Generalized Anxiety Disorder is isolating. It is lonely.
But it is not quiet.
It is loud. It screams in both of my ears constantly. It never lets me forget it’s there. Not at 9 in the morning, not at 4 in the afternoon, not at 3 in the morning.
My anxiety disorder has left me stranded in bed. It has left me to fend for myself on my hardest days. My anxiety disorder has singled me out in many situations that I couldn’t handle.
I have left many lunches, because I couldn’t finish my meal. I have stopped many rides, because my anxiety went into Fight or Flight mode. I have missed out on concerts, vacations, events, you name it. All because my anxiety told me I would be better off sitting out.
I wish that my brain would give me peace. Just for a few minutes. I wish that it wasn’t such an isolating part of my life.
Holidays are hard. They are a constant reminder that I am no longer the child I once was- that my anxieties have intensified. Even in a crowded room, my brain has this incredibly annoying way of separating me from the rest of the crowd.
One of the puzzle pieces that makes up my anxiety disorder is its empathic ability to drain my energy just by being near others. It is not something I enjoy. I don’t find enjoyment in being exhausted by others. When this happens, it is hard for me to communicate effectively. It is hard for me to walk down the street and meet someone’s eyes. It is hard to be around other people whose energies are so powerful. I am not ignoring you. I am not mad at you. I am just too exhausted to form a conversation.
I am writing today so that maybe you might not feel as lonely, knowing someone in the world is experiencing a high-anxiety day. Just like you.
Maybe if conversations about our mental illnesses were accepted and welcomed, this disorder wouldn’t feel so isolating. Maybe if we were taught coping mechanisms from the moment we are born, this disorder wouldn’t feel so isolating. Maybe if we did research to help our loved ones who are struggling, this disorder wouldn’t feel so isolating. Maybe if we learned language to help others who are feeling this way, this disorder wouldn’t feel so isolating. Maybe if we put more energy into loving and respecting those who are different from us, this disorder wouldn’t feel so isolating. Maybe if we worked together to end the stigma, this disorder wouldn’t feel so isolating.
love this and love you! Great blog post Olivia, you said it all so perfectly. The last few weeks, I have been around so many other great young advocates for mental illness and it has been so refreshing and relieving to be able to speak openly about my mental illness and to learn more and explore different things that would not normal come up in the average conversations I hold with people! I too wish we could regularly speak openly about mental illness. One day my love! <3
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TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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