That feeling where you have to use every bit of willpower you have to stop yourself descending into a panic – I hate it. Sometimes I literally have to withdraw into myself, I close my eyes and cover my ears and block the world out and wait for the feeling to subside. It’s that feeling of imminent danger, your body pouring adrenaline into your system to fuel the fight or flight response. It just sucks when it happens when there is no danger, nothing to defend yourself against apart from your own mind. I deal with fear on a daily basis. Actual real and intense terror. And the smallest thing can trigger it. There are times when I feel like I’m screaming inside but I can’t let it out for fear that it will overwhelm me. There are times when I am desperate to cry, but I can’t because I’m afraid that if I start I won’t be able to stop. There are times when I curl up figuratively speaking (and sometimes literally) and become a metaphorical hedgehog, small and vulnerable and hurting anyone who comes too close. I like being alone because I hate being around people who try to talk to me, but I also despise my own company. If I’m by myself, what’s to stop the negative thoughts from drowning me? Anxiety is like a deadweight pushing me down beneath the surface of the water. How can I hope to swim? How can I hope to overpower that weight? I have no choice but to sink and hope that somebody rescues me. Anxiety is fear and depression is misery. It’s like being in a room in utter darkness, feeling a lethargy overcome you that you cannot fight, but being terrified for your life of what’s around you that you cannot see. With anxiety, you lose the ability to differentiate the rational and the irrational, the real and the imagined. The monsters in your mind are just as frightening and just as potent and dangerous as the physical kind. The only difference is that you can’t outrun your own thoughts.