Overwhelmed. I know you feel this far too often and I know it’s draining. I feel it too. It’s like a 10 foot wave hitting you with no warning sign and you’re left feeling helpless. It’s too many things at once. It’s assignment on top of assignment. It’s expectations of you piled so high that you forget what serenity feels like. You’re left crying yourself to sleep, hyperventilating in the bathroom and walking out like everything is ok. You’re not ok no matter how many times you say you are. I know this, because this is me.
Exhausted. I know this is something everyone feels, but for you it’s times a million. I feel it too. It’s like being with a group of people for an hour and it feeling like days. It’s like waking up after ten hours and it feeling like you got 5 minutes. It’s your body giving up on you before the afternoon and leaving a social gathering needing days of alone time. That’s it. Alone time. We crave it just like the food we eat and the warmth of the sun. Without the quiet you don’t feel alive. I know this, because this is me.
Nervous. I know this word is used loosely, but it’s second nature to you. I feel it too. It’s like your heart beating a thousand times per minute and all you can do is wait for it to slow. It’s the flushed face, the incoherent sentences, and trembling limbs. It’s the nauseating wait for your turn to give that speech or to make that very important phone call. When you say you’re nervous you’re not describing a once in a blue moon feeling. I know this, because this is me.
Drowning. Hopeless. Broken. Worried. Stressed. Panicked. Restless. Depressed. I could go on and on about what it feels like to have anxiety. But, the ones with anxiety, like me, need to be reminded that our anxiety does not define us. I have social anxiety and have lived with it for years. I’ve learned to control it at times, but other times I don’t feel strong enough. God declares us not to be anxious about anything. He wants us to lament and give our worries to him. Every day we have a decision to make. We could either let our anxiety eat us from the inside out or find peace in the fact that this omnipotent entity would rather carry all those things I mentioned for you to find peace. If that’s not love then I can’t begin to tell you what is.
words and photo by Tiffany Campbell