This Is What Someone With Anxiety Really Looks Like Because It Isn’t Always Struggling To Breathe

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By Aly McHenry

Anxiety has one goal, and it’s to destroy people. And sometimes it does.

Anxiety takes away their ability to breathe and it makes you watch as it cripples them. But sometimes it’s sneaky. Sometimes it’s destroying a person and the scariest part about it is you have no idea that it’s happening. Because sometimes anxiety isn’t always as obvious as a person gasping for air as they struggle to breathe.

Sometimes anxiety is a person simply sitting there. It’s a person staring off into space as if they’re caught up in a daydream, when in reality; they’re suffering from their own personal nightmare. Anxiety isn’t always falling apart on the outside, even when you’re shattering on the inside. It’s racing thoughts and irrational fears that clutter your brain and sink your heart. It’s nothing that can be seen unless you live inside that person’s head and nothing that can be felt unless you feel that person’s heart.

Sometimes anxiety is a person lashing out at the people they love in an unexplainable rage for no apparent reason. It’s reacting out of anger instead of rationality. It’s snapping at people when that’s the last thing you want to do. It’s regretting the harsh words you said ten minutes later. It’s the tremendous amount of guilt you feel when you realize you can never take those words back. It’s dwelling on everything small and obsessing over anything that could happen and forgetting everything that hasn’t happened. It’s asking ‘what if’ constantly and only listing the worst possible case scenarios over and over again until you convince yourself the worst possible case scenario is the only scenario that makes any sense.

Sometimes anxiety is a person feeling paranoid even when nothing’s wrong. Anxiety is running back inside the house to turn off the oven that’s already off. It’s hitting the lock on your car doors three times before you’re convinced they’re locked. It’s over analyzing every word someone said, and constantly worrying everyone hates you. It’s going over every conversation you’ve ever had and the irrational fear that at some point you must have said or done something wrong. Anxiety isn’t trusting anyone, including yourself.

Sometimes anxiety is a person who pushes love away instead of letting love comfort them. It believing you don’t deserve love and even forgetting to love yourself. It’s the fear of losing everyone around you and never feeling good enough. It’s believing moments are too good to be true and experiencing fear when everyone else around you is experiencing happiness. It’s waiting for the next thing to go wrong even when everything is right. It’s never feeling at peace, and always feeling on edge.

Sometimes anxiety isn’t seen but it’s always felt. Even in a person’s best moments, anxiety is still there. Sometimes anxiety is gasping for air, but sometimes anxiety is a person laughing. Sometimes it’s a person speaking eloquently to a large group of people. Sometimes it’s a person showing you their passion, and sometimes it’s a person creating beautiful pieces of art. Because sometimes anxiety is taking over the last person you’d expect.

Sometimes anxiety terrifies everyone around us as we gasp for air and struggle to breathe, but sometimes anxiety can look like nothing, and not even the people we love the most can tell.

And that’s why anxiety is the greatest destroyer of all.

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