An Extrovert with Anxiety

Image by Amber Griffin

Recommendation: Listen to “Anziety” by Logic while reading.

Anxiety: a feeling everyone has at least once in their lives. There are, however, those who experience such nerves more intensely; it takes over their entire lives.

Imagine not being able to leave your house because you are worried about going somewhere without a familiar face. It’s the constant longing to be something you’re not. It’s the constant fidgeting of your body, the result of being nervous or on the verge of a panic attack. Take these feelings and combine them with extroversion. The two seem like complete opposites, right? An anxious extrovert sounds like a recipe for disaster. But for me, it’s reality. I’m an extrovert with anxiety.

I am an extremely loud, outgoing, social person. I do every activity imaginable in my community, whether it is in or out of school. I’m friends with everyone in my school, people in surrounding towns, and others who are spread out across the world. I have no problem acting like a fool with my best friends, and I always seem to be the most eccentric individual in a group. Yet, when it comes to going somewhere alone or new, something changes. There have been so many instances in which I’ve talked myself out of going somewhere simply because I had a fear of going alone or being by myself. I love my friends, but I’m always afraid of embarrassing them or being a burden to them. I like being in control of my surroundings, but anxiety keeps me from that.

Anxiety makes you the center of attention whether you want it or not. After three hours of convincing myself to leave the house (and an equally incessant amount of time figuring out what to wear), I often prefer to stay home. I fear being over or underdressed—there is no in between. I crave attention but feel stressed when I receive it. My anxiety makes me feel as though I am annoying in all the worst ways. I avoid saying I have anxiety, too; I assume people will think I’m exaggerating or looking for attention. Anxiety is not something to joke about, either. There’s nothing glamorous about sitting at home, crying in your room because you’re too nervous or having a panic attack in public because something triggered you. My best coping method is music. I can turn on any song and just get lost in it, the melodies melting away my struggles.  In the words of Logic, a rapper who openly makes music about his struggles with anxiety and mental illness as a whole, “We will remember despite the attacks and constant feeling of our mind and body being on the edge that we are alive.” Logic is a musician helping to change the stigma around mental illnesses. His music has helped many overcome their struggles, including myself. Celebrities like Logic are important in today’s modern society; they’re helping the world see the reality of mental illness. My anxiety doesn’t define me, and even though I barely show it, it has ways of controlling me. I won’t let this hold me back, though—I will find ways to overcome the feelings I have.  

By Bridget Fitzpatrick

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