do you ever sit there and wonder what life must be like for people without anxiety
like they just
without worrying about them first
Anxiety is an excuse
i hope you walk barefoot on a world of legos for the rest of your life
The first time Tony Stark had an anxiety attack he thought he had been poisoned.
think about that
me trying to reach my goals in life
I once had a friend whom I’d known since primary. We classed each other as best mates, the kind who you could go a while without seeing but when you met up again it’s like no time has passed at all. The kind of friend who supposedly knows you inside out, who you could tell anything to.
But then I got ill, I got CFS/ME. For the first three years I devoted all my energy into eliminating the fact that it was a part of me, and was affecting every single aspect of my life without fail. Even now I wonder if I really am ill at all.
For that reason, I grew more and more self conscious of how I dealt with my illness, especially concerning what people thought/think of me; those days when you return to school after a relapse, and in each class people are sort of dumbfounded as to how to act around you.
People are so quick to judge if you even bring up the fact around other people that you’ve been ill - because if you mention one thing about it you are a horrible selfish person just begging for the pity of others.
So, naturally, over this time I became increasingly paranoid, introverted and desperately tried to avoid the subject with anyone; the thought alone of how to phrase what you’re saying, what words you should use, how to make it sound like it’s not that big a deal because if you do BEWARE !! Everyone will start hatin’. Which they definitely did.
As you can imagine, this just added insult to injury - dragging me deeper into a pit of mental deformity, something I may never get out of. This stuff really fucks you up, take it from me. And everyone else who has a chronic illness.
Back to this friend. She was the first and only person ( until now, four years on) who I trusted to give a booklet describing CFS/ME, the extent and seriousness of the illness, in the hope that she might be someone I could confide in whenever I’m struggling with the illness and any side effects such as social life etc. Someone I could talk to who’d have some basic understanding so they’d at least understand that what I’m saying is not attention-seeking, moaning, everyone-feel-sorry-for-me sort of talk.
Well as you’ve probably gathered that is not the fairy tale ending I’d hoped for. Instead, I’ve had a year of the worst anxiety of my life and some of the worst breakdowns I’ve ever experienced. I’m not saying it was all because of her, but there is 0% chance what she did didn’t play a part.
It started about a year ago. She’s the type of person who bitches, like, full-on, anything-I-say-I’d-say-to-their-face-but-evidently-don’t type. But, due to her excessive personality, she carried it off with a laugh and a saving last line which I can only imagine served as her hopeful repentance:
‘I don’t have anything against her/him, it’s just that sometimes… No but he/she’s a really nice person I do really like her… Yeah.. It’s just that when.. ‘
I’m sure we’ve all heard the likes of that before. Not judging it, sure we’ve probably all done it, but the point here is that everything she said was pretty much completely ridiculous and really quite offensive, and if that person were to hear they would probably suffer self-worth issues for the rest of their life. The list of ‘victims’ even included her own friends, even her very best friends. Sooooo many secrets. A lot of people are quite aware that the moment you confide in her, that is the moment your secret is secret no longer.
It still shocks me now how I didn’t think for a second she’d treat me the same as everyone else. Let alone say anything about me and my illness - surely that is just too far?
Hell fucking no. Apparently not.
I’d got a new, first boyfriend. He had glasses. Most friends were so happy for me and, as friends do, wanted to know every detail of how it unfolded; this particular friend never mentioned it all. Literally, it was the only exciting news I’d ever had and I was obviously ridiculously happy and wanting to tell my best mate. Her ignorance of it was so loud, I was a bit hurt; someone who has a new potential love every week and expects me to listen and praise her and then console her and tell her how she’s worth more than that, and she gives no shit whatsoever about me. Not willing to listen at all, making me feel like if I bring it up I’ll be attention seeking, showing off or rubbing it in her face or something like that. But of all people, I thought she would know how much it meant to me that something good has happened in my life.
Then, I discover she’s gone round saying things like: it’s really funny but, don’t you think **** looks like a paedophile?
To people she’d literally only just met. People who are also my friends. In a way which practically forces the other to laugh and sort of agree without devoting themselves to it completely.
Had I done something to annoy her? Nope. Apparently, it’s totes normal to go round slagging off and vainly judging your best friends first ever boyfriend behind her back whilst acting as if everything is normal. Hmm.
From then on it just got worse. We’d gone to France the year before on a school trip and shared a room in a French lady’s house. She reassured me that if I needed to rest or go bed early or whatever she’d help me out. Aww, thanks babe. We had a really good time, no issues at all.
Then I find out even now if someone merely mentions anything to do with school trips or France or whatever, they’re clearly begging for another account of how I forced her to go to bed mega early every night and never wanted to go out in the evenings (NOTE: we were in a foreign country in a local’s house at the age of 15/16. How did she expect us to randomly go out in the evenings? What even)
She’s even bitched this to her family. That’s so nice to hear, especially when, if I remember correctly, which I do, it was her who several times just wanted to go straight to bed when I wanted to talk. Okay then.
Not longer after this revelation, I find out the most hurtful thing anyone could have ever said to me. I’ll set the scene.
Half way through last year, I had a lot of time off, which led to bad anxiety and depression, making it fucking hard to get back into school. Especially when AS exams were literally days away. One time, I make it into school for the afternoon. She’s in my class, and soon as I sit down we’re all given a mock exam paper. I freak out, internally I might add, and feel my anxiety making a nasty return. I panic because the class is in silence doing the test, and the teacher is at the front of the room bent over some marking. I realise I need to just get outside so I can breathe normally and come round, but how do I do that without people noticing and being like omg what’s happened she’s having a breakdown ofgs what a beg. ???
