Living life with an anxiety disorder can be a lonely, tiresome road.
Anxiety can hit at the last minute; you say no to going out so much that people stop asking. I would constantly get ‘but you don’t look sick’. No one understood or even tried to.
When my life started to get so unbearable and lonely I met my best friend Brooke, my soul sister. Brooke is a kind hearted soul that understood how lonely the journey of anxiety could be. It was like we had known each other forever, every small detail of our lives somehow was the same, from our mothers names to our very personality. To find your soul sister in life is such a blessing, to be able to connect with someone so alike you that they always know the right words to say to help aid you through the most difficult and dark times, this has truly saved my life.
For once I didn’t have to pretend to be someone I wasn’t, to pretend like everything was ok, this was such a blessing as putting on a face was is so exhausting!
Whenever Brooke and I hang out I am able to stop and take the world in with every single sense. I am able to go out again, drive an hour and a half from home and feel calm and safe. I am able to live my life. The smallest steps that we both accomplish such as a sleepover, moving amongst strangers at a festival, getting through a day, we congratulate each other for this achievement and reward ourselves, because dealing with those things whilst suffering from chronic pain or mental illness is a challenge, but we get through it together.
When I met Brooke, I learnt about an illness that I wasn’t familiar with called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). I immediately looked this up so I could better understand this and help Brooke through this whenever a symptom would pop up whilst we were hanging out, or even if she would text me about it. Brooke made it clear how appreciative she was about my efforts and encouraged me to ask questions anytime. That is what friendship is about, understanding whatever illness those we care about are going through, invisible or not, and supporting one another.
I feel as though my life might have been less depressing had my previous friends made an effort to understand what I was going through, and not assume that because they couldn’t see the illness on the outside, that I must have been faking it. Having someone send me beautiful quotes and affirmations on my dark days helps me immensely, and I end up finding the light at the end of the tunnel.
I have found in my life I don’t need a tonne of friends; I only need one or two close ones. Friends that you can be yourself with, that you can sit in silence with and breathe in the beautiful fresh air together. A person that you can plan monthly goals with, and no matter how small, you encourage one another that this is achievable. A friend that will inspire you to live your life because you deserve to, because you are worthy, because there are people that will love you endlessly for all your imperfections and make you a better you than you ever thought was possible.
Be yourself always, be unique, be creative, and be weird! Live, laugh, dance, sing! And if you ever need, do not hesitate to reach out to that person that will listen without judgement: that best friend, that soul sister.
Becky is a writer from Australia and was diagnosed with generalised anxiety and panic disorder four years ago. Living a more positive and healthy life has been a huge coping mechanism in healing herself inside-out. Becky hopes to share her experiences with mental health to help others feel less alone in this world. @beczenbooks