Imagine being a blue tang fish (like Dory from “Finding Dory”). You are just swimming around in your underwater palace. You enter the banquet hall and see there are a lot of strangers there. You didn’t know about the party.
As you greet the guests, you feel like they are all staring. You know they are not staring, but it still feels like it. You continue to act like nothing is wrong. Then, it hits you like a ton of bricks. Your insecurities show up.
Suddenly, you can’t breathe underwater like you always have. You start trying to breathe, but it just isn’t working. Your throat burns. No one really notices because you are being silent. You try to control yourself, but nothing is working.
This is what it’s like to have anxiety. It can happen over the smallest things, like when you are eating in public or just by walking. Anxiety is not cute. It is not funny. It is a real problem. No one should want anxiety.
Anxiety can cause people to do weird things, like always check their phone to make sure no one called or refuse to talk on the phone because they are scared. They may make excuses when invited places so they don’t have to see people. Just the thought of being in a public place or an upcoming event can cause a panic attack.
Anxiety should not be overlooked. If you have a friend who struggles with it, then let them know you are there for them. Sometimes, just hearing, “You will be OK. I am here for you,” can calm someone so much.