I wish you knew that if I choose to tell you about my anxiety on any given day, it means things are really, very bad. If, on another day, you ask me how I am feeling and I say “fine” or “okay” or “good”, I am most likely neither fine nor okay nor good, but I am staying afloat. If I tell you I am anxious, I am past the point of deep breathing or visualization- I need your help now. I wish you knew that when you ask me what I need from you, I do not have the answer. All of my resources are being focused on trying to breathe. What I need from you may look different every day. Sometimes, a story about your crappy boss or your roommate’s girlfriend’s family drama is enough to distract me and keep me present. Sometimes, helping me take my pulse and reminding me of how the heart’s ventricles contract for each heartbeat can help me calm down. Sometimes, your hand putting pressure on my leg is enough to ground me; other times, any contact makes me feel like I might explode. Sometimes, I just need to feel someone with me. Please know that it’s okay to try the wrong thing. If you start out with a story about your coworker and it doesn’t seem to help, please don’t give up. Try taking my hand, or reminding me of what glands adrenaline comes from. Please keep trying, because I am trying too.
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The Future is Accessible
Society for Students with a Disability
3800 Finnerty Road
Student Union Building, Room B111