This woman’s Facebook post about anxiety is going viral because it’s so relatable
As someone who deals with anxiety, trying to describe it to someone who doesn’t go through the panic attacks, heart palpitations, trouble breathing, and countless worrisome thoughts is like speaking a foreign language. But in a recent Facebook post that’s now gone viral, a woman named Brittany Nichole Morefield perfectly described what anxiety looks and feels like.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illnesses that affect both children and adults. They estimate that around 40 million American adults are affected by anxiety disorders. Anxiety takes many forms: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), agoraphobia, panic attacks, separation anxiety, social anxiety disorder, and more.
Not everyone who has an anxiety disorder feels comfortable opening up about an illness that is so difficult to describe. Everyone’s experience is different, and it’s very subjective and personal. But while everyone’s anxiety may not be identical, we can still empathize with the emotions that weigh heavy on the heart for those who live with it. Anxiety can be a silent illness because many of us who are at the hands of it understand its power.
However, Morefield’s post is more than relatable. Her open letter to those who face anxiety in its depths every day, and to those who don’t, is a reminder that we are not alone.
Her words are so powerful.
"Anxiety isn't just having a hard time catching your breath. Anxiety is waking up at 3 a.m. from a dead sleep, because your heart is racing. Anxiety is breaking out in a rash for no reason. Anxiety is stressing over things that may or may not be real. Anxiety is questioning your faith, 'How could my Creator allow me to feel this way?' Anxiety is calling your sister three hours before she gets up for work in hope she'll answer, so you can get your mind off the attack. Anxiety is a 2 a.m. shower. Anxiety is your mood changing, in a matter of minutes. Anxiety is uncontrollable shaking and twitching. Anxiety is crying real and painful tears. Anxiety is nausea. Anxiety is crippling. Anxiety is dark. Anxiety is having to make up excuse after excuse for your behavior. Anxiety is fear. Anxiety is worry. Anxiety is physically and emotionally draining. Anxiety is raw. Anxiety is real. Anxiety is a fight with your spouse, even though you're not mad. Anxiety is snapping at the smallest annoyance. Anxiety is flashbacks. Anxiety is 'What if?' Anxiety is a lot of, 'What's wrong?' and 'I don't know'."
Morefield’s post encapsulates a range of emotions for those of us that live with anxiety.
"Your feelings matter... Just because you're bothered by something others aren't, it doesn't make you crazy or worthless. Some of the most successful people in life, have anxiety. This is not your fault. This is not the end. You are strong. You are intelligent. You are brave. You are worthy."
It can be isolating to the point where your beliefs — and very existence — are at the other end of the interrogation table. But in a space where anxiety often feels like a foreign language, it’s comforting to know that someone out there understands.