I definitely always constantly find myself dwelling. I dwell, I worry, I freak out. I dwell. I dwell, then I worry. I worry then I dwell. I freak out. I worry and sometimes really and truly let it go. I worry and dwell and repeat. Are you annoyed yet? Because, SAME! This is my brain 24/7 and usually about the most ridiculous things.

For anyone who knows me even a little bit, or for anyone who actually reads these things, you know that I struggle daily with anxiety. Sometimes I think I should be an actor because I can be really good at hiding my crumbling emotions when I need to. And then again, people who I never thought would, have seen me cry or run to the bathroom to throw up. So there’s that.

Lately though, there’s been one thing that’s been eating away at me and I can’t let it go. In every moment my brain is not otherwise distracted, it’s right there in the forefront of my thoughts. Here it is, folks: I cannot let people in.

Growing up, I always thought I was an open, trusting person. However, upon reaching something some may call adulthood, I’ve realized that I am quite the opposite. I’ll tell you about my life, my friends, funny and embarrassing things that happen to me, and even what it’s like to live with anxiety. But I’ll never dig very deep. I have a lot of friends and I really do love them all in different unique ways. My brother always says “you have too many friends” and it makes me think about how I’m so thankful to have the personality that I do. I absolutely love speaking to strangers, even though I was taught not to, and I love making connections with people.

On the surface I seem confident and inviting, but on the inside there is a huge wall up, and behind that wall there’s a maze (similar to the last challenge in the Triwizard tournament) and then there’s a bank vault that takes a certain kind of key to unlock and voila, I’m hanging out inside deciding whether or not I can let you in. But it takes two. You have to have the right key and I have to want you to come hang out with me in my vault. This is super rare though because I get my yoga on, nap, read, and bake a lot in there so I’m not always paying attention to the outside world. I don’t even mean digging deep all the time – this blockade is present even if I’m going to grab coffee with someone. Have I said “Yeah that would be awesome!” to plans with people, or bailed at the last minute due to insane anxiety? Yup. And it stinks because I’m genuine and then I start to worry that people I care about might think I’m less genuine than they thought.

Tonight in the shower, despite loving the hot water and having an amazing playlist going, I was worrying and dwelling about not being able to truly let people in. I always find the positive in a situation, but this is just also a daily, hourly occurrence for me and many, many others. Though it is extremely hard to live with and manage, it’s not always this horrible monster. It just is what it is. And it is a part of me.

So basically, I’m really, really bad at letting people in. But I want to be good at it. Or at least able to do it. And sometimes writing helps, so here we are.

I’m so excited to have been accepted to an anxiety research program that involves group therapy. I’ve said for so long that I think I would really benefit from group therapy – if anyone wants to talk anxiety any time, holler at your girl!! As common as it seems to be these days, it’s rare to find someone who deals with it and talks about it.

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