Untitled Part 15

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Anxiety looks different for everyone. To some it is shaky hands, stuttered so each, and eyes avoiding contact. To others it is rambling words, uneasy laughter, and apologies. To some it can even be that flip in mood or a regretted action or seeking the comfort of another.

Anxiety has never looked like that to me. To me it has always been sleepless nights and unrestful days. The inability to sleep for more than a few hours, and never away from home. My anxiety has always come with a burning pain in my chest when I am unsure, when I think I have done wrong.

My anxiety comes with a fear of people, a fear of places, a fear of time. The avoidance of stores, parks, and libraries, all places that I wish to go, because I do not want to be recognized. I do not want to be a regular. The amount of times I have starved myself because the grocery store or restaurant was too busy to shop. People too plentiful that I felt suffocated and watched. The amount of times I have run from a near empty store because I feared the void just as much as the crowd.

My anxiety comes with an invisible mask. An outgoing personality, happy and carefree, fitted in place. Perfect in its show while inside I scream. Smiles and confident laughter drowning out the blood spilling from my veins.

My anxiety comes with an unstable intellect. The singular drive to throw myself into my work, health be dammed. The free time study of something, always new, that has led to a fantastic collection of useless knowledge. A list of hobbies just as long but always abandoned in boredom. A half-dozen learned languages without the confidence to speak but one.

My anxiety is my hell. I rot here unmoving and silent. Fearing both speaking of it and keeping it to myself. So easy it is to speak of when anonymous. When no one can tell that my troubles belong to me.

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