The Mask of Anxiety

She walks in, the life of the party. She can drink with the best of them like fun is her only life’s desire. She’s impressive, slightly intimidating – keeping guests at arms length – but genuine. She’s all smiles like her heart depended on this social gathering. What they don’t realize is her heart actually did depend on this gathering. Her invitation was a reminder that she mattered. She promised herself that she’d prove her worth the moment she walked through the door. She needed to prove her worth, as they had to her so many instances before; this was her love language. At first they fawn over her ability to be all fun all the time; nobody can match her enthusiasm for moments like this. The pictures are epic, the games are innovative; this is her calling, she is home. As time wanes on she tries her best to match the nights natural regression… but as everyone mentions turning in, its an all too familiar reminder. She is alone. Her heart races as the doubts cloud her logical mind. She’ll do anything to avoid that familiar silence. So she pressures on… One more game, one more drink, a few more laughs…but she only drives them further away. They can never fulfill her needs; they’ll never live up to her standards, and she can’t to theirs. The night ends in the most genuine of fake hugs…the love is real but vastly misinterpreted on both ends.

What I wish people could understand is that my anxiety isn’t me. Just like when you fall ill and you’re a little less energetic, a little less full of life, a little more sensitive and a lot more subdued. Anxiety is the same; it’s a facade that clouds my true intentions. It takes over like the plague and forces me to succumb to its doubts. It’s not me. It creates an uncertainty in how I am perceived. My actions with and without anxiety are almost identical, but the motives are entirely different.

She walks in, the life of the party. She can drink with the best of them like fun is her only life’s desire. She’s impressive, slightly intimidating – keeping guests at arms length – but genuine. She’s all smiles like her heart depended on this social gathering. Her soul soars at gatherings like this. They are an authentic reminder of how thankful she is to have these humans to do life with. She knows they love all facets at her, but lets be honest, they all know she has a love language of outrageous laughter, ridiculous games and unpost-worthy pictures. The interactions are the catalyst for her enthusiasm, they give her a high that is unmatched. The pictures are epic, the games are innovative; these are her people, she is home. As time wanes on she tries her best to cherish each moment before the night begins its natural regression. She offers one more game, one more drink, one more laugh, just in case there’s one more memory to be made. Eventually the night concludes, as it always does, and the loves her life all exchange the most genuine of hugs. With a sloppy smile she turns in and reminisces on the events of the evening as she fades into a sweet slumber.

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