Dear New Person in my Life,
Hi! I’m not sure why you’re new in my life. Maybe you’re a new co-worker, a new friend, a family member of a friend or the guy that I’m seeing, or you’re a friend of a friend. Whatever the reason though, it’s nice to meet you! Here’s the thing about me that you need to know. I might be smiling right now, when you’re meeting me, but if you’re in my life long enough there is going to be a time where you might experience me having an anxiety attack. If I could control it, I definitely would. However, it’s worse if I do that so it’s bound to happen. I have anxiety and it can flare up at anytime for any given reason.
Please don’t think that I’m being lazy at work that day, that I’m faking sick, that I don’t want to spend time with you, that I don’t like you, or I don’t want to talk to you if I’m experiencing my anxiety. My anxiety is usually triggered when I’m not feeling well or I’m worried about having an anxiety attack. If we go away together for a weekend, I might be freaking out if my anxiety has been high recently or I haven’t been feeling well. I might need a little push or some reassurance that I can do it. Hopefully, if I’m ever in this situation with you, you’ll be there to reassure me and push me.
If I don’t want to eat while we’re out or I have to excuse myself, please don’t take it as I don’t want to be out with you. I do, I just don’t want to be around food at the moment. I want to be around you though! If we’re in the car and I ask you to pull over for a few seconds, please do that. Sometimes fresh air helps me if I’m having a hot flash and it keeps my mind at ease that if I have to throw up it’s on the side of the road and not in your car (this has yet to happen due to anxiety, but again it’s one of the things that I worry about). If I start to get light headed, take my hand and lets sit down for a few seconds. Maybe get some water for me (there’s usually a bottle in my purse). Just let me know that it’s okay that we have to stop for a bit . I do feel bad that we do, but knowing that you understand is going to help me a lot.
I really can’t explain my anxiety when it’s bad, so I may not want to talk. You can talk to me though. Hearing your voice lets me know I’m not alone and I can talk about something else if I want to. If I don’t respond though, don’t get upset or think I’m ignoring you (even if you aren’t aware that I’m having a panic attack). I might be trying to calm myself down mentally and I won’t be able to focus on what you’re saying. I’ll try to give your hand a squeeze, to let you know that I know you’re there, but I can’t talk to you at the moment.
With that, I will have my good days around you. Those are the days where that’s the real me. Anxiety is part of my life, so it will tag around sometimes, but it does change me as a person. Thankfully, my anxiety doesn’t pal around with me all year round, but please don’t judge me when it does come around. I look forward to seeing why you’re in my life and I hope my anxiety doesn’t scare you off 🙂