Anxiety feels like that moment you realise you’re tripping down a steep set of stairs, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Except, for anxiety sufferers, that feeling doesn’t last for a few seconds. It serves no real protective purpose, where a surge of Adrenalin might be helpful in prompting us to act fast. There’s no fall – but rather the perpetual feeling we’re about to fall – stuck in mid-air bracing for the worst. That sensation can be sustained for weeks, months or years, and it’s crippling.
One of the worst parts of living with anxiety, is that no one else can see the set of stairs you’re plummeting from. You are isolated in your experience, and struggle to find the right words to describe how the world, which looks quite alright to everybody else, is actually falling apart.
If there were a switch at the back of your head, which could turn anxiety from ‘on’ to ‘off’, you’d flick it immediately. Sometimes, late at night, your fingers might desperately try to find it. It is not a part of yourself you like or feel as though you have any control over. It’s a beast that creeps up on you at the very moments you are least able to deal with it. If you didn’t know better, you might even think your anxiety has a hint of a sense of humour.
How to help someone with anxiety. Post continues below.