I’m an outgoing person. I enjoy talking and meeting new people. I love social gatherings and surrounding myself with my favorite people. They sometimes say I’m the life of the party. That I’m laid back and lots of fun.
I may look like a cool, extroverted cucumber on the outside, but inside? Anxiety makes me believe that everyone always leaves.
Everyone who walks this planet is fundamentally good. I believe in giving others the benefit of the doubt, of being open, and trusting they have good intentions. I pride myself in welcoming everyone I encounter into my home and my heart.
But the minute I start feeling like I can trust someone, the anxiety starts whispering. Flashbacks of past friendships where I trusted and was burnt start racing through my mind. I fight against the past and the present, trying to convince myself that maybe history doesn’t always repeat itself.
Remember how they all betrayed you, stabbed you in the heart, then ran away? You can’t trust anyone… in the end, everyone always leaves.
I believe that being a good friend means reminding your comrades that you care and that you’re always present in their lives. I check in on my closest friends, and I frequently send little notes to others “just because.” It’s not uncommon for me to comment on threads people post when I sense they might be struggling, because we all deserve love and kindness from everyone.
But as my phone sits for hours without buzzing, fear bubbles up inside me. They used to talk to me every day, but now it’s radio silence. I think of all the unanswered messages and posts that go without a like, let alone a comment. And as the worry washes over me, I try to avoid spiraling out of control.
Why would they ever want to talk to you again? Nobody will ever stay by your side… everyone always leaves.
I believe in compromise, forgiveness, and letting go. I may seem angry in the moment, but it never lasts for long. I’ve learned that everyone is doing the best they can, and we’re all imperfect humans, and really, that’s OK.
But anytime we have a spat, my anxious mind twists and turns. Even though I’ve heard people say that you can be angry and still love someone, I’ve never seen this play out alright for me. I try my best to be a people pleaser, but I’m far from perfect. Messing up is inevitable; mistake is my middle name.
Now you’ve gone and done it! They’re furious, and for good reason. You can’t ever keep nice things…in the end, everyone always leaves.
Pure panic consumes me every day. Although I have amazing friends, I live in constant fear. Anxiety makes me believe that everyone always leaves.
Are my anxious thoughts all lies, or is there actually a kernel of truth in my troubled mind? A revolving door is all I’ve ever known; I’m too much for people to stay. Anxiety may make me believe these things, but the truth is that certain people turn those fears into reality all the damn time.
But, if anxiety makes you believe that everyone always leaves, know that you’re not alone. I feel the exact same way, and it’s exhausting and difficult to feel this way. Know that I’m along for the ride forevermore, and I’ll always stay by your side. Maybe anxiety tells us everyone always leaves, but lucky for you, I’m a rebel who doesn’t believe in this lie.
Previously Published on Thought Catalog
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash