Just something I wrote to try and explain how anxiety feels to me.
It's like living in a cage the size of a skyscraper. There's no door on the cage, no lock. You can walk out anytime. So you step out and you're okay so you take another step. It's not so bad but as you go for that third step you realize there's a rope around your neck.
But it's not a real rope. It's invisible to everyone else. It's a rope made of worry, made of what ifs. You glance back at the cage and behind it there's a darkness and out of this darkness a hand holding the rope. It flexes it's finger and the rope doesn't choke you. It just starts to whisper. All the things that could go wrong, that could happen. All the ways you'll be embarrassed. All the ways you'll fail. All the what if this and what if that.
And you know it's not rational so you fight it. You grab the rope and pull and tug but your hands pass right through but somehow you manage to get tangled up in it. It wraps around you and squeezes. You can't breathe, you can't think. All you can do is hear and before you know it your back in the cage, tangled in your worries. Sitting in a doorless cage but unable to move.
And people pass you by. They see there is no door and they don't understand why you can't just get up and leave. They fail to see the hand, the way your tangled up in something only you can see, only you can feel. They can't see that escaping is much more than simply walking out into openness. So they shake their heads and keep walking.
Meanwhile, you just sit, going day by day, listening to the lies. Listening to all the things that cause you so much pain because what else can you do? After a while you start to believe. Start to become fearful of every situation. You become terrified of social interaction, of unanswered messages. Of every natural disaster that could occur. Of the unnatural ones.
You become a bundle of dread, sitting in an open cage, listening to voices that only you can hear.