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When Anxiety Gets the Best of You

I had plans today, plans to meet a friend for coffee, plans to leave this house.

biting lipsI didn’t make it.

I had nightmares this morning – weird shit that makes no sense when you try to crack it open in the light of day, but is enough to startle you awake in the dark to a pounding heart. It was with this sense of dread that I started my day.

By the time I made it downstairs to feed the dogs, it was panic attack level. I had to call my mom and disrupt her breakfast with my dad. My stomach hurt, I felt like I might be sick, my chest hurt. I was shaking.

And as much as I wanted to go to the coffee shop for a gabfest and some lunch and something to drink, I knew I couldn’t make it. I couldn’t drive. (DRIVE?! Are you kidding me?!) I couldn’t leave the house. I was that anxious.

So, I text my friend and, embarrassingly, explained. When she got back to me, she told me it was fine and to feel better.

That’s what happened today. That is why I am here at home writing this. But what I really want to talk about is how it made me feel.

It made me feel like a loser. It made me feel like I was out of control, that this mental illness called anxiety disorder was in charge. I felt trapped. I felt scared. I felt embarrassed. I felt sick to my stomach. And, I’ll admit it – I lost it for a minute and broke down and cried because this is my life, a life where some days that bitch, Anxiety, calls the shots.

I talked to my mom for over 2 hours today. She heard a lot of deep breaths coming from my end of the line because it wasn’t just a panic attack, it was hours of being on edge. Trying to sip peach tea to calm myself down while my mom did her best to entertain me and get my mind off my impending doom.

I didn’t leave the house today and it wasn’t because I didn’t have anything planned, or because I didn’t want to, it was simply because I couldn’t. So, know that this shit happens, but try not to cry when Anxiety wins. Maybe you’ll win the next go ’round. It’s an illness, not a choice.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

When Anxiety Gets the Best of You

Elaina J. Martin

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APA Reference
Martin, E. (2014). When Anxiety Gets the Best of You. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 10 Dec 2014
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