volunteer africa

What Imprisons Me

volunteer africa


I am imprisoned by my anxiety.

The best experiences in life come from taking risks, but I am often too afraid to do so. All my life I have had anxiety that cripples me and holds me back.

I still have a full life. Quite often I go about my days, even experiencing new things and meeting new people, without much difficulty. But then out of nowhere my anxiety will rear its ugly head and puts the walls back up on my prison.

I can be walking through the market, feeling completely self assured. Then all of a sudden I will be crowded by too many people, and the noise becomes deafening. Then my heart will start to race, I’ll have trouble breathing, and I’ll have to leave.

I am told they are called anxiety attacks. But to me it feels like a prison guard has noticed that I ventured a little too far past the gates, and calls me back to my cell. Yelling at me. Berating me. Making me afraid to afraid to ever venture that far again.

I have recently started dating someone, an “emotionally available” someone, for once. But my anxiety will not let me trust him. Instead of enjoying someone who is treating me well, I am pushing him away. And even though I am aware of this, I just can’t make myself stop.

I can see what rational behaviour looks like. See the way I should be acting. See the way I should be treating someone who has done nothing but support me.

But it is just out of my reach past the prison bars. So I stay locked inside my cell of doubt and fear, imprisoned by my anxiety.


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