Anxiety Is Not A Choice (So Please Stop Telling Us To ‘Calm Down’)

Anxiety Is Not A Choice (So Please Stop Telling Us To ‘Calm Down’)
Written by Chloe M.

Some people think that we could just wake up one day and decide to get better. That we can wake up one day and just decide that everything is okay.

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    I’m really sorry to tell you that, but we can’t just turn it off. Anxiety is not a choice.

    It’s not something we can chose to have it on Sunday and chose to not have it on Monday. Anxiety is not a decision.

    We didn’t chose to have it in our lives. It’s something we deal with every day. Some days it gets better. We can think a little bit positive. We can drink our morning coffee and just enjoy the morning sun. We can chose what to wear without worrying.

    But some days it drives us crazy. We can’t sleep. We can’t eat. It creeps up when we aren’t looking. It shows up in the darkest corners of our minds. It jumps out in front of us right when we are getting comfortable. It shocks us to the core over and over again, without any warning.

    And guess what? We can’t just get rid of it. It’s not a choice. We can’t just calm down or chill out. We can’t relax. We can’t just choose to be happy.

    It doesn’t have a shut off button. And it doesn’t even have any eject buttons.

    Do you know what is like to be told ‘just relax’? You’re downplaying our illness. You’re making everything even harder for us. You are downplaying the significance it has on our daily lives. You are saying that we shouldn’t take it seriously. You are saying it’s not a real ‘illness’, and it’s not something to truly worry about.

     

    Would you tell someone with a broken leg, to stop overreacting and to ‘just keep walking’? Would you tell someone with cancer to ‘just smile’ and to ‘let it go’? Would you tell someone with MS or with chronic pain to ‘just relax and stop being so dramatic’? I don’t think so. 

    Just please, think about it. We would smile, but we just don’t know how. We would chose to happy. We would stop worrying. But we don’t know how to.

    Just please, stop judging. You have no idea what are we going through. You have no idea how we feel.

    Please, stop telling us just to chill out.

    I’m glad you weren’t in our shoes. I’m glad you don’t have to spend a day in our minds. Every second of the day in our minds is a hurricane. Every second of the day in our minds is a storm. Some dark clouds are always waiting to come.

    You just can’t imagine what is like to fear of everything. You just can’t imagine what is like to constantly be in a panic. You just can’t imagine what is like to constantly be filled with what if’s.

    Please, before you try to make us feel better by telling us to calm down, just remember that anxiety is a mental illness. And it’s definitely not a choice. Depression is a mental illness. It is an illness. Not an outlook on life. Not a stage we are going through. And definitely it is not a way to get attention.

    Trust me, if we just could, we would relax. If we just could, we would stop worrying. If we just could, we would calm down.

    About the author

    Chloe M.

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