We need you now more than ever.
Anxiety kills, literally. It feels like a hot air balloon has surrounded itself around you, and doesn't want to let you go. It can come from the least expected places, and it is even more difficult knowing why it is occurring.
What I do know is that there are ways to help people like us. Ways for us to know we are loved and cared for without adding more overwhelming factors into it.
When the anxiety creeps in, when it takes over, please know these things. Please help by doing these things — because at the end of the day it will help us out, and let us know you are there looking out for us.
1. We need you to talk to us.
Help keep us grounded on the here and now. Remind us of what is beautiful in this world, and around us. When anxiety comes in we are trying so hard to stay outside of our heads. We want nothing more than to bury ourselves beneath mountains of stress, and situations. Try as best you can to be that storm that possibly can calm us.
We appreciate it.
2. Help us find a "safe" place.
What is safe to me, might not be safe to you. If it is at all possible please help me find a place that is mine, a place where you can be the support system I need, and I can work through the attack.
Being around a lot of people sometimes makes me feel suffocated, and it doesn't always help us out to try and figure it out in a large crowd. We need our space to unwind, to simply calm down.
The more attention that is driven to me, the more it might make the anxiety worse.
3. We need you to try and not undermine our panic.
We can't calm down if you are yelling, raising your voice, or making us feel less than. We need you to acknowledge our experience. Stand firm in that caring and express that empathy right there in the moment.
It sometimes is a terrifying experience feeling like you have no control over oneself, when all you want to do is have it. It might not be an easy experience for you, but we need is for you to tell us it is going to be okay.
Remind me that my safety is worth it.
4. Keep our focus on the beautiful things in this life.
Help to distract us from what is happening right in front of us. Help us to find things that are enjoyable and won't make us feel judged.
5. Ask me if there is anything you can do.
Sometimes I will need your help. I will need your help to make sure I am okay. But in those moments we do say no, please just remind us you are there and are not going anywhere.
Remind us that everything in time will be ok.
6. Stay by our side.
Even if it means sitting in silence with us. Take deep breathes with us. Hold us if we need it. You being there is already enough, and helps to bring about peace.
7. Know our triggers.
While sometimes holding us is okay, getting in our face and our bubble can sometimes make it worse. It can sometimes initiate more anxiety when we feel blocked off.
Always ask us if it is okay to get close. And when its not just you backing off a bit will help us immensely.
8. Remind us this won't last forever.
Remind us always that this is temporal. And while we might hate it. While we might dislike ourselves for the control it sometimes may seem it has - remind us of these things...
That we are human.
That our anxiety is not something that will win if we keep working with it.
And that you aren't going anywhere.
This article was originally published at PuckerMob. Reprinted with permission from the author.