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My name is Marcela P, and this is my story

I am 23 and I struggle with Anxiety

It all starts when I wake up, I look to my right side and there it is. My anxiety looking straight at my face, just waiting for me to get up. It starts by reminding me of everything I did wrong the day before, then, when I finally manage to sit on my bed and get up, it sits beside me. It starts whispering every little detail of what could go wrong today. I try to shrug it off and send it back to sleep. I slip into my bathroom and try to wake up, and avoid the fact that I have an uninvited guest in my room.

I manage to get out of the bathroom with the little energy the day has provided for me, and there it is, laying down with its arms crossed behind its head, moving its feet and staring at me. It looks straight at me in the eye and says, “You took long, I’ve been waiting”. I sigh, and pretend to ignore its there. I get dressed and instead of seeing myself in the mirror I see that shadow that follows me around all day and makes me think if I am wearing the right thing, if I did my makeup okay, if my hair looks fine, if I should be standing there. I wonder if it ever gets tired, because I know I do.

I trick myself into thinking that I leave it at home and I’ll be “good to go” the rest of the day. Suddenly, I get in the car, and there it is again, with its seat belt on waking for me to start the car and get going. I sigh, and realize it is going to be another day with the shadow beside me. I start the car, roll down my window and light a cigarette. I look to my side and see the shadow smiling, realizing that lighting that cigarette and the feeling of easiness it causes in my body brings the shadow satisfaction. Coming to this realization makes me sick to my stomach and I throw out the cigarette, not wanting to give the shadow the satisfaction it is looking for. Unable to breathe, I turn the bad mainstream music on the radio and try to sing to it to avoid the fact that I am on auto pilot to work.

I get off my car and the shadow is gone, I feel this weird sense of relief and feel like I can take a deep breath and live out the day. I take up the elevator to the office, turn on the lights, turn on my computer, and there it is, sitting in the chair beside me. It just whispers, “Get ready, here we go”. I sigh with a sense of defeat and realize it will be another day with my shadow of anxiety beside me. I am now shaking and can barely breathe. I open up my pill box and take half a benzo hoping that will shut it up… Luckily, it does. And my daily routine starts, I have taken the easiest way out and have sent the shadow back home knowing it will be watching every move I make. Knowing it will take advantage of the smallest mistake to take my breath away, to make me itchy, to make me irritable, to take me into its arms and not let me go.

Finally, my work day is over, but that’s the thing, the day is not over; because I know, the shadow is waiting for me at home to take every breath out of me.

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