The Monster Under the Bed

One of my biggest struggles with generalized anxiety disorder is asking for help or turning to friends to talk. Anxiety is that monster under your bed. You know it’s not real. You know it’s just your mind playing tricks on you. But you still feel a little better when someone comes in and checks underneath, reassuring you that there’s nothing there.

But what happens when they get sick of checking for you? What happens when you ask them to check and they are exhausted and ask, “Aren’t you too old for this?”

The only thing worse than dealing with anxiety on your own is feeling like you put the burden on someone else. So what do you do? You stop asking. It’s doesn’t mean that the monster has gone away. It doesn’t mean that you’re no longer afraid. It just means that you’ve learned how to stay quiet all night. It means that you’ve learned how to not sleep. It means you’ve learned how to pretend everything is ok, that you’ve grown up, that you aren’t weak and needy, because the only thing scarier than anxiety is being alone because your friends and family are sick of taking care of you.

The monster is not real. It’s not there. We can’t see it. we can’t hear it. We know it’s our imagination. We know it’s in our mind. But the fear is real. We need someone else to tell us because we do not trust ourselves.

How can I trust myself to tell myself that it’s not real when my own mind is what created it in the first place?

 

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