Anxiety Doesn’t Always Look Like We Expect It To

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“Anxiety isn’t obvious. It doesn’t outwardly scream, ‘I’m anxious.’

It comes out in ways that are confusing to others and confusing to us.

It’s a dull face that’s expressionless.
It’s a smile.
It’s a frown.
It’s anger and spitting rage.
It’s the sudden need to be alone.

It’ll cancel plans last minute.
It can be short in a conversation.
It’ll be a text instead of a phone call.
An email instead of a face to face.

Its brushing people off for no reason because you just need to get away.

Needing someone to come with you to do something simple like ordering food.

It’s constant apologies, ‘I’m sorry I’m rambling’, ‘I’m sorry I’m just so tired’, ‘I’m sorry I think I had too much coffee… sorry’, I’m so sorry all the time. I’m sorry I’m making an idiot of myself… because that’s how I feel.

It’s not being able to trust your gut because your gut tells you there is always danger.

It’s not being able to trust that someone doesn’t want something more, has a hidden agenda or doesn’t really love you like they say they do.

It’s picking at your head.

Biting your nails, picking your skin, chewing the inside of your lip or mouth.

Sitting still in the car and turning the engine back on because you’ve convinced yourself you don’t really need to go inside.

It’s joking, saying something horrible that hurt you and making a joke out of it because you don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.

It’s so much more than the burning feeling in our chest.

All we know is that we don’t want to be our anxiety, we try not to be our anxiety, we don’t want IT. We can’t switch off, we can’t just get better or not worry, or just not think about it. It courses through our veins and we want to cut off the supply.

We don’t mean no harm, we just want to be.”

Woman who struggles with anxiety smiles in selfie
Laura Mazza

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Laura Mazza of Mum on the Run. Subscribe to our free email newsletter, Living Better—your ultimate guide for actionable insights, evidence backed advice, and captivating personal stories, propelling you forward to living a more fulfilling life.

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