you fill your calendar with playdates, friends nights, a date with your husband, not out of pure enjoyment of those activities, but out of fear your children won’t be well socialized, your friends will stop sending invitations to you if you don’t ever accept, or your marriage will fail if you don’t make the time.
I understand that CHANGE absolutely stops you in your tracks.
I understand that since you can’t control your anxiety sometimes you try to control EVERYTHING else.
I understand because….
I see you. I know you. I am you.