Eventually I muster the courage to ask the teacher for a word outside, I explain outside what’s happening, she says go get your stuff and go home so I do.
Apparently at the end of that lesson, this ‘friend’ exclaims to the whole class how my behaviour was so attention-seeking and I just did it so people would feel sorry for me or be shocked or onvaefnojearbvraljen blah blah blah.
Sooo. That pretty much tore me apart. I don’t talk to her for a few weeks, then she texts me saying something like: feel like you’re pushing me away & I miss you.
Cue heart pounding and anxiety increasing.
I eventually say, I need to talk to you.
Next day after English, we walk out together to break and she asks what’s up. At this point, as I have experienced her arguments before, I say everything possible to make her feel like I’m not accusing or assuming or having a go etc, giving her a chance to explain. We sit down in the canteen. I give one example out of the many many more things she has said, the one about my illness, and she goes completely mental at me. Goes all defensive, as if I’m accusing her, my heart is pounding feel like I’m gonna faint I could feel it almost beating on my ribcage, she accuses ME of being the reason she’s had to say all these things, it’s my fault because I haven’t met up with her recently and never talk about being ill with her (proving my reason for this) and apparently when I come to school and just sit down like ‘euurghhmphh’ because oh woe is me! and I just don’t make any effort in lessons and just sit there like I don’t care when she’s having a really difficult time being able to go to school all day then having the mental capacity to work all evening because OH DEAR LORD SHES DOING FIVE A LEVELS OH DEAR GOD WHY DIDNT YOU MENTION THIS BEFORE BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY I AM THE ONE WHO SHOULD FEEL SORRY FOR YOU BECAUSE YOURE ACTUALLY ABLE TO REACH YOUR POTENTIAL AND ACHIEVE WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE WHILST DOING FUCKING EXPLORERS AND CHOIR OH JESUS CHRIST I DO WONDER HOW YOU GO ON PLOUGHING THROUGH EVERY DAY IT REALLY MUST BE SO HEART BREAKING TO BE ABLE TO BE IN CONTROL OF YOUR OWN LIFE.
Unfortunate I didn’t say this to her, after trying to reason with her I gave up and just let her plough into me continuously saying even more complete bullshit than before. And the best thing? Everyone in the canteen stopped and stared. Mostly with pity looking at me. And not one of them said anything. Not a single person could find it in them to say anything, not even necessarily to her, but just at least to break it up because I must’ve looked like a right sorrowful soul sitting there all tears while she’s waving her arms about and having a go.
And guess what? even now! a year on, it’s still my fault. She still bitches about me. And believes she made a ‘valid point’.
Better still, no matter how much all of my friends see of me tearing myself up inside because i still haven’t got over it, no one says anything.
No one has stood up for me, not once. I don’t blame them, and yeah I regret that I didn’t stand up for myself either. I think about what I’d say to her every single day and I’m really not exaggerating. The reason why they haven’t done anything, is a) because it will confirm them as public enemy no.1 due to the fact she can persuade anyone to believe a lie instantaneously. b) it will cause a storm of inescapable drama, rumours, bitching etc that will take a good while to die down. c) it didn’t happen to them, and they’re friends with her as well.
She’s the type it’s easier to be friends with than enemies.
This whole episode, when it initially happened, single-handed initiated my downhill spiral starting jan 2013. It triggered a horrific relapse, fucked up depression, and anxiety that has never really fully recovered; every time I hear she’s said something it shuts me down completely and it takes a good while to get out of it again.
This lasted all the way through my AS exams. Shock horror, she did well and got an interview at Cambridge. I did poorly, well below what I know I am capable of (my German teacher told another mate I would’ve been a definite Oxbridge candidate, which reduced me to tears when I heard. Out of flattery though, good tears I suppose, not trying to be cocky, I know Oxbridge is definitely not everything).
Luckily I only have one lesson with her, but there have been many occasions where I’ve asked a question to the teacher and I’ve heard her muttering an answer under her breath in a how-are-you-so-stupid tone, and then she’s answered the question herself, raising her voice and interrupting the teacher, I still can’t work out if she’s purposely doing it to humiliate me and make me feel like shit or she genuinely thinks she’s helping someone. I’m sorry, I don’t remember you being the teacher?
And this is just a glimpse of what she’s done to me alone. Others have had similar encounters with her and she remains absolutely clueless as to the effect she has on people - it is fair to say she has got away ‘scot free’ with everything. And people are fine with it. It is weird to say I feel like she’s won? Like this is some sort of fucked up game she’s playing with people’s emotions? I guess one reason I’m so affected by it is that she was my friend. And she doesn’t even care about what she’s done, clearly our friendship didn’t mean enough to her for her to try and sort it out.
And I suppose I am also angry. Ofc.
But mostly I’m sad, that I couldn’t even stand up for myself because she was so bloody terrifying.
I regret that the most.
AB, fuck you very much.
This campaign is the first time I’ve felt hope (in six years of suffering and misunderstandings) that at some point in the future people will understand this HORRIBLE illness that effects millions of people worldwide. Please watch the video and look at the link, I can’t even begin to put into words how important this is. Thanks
when someone says I look better heavier
It’s just like: