When anxiety kicks in, it sometimes makes you hard to love, you know? It’s like the world is a huge hurricane that doesn’t allow you to escape its grasp and your mind just goes with that whole mess, without ever realizing what it’s doing to itself.

So here I am, mistaking everything that’s in my head as reality. Like I have nothing better to do than to be miserable. I can’t say that there is anyone in my life whom my anxiety didn’t affect—including my teachers, parents, siblings, partners, etc. Everyone in my life has made it clear that they don’t know how to handle my emotional distance and my messy mind.

My anxiety didn’t let me get close to people at all. It isolated me to the point where I wasn’t even able to get out of my room, for my head convinced me how bad it must be outside. Other people seemed to be too much work but I have found my ways to deal with all these things that are telling me to stay away, for my brain might hurt them.

I remember to breathe. My head tends to get cluttered with so many thoughts that simply will not go away on their own and that’s when I forget to breathe. Whenever I would meet someone new I would become so anxious that my breathing would just stop. But now I manage to remember to breathe. With this, I get a moment of peace where I gather my thoughts and become aware of my surroundings. When I remember to breathe it’s so much easier to talk to and interact with others.

I tell people about my anxiety. It’s not the easiest thing to do to be honest. Telling someone that you get anxious very easily and that the whole situation is super uncomfortable for you only makes you vulnerable. But if someone doesn’t appreciate your honesty and they don’t even bother to try and understand you, then they are not even worthy of your time. At least that’s how I see it. It took me quite some time to manage this but I have been doing great!

When people know how anxious they make me, they also know that I am fighting a battle no one can see. I am not searching for pity. I just want people to know how hard it is for me to interact with them and why it is that way. So people tend to be more understandable and they end up making it easier for me to get to know them.

I try to accept that I can’t control things. My anxiety is mostly turned to the fear that something might go wrong before it even starts, so I end up with my head between my knees, begging the world to do things my way. But it never works out how I planned. So, I have a reminder written on my hand that says that I can’t control things and that I should just let them go.

Because of the fear of getting hurt or being misunderstood I often regret the fact that I don’t get emotionally intimate with someone. So, what I do is I talk. Even though it sounds awkward and even though I break down most of the time, I keep on trying until I tell them something about myself. Of course, I always ask for something in return, a memory perhaps, that I can hold on to.

I try to remember that it’s not my fault. This is what I fail at the most. I try to convince myself that having anxiety isn’t my fault or that people leaving my life also isn’t my fault. But it’s truly hard. Getting close to people means being vulnerable and telling them that you are insecure and that’s what gives them the power to break you.

But I would rather be broken than not be able to express true emotions. One can heal after a broken heart and we can all learn a valuable lesson but regretting the fact that you have never made an emotional connection or that you were too afraid to talk to someone stays.

So every day I work on becoming more open to people and getting close to them, because it makes me happy to keep up an interesting conversation or to hold on to an amazing friend. I work on my anxiety and at the end of the day, I am proud of myself for every little achievement.