I don’t cross major traffic signals when I’m alone because the thought of so many people looking at me at once gives me chills. I will do everything in my power to avoid it. Sometimes I can’t be alone in public places without constantly tapping my foot, clenching my wrist, biting my lip and the sweat running down my spine trying to be normal. This is one of the things that gives me anxiety. Anxiety roots from different things for different people.

Sometimes the anxiety attacks make you rush to the bathroom and sit there choking on the floor, other times it makes you stand in front of the mirror questioning what’s wrong with you for so long that you can’t feel your legs. The more you run away from it, the more it comes embracing you. So much so that it’s suffocating. It’s the weird feeling like blood collecting at the fingertips like your body stops functioning and collapsing. It feels like your body is turning stiff slowly and then being hammered till it shatters all the confidence you have. Some days you live in an empty room in throat-drying silence whereas some days you just want to stand in the middle of the crowd and scream, scream till you lose your voice and all of it disappears. It makes you want to pull the hair off your head because it feels like the weight of the world is on you. It’s a constant battle. Some days I win, some days I lose, other days I just linger in between trying to catch a breath.

This is what it’s like, for me, to have anxiety.