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A

by dux


When you have to choose between contributing genuinely good ideas and then replaying what you said over and over in your head hours later, or holding your tongue and regretting that you never give yourself a chance to be heard.

When the normal stresses of adult life mix with your anxiety to form an internal Molotov cocktail, one day exploding and hurting those who care, time and time again turning you into the monster your crippling self-esteem has always told you that you are.

When you wish siestas were culturally accepted here because anxiety is a full time job that you never get to clock out from and you always feel so tired even with eight hours a night.

When you develop a caffeine dependency just to find the energy to get through the work day and the drug puts you even more on edge, feeding back into your anxiety.

When there are weekends when you spend more time slumbering then awake because sleeping is the only place where your brain turns off.

When you have to fully remake your bed every morning because your anxiety-dream-induced tossing pulls all the sheets free.

When you know that they still love you but you just have to check in case they changed their mind overnight.

When you don’t get scared in horror movies because at least you can be certain this danger is not right.

Until you are awake at 2am alone in a dark house and the doubt creeps in.

When your heart rate spikes into the fat burning zone when you let your thoughts wander in the wrong direction.

When you are kept up for hours wondering what you ever did to make yourself your biggest critic.

When you are so sure diaster is imminent, but then things go better than good, and all that adrenaline turns to elation, and you just feel so happy.

Until you come down from that high and get caught up on how goofy you looked with that uncontrollable grin.

When the world is spinning, the floor drops out beneath you, you can't breathe, drowning in a room full of oxygen, your chest has caved in, trapping your lungs, your ears roar, where did these tears come from, your heartbeat shakes through you, or are those sobs, why aren't your hands holding still, you can't hold a single thought, except that you are absolutely certain that you are going to die, now.

When you have gotten good at pretending that everything is ok and when it all starts imploding inside, outwardly people just think you are being aloof.

When an acquaintance ask if you are fine, because you haven't been talking much today, you just smile and say you are fine. You can't tell them that right now your body thinks you are about to be attacked to be a lion and it is all you can do to remember to breathe right now.

When you spend half your life stuck in the fantasy world you create in your head to escape because it is the only place where you get to set the rules.

When you never get to pen that novel you desperately want to write because you are petrified that what you produce will not be perfect and that will mean you are a failure.

When anxiety is so part of who you are you don’t know how to untangle yourself from it and you couldn’t fathom who you would be without it.

Everyone feel anxious sometimes.

Me, I just got an unhealthily large dose.


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Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:40 am
Nyla says...



Thank you for writing this. I really needed to read it. As someone who suffers from multiple debilitating anxiety disorders, this piece hits close to home for me, but in a cathartic way.
It's difficult to describe how anxiety manifests (and just how crippling it can be), but you managed to summarize the experience quite accurately. Hats off to that.




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Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:58 am
Blossombriar wrote a review...



Okay first of all it's odd to say this, but wonderful job showcasing just what living with anxiety is like. These feelings and emotions are all so relatable, all the things I have ever wanted to explain were here. That being said I caught a couple of typos very small though:
"When an acquaintance ask if you are fine, because you haven't been talking much today, you just smile and say you are fine. You can't tell them that right now your body thinks you are about to be attacked to be a lion and it is all you can do to remember to breathe right now."

It should be asks "When an acquaintance asks" and then when giving the description of being attacked by a lion the phrase should be "... your body thinks you are about to be attacked by a lion and it is and all you can do is remember