Anxiety isn’t always “panic attacks”.
Anxiety is sitting upright at your desk with a smile on your face…while a barrage of random thoughts rage so violently in your head that your ears are literally buzzing.
It’s sitting at that same desk, working feverishly to note every word the professor says…not because you care that much, but because you don’t want to show that you literally can’t breathe.
Anxiety is wrapping your arms around yourself to hide the fact that you’re shaking for no goddamn reason.
There’s the more cliche part, too. The hiding in bathroom stalls, trying to remind your lungs that it’s okay to breathe.
Anxiety is the pounding heart in your chest. The chest pains and the weighing sensation of impending doom…even though you’ve already been through this with your brain multiple times this week. You are not dying.
But you sure do feel like it.
Anxiety is jumping at every little noise, getting irrationally angry when other people talk or laugh, and then spending the next several hours trying to calm yourself down. To no avail.
It’s working yourself into a massive panic attack…without even getting upset. You moved too quickly, or you bounced your foot too fast, sending your brain into a frenzy of fight or flight.
At the end of the day, anxiety is curling up in bed, enveloped in a hundred blankets, eyes closed but mind still racing. Anxiety is dreading the night, for with darkness comes insomnia, and with insomnia come the demons.
It’s wishing that you could just “slip away.” That the still darkness that surrounds you just before the storm would just stay. And you wouldn’t have to face another day of hiding in bathroom stalls, trying to remind yourself that it’s okay to breathe; pasting a smile on your face and holding your head high, even though all you want to do is hide in someone else’s arms and cry; finding yourself exhausted on every level before the clock has even hit noon.
Anxiety is hoping that when you do finally fall asleep, you’ll stay asleep. Forever.