There are some days when all I want in the world is for my girlfriend to understand what it truly means to have an anxiety disorder; to understand what it feels like.
Of course, she understands the general feeling of being scared, stressed, anxious about something. However, it’s in the way that someone says they have a migraine when in reality, what they have is a bad headache. They just don’t get it. They are drawing from the only experience they have and trust me, I am glad they don’t go through the same anxiety I do. But just one time, I’d like to tell my girlfriend I am having anxiety and have her completely understand what that means.
I want her to understand that I am asking if everything is okay, if she’s upset with me, if she really likes me, if she really wants to see me, because that is the only thing that relieves the paralyzing pressure in my chest. It is the only thing that allows me to feel as if I have an ounce of control over my entire body. Because in that anxious moment, that extreme panic, I don’t. I can reason with myself, distract myself, breathe deeply but I can’t stop the blood from pounding in my ears. I can’t stop the feeling that my veins are crawling out through every pore of my skin. I can’t stop the elephant from stomping repeatedly on my chest, forcing the breath from my lungs. In that moment, it feels as if the world has turned on its side and the only way to set it right again is to say something, anything, that will remind me that everything is okay, that everything is right side up and I am the one who is sideways.
In the end though, I don’t wish anxiety on her. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But some days, I wish she could understand why I do the things I do. Some days I wish she could just get it.