I’ve been denying it, hiding it, covering it up, but the pressure of pretenses has become too much. I’m never going to be “normal”, or my version of it. I get that ‘normal’ is not a real standard anymore. People are starting to own their differences and not allow themselves to be placed in a box. I admire people who can do that. Until just recently, I hadn’t been able to own who I am because I have groomed myself to believe that I can be normal, just a fucked-up version of it. When I can’t live up to those standards, I hate myself. I used to put so much pressure on myself, and allow others to put pressure on me as well so I could try to live up to the ideals I set in my head. I let the pressure build until I cracked and the wall of normalcy I had so delicately built up around me would come tumbling down, crashing on me and those around me. For me, I am specifically referring to keeping a job.

I can’t do it. My anxiety doesn’t let me. And it’s so crazy because I am an awesome employee. Like, everyone’s favorite employee/co-worker. At every job I’ve had, I work my ass off. I’m affable to co-workers, I play nice with management, and I can handle even the most difficult customers with ease. I clean up messes, propose new ways of doing things, ask for more responsibility, and then I spilt. I do not, for the life of me, understand how someone can go to work every. Single. Day. If I could wish for one superpower, it would be to wake up, go to work, come home, and do it again every day. I want to contribute to society and feel like I’m doing something with my life. Six months has proven to be my limit before I hit some mental wall and I break. My anxiety slowly starts building and I begin to dread going into work so I start calling in. Calling in makes me feel bad, and my anxiety increases significantly and that’s when I know it’s time to call it quits. Once I put my notice in I am completely mentally out. It doesn’t matter that I need the money or health insurance. My anxiety doesn’t care that my resume would be 10 pages long with all the jobs I have had if I didn’t “tidy” it up.

My anxiety won’t let me go back. I’m crying as I write this because I realize how flippant I probably sound, but really, it is horrible. I know I put people through a lot because they rely on me, and I will never be able to understand why I do this. I have put myself through hell trying to analyze it. I have lost a lot of sleep, health insurance, money, friends, and opportunities. It’s who I am. To believe I am not is just a lie. My anxiety is severe and prevents me from having a real life. It’s not just jobs that I can’t keep. It’s friends, family, any relationship, really. However, by the grace of God, I have a husband who has stuck by my side even when I thought I didn’t want to be with him. He fought for me. I still don’t understand why, but fuck am I thankful he did. So, besides my husband, I cannot maintain relationships. I don’t have a best friend. I don’t talk to or see my family on a regular basis, save for my mom.

People get mad at me and they get fed up with me because, just like with a job, I have to peace out at some point when my anxiety sets in high gear. I can’t be there for them for long periods of time and that is pretty much a deal breaker for most people, I have found. I don’t blame them, really. I just wish they understood that even though it’s me, It’s not me. Sure, I’m the one who doesn’t call or text you back, but what you don’t comprehend is that it’s my anxiety that doesn’t let me respond. I wish I could explain it better because maybe people would be more forgiving, but even I don’t understand it. What I do know is that the more I try to fight the way I am, the unhappier it makes me, and the worse my anxiety gets. Letting go and realizing that I can’t live my life like most people do is what is finally allowing me to move forward with my life. I just have to figure out an alternative way to live that fits around me and how I work. And that’s what I plan to do.