Living with anxiety is exhausting.

I have been suffering from anxiety my entire life. It does not stop me from living, but it is always there. Because of my anxiety, I take everything personally.

If someone takes a little too long to answer a text. If someone is staring at me. If someone laughs when I walk by. They could be busy, they might like what I’m wearing, or they could be laughing at a joke, but I start making assumptions. 

The majority of my anxiety comes from social atmospheres, I dread sending the first message or trying to start a conversation with someone I’m not close to because there is a chance of rejection. 

When I talk to people I analyze everything from if their text is short, their tone of voice, their body language, and assume that they are only answering me to be polite. I will fool myself into thinking I shouldn’t have sent the text in the first place or spoken to that person at that event.

Most of the time, I will jump to the worst-case scenario. My anxiety makes me feel like the world is against me. I assume that if something bad can happen, it will happen.

I often get asked why I don’t go out to bars or parties like most people my age. I will not go because of my anxiety and if I do decide to go it will be the bar nobody will be at. Large crowds bother me, I want to be in the back of the room, or sitting quietly at a table on my phone.

I’m not a bitch, I just hate social interaction with strangers, because it’s hard to be optimistic when I have been through so many bad situations. I never know what to say to people in social situations. I don’t know how to make myself fit into crowds because I always stand out. 

In August of 2017, I took an entire month off from social media. I closed my page down, all of my profiles set to private or deactivated so no one could interact with me. My anxiety was killing me inside. I came back as Maritime Nightline and told people I used the time to rebrand, but the truth is I was not planning on coming back at all.

I am a very public person on social media because it’s easier for me to express myself through my online page/profiles than it is in front of people. I have time to plan how to express myself and I’m in control. I will write an article, and analyze it over and over, publish it, find out there is a typo and tell myself I should have done better. I changed my page name to ‘Kylie Stewarrt – Maritime Nightline’ not realizing there was a typo in my last name until it was approved.

The night it was changed I was up for hours because my anxiety was killing me. Knowing that I would not be able to unpublish or change it for seven days really bothered me. To most people, it’s something minor, but because of my anxiety that minor mistake causes major anxiety.

The truth is, I don’t have time to listen to what others have to say about me because I’m my own worst critic. If things don’t go perfectly, I feel like it failed.

It’s so hard for me to hold a conversation with family members I’ve known for years, let alone with strangers in front of me at public events because I assume that everyone hates me.

I even have trouble when it comes to dating. Even if it’s clear they are interested, I won’t get my hopes up. I tell myself that when they meet me they will not like me for me. I try to discourage men from meeting me by talking myself down, or if they ask me what I’m looking for I’ll just say sex instead of anything that’s of any commitment.

My anxiety makes me doubt my self-worth, when someone compliments me, I don’t believe them. When someone tells me they love me, I don’t believe them. Often sometimes I feel like I’m a burden to people in my life.

Because of my anxiety, I sometimes stay awake for hours, I will push people away, and I struggle to see my value. I only see flaws.

Yes, I might look confident. Most of the time I am, however, when my anxiety is really bad this is how I feel inside. I have no problem standing up for what I believe in, but know I do it with the struggle of my anxiety, gender dysphoria, and body dysphoria which all feed off of each other.

Anxiety is known as the most common mental health disorder as 28% of the total population suffer from a form of anxiety.

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