What’s It Like to Have Anxiety?

what’s it like to have anxiety?

imagine 15 missed calls from your mom then your phone dies

like you’re holding a glass of water that’s filled to the brim then have to walk up three flights of stairs without spilling a drop

receiving a “can we talk?” text then not getting a response for six hours

leaving the house for literally anything is as daunting as climbing Mount Everest

what’s it like to have anxiety?

to experience panic with no actual danger

all this smoke but no actual fire

yet I’m choking on something I can’t put into words

any butterflies in your stomach turn into pissed off wasps

your mind screams for safety when you’re already surrounded by it

you’re the center of everyone’s universe except your own

do I look okay? i look stupid.

everyone is looking at me…


no one is actually looking at me.

what’s it like to have anxiety?

it’s like having a tapeworm

most of the symptoms are the same



abdominal pain.

general weakness.

weight loss.

sleeping difficulties.

initially, you’re freaked out by it

scared of the health implications

scared you’ll get sicker

how this will impact your daily life

but then something strange happens

you learn to live with it, to coexist with it

sometimes you forget it’s a parasite

you forget not everybody deals with this

that other people are actually healthy

no matter how much it hurts you and prevents you from doing the things you love

sometimes it’s the only thing that’s there for you

i’d rather have the tapeworm because tapeworms can be surgically removed

people don’t tell you to “get over” a tapeworm

when you tell someone you have a tapeworm, they don’t question whether or not tapeworms are real

and you can’t be told you’re “imagining” a tapeworm when there is proof it was inside of you

that’s what it’s like to have anxiety.


Originally published at https://afrosandopinions.com on August 9, 2019.

Writer. Womanist. Worrier. Alliteration Enthusiast. #AllBlackLivesMatter #TransLivesMatter

Writer. Womanist. Worrier. Alliteration Enthusiast. #AllBlackLivesMatter #TransLivesMatter