Sometimes, people don’t believe me when I end up explaining that I have an anxiety disorder.
Apparently I’m supposed to have an aura of fragility, so that people can just look at me and know it without me having to have an attack in front of them. The problem with this is that in reality I’m a bit of bitter hermit, and tend to come across as intimidating (I have an angry resting face too).
So when I do have a panic attack, people think I’m making it up, until it gets to the point of tears and hiding under the desk, at which point they go ‘Whoa, this chick is crazy!’
I also take meds to control my condition. It doesn’t get rid of the disorder, but it does let me get through my day to day life without having as many panic attacks. The meds do not ‘fix’ me; they make my life livable. But for some reason, people seem to think that meds should in fact be a ‘fix’, and that the ultimate outcome would be to a perfectly ‘normal’ life.
I think my life is normal. I think my anxiety is also normal, because it’s a part of me. I will never not have it, will never not crawl into bed some nights and start to sweat as I think of something that sets off an attack. It isn’t a wonderful thing to have, but it IS normal. My normal.