Panic and anxiety attacks are not always visible from the outside. They can be silent internal battles that do not have any outward showing. It can be hard to talk about what these moments are like and how they manifest in a personal way.
Figuring out when and how to share my experiences of anxiety with my new relationship has been more difficult than I’d imagined it to be. Just saying that you have anxiety isn’t enough for long term. Sharing when in the middle of an attack isn’t an option for me. So I’ve been sharing what I can, when I can.
The first thing I tried to share is what my attacks are like and what it might look like from the outside. I stop talking, give short answers and become fidgety. Not much to go on—individually any of these could be meaningless or mild distraction or a need to pee.
So the next step was coming up with something I could say that wouldn’t take much effort. It started with a mild “I’m not feeling very good” but that leaves a lot of room for misunderstanding with that phrase. Now, I say I’m feeling anxious. Part of this was becoming more comfortable with sharing and wanting to be more open about my life.
The last thing is how to help. When people care they want to help. For me I need touch and company. Sometimes having someone accompany me while I complete errands is a huge benefit. When I say that I’m having an anxiety I can get the support I need without having to articulate much.
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