Having anxiety doesn’t mean it’s impossible for me to have fun, to let loose, to be a good friend. Having anxiety doesn’t mean I want to be cooped up in the house all day long without talking to another living soul. Having anxiety doesn’t mean I’m going to turn down your invitations out every single time, even if I have a long history of saying no.
I get uncomfortable in most social situations and avoid crowds as much as possible, but that doesn’t mean I want to be excluded from every party you throw and every group outing you plan. There are some days when my anxiety will be manageable enough for me to leave the house and join you on your adventures. If you don’t want me involved, then you obviously shouldn’t invite me out with you — but don’t think you’re doing me a favor by excluding me from activities you assume I wouldn’t enjoy. Leaving me out only makes me feel like an outcast. At least give me the opportunity to decide whether I’m up for socializing on that particular day or need to pass on the offer.
Having anxiety doesn’t mean you should keep your distance from me to avoid scaring me off. I’m an overthinker. I assume everyone hates me, even when they reassure me it’s not the case. You shouldn’t be scared to text me first, to let me know you’ve been missing me, because it will make my day. I love when people reach out to me. Coming up with a reply might make me a little anxious, but at least I’ll know you were thinking of me. At least I’ll know I actually matter to you. That’s a good feeling. That makes me happy, even if it does make me nervous at the same time.
Having anxiety doesn’t mean being alone makes me happier. Yes, I’m able to enjoy my own company, but there are times when I want to socialize. There are times when my loneliness gets out of control and the only thing I want is to spend time with friends. Without a doubt, there are days when my anxiety pins me to the house, when the idea of seeing another person makes my stomach ache, but there are other times when I want to go outside like anyone else. I don’t want to spend all of my time alone. I don’t want to hide away forever. I want to have real friends. I want to have a real life.
Having anxiety doesn’t always mean what you think it means. It doesn’t mean you should keep your distance from me because the smallest social interaction will make me self-destruct. It doesn’t mean you should treat me like I’m invisible, like I’m a doormat, like I’m different.
Sometimes, I would rather be left alone, but other times I would rather go out and enjoy my weekends. Sometimes, I would rather be treated completely normal because my anxiety is only a part of me, it isn’t all of me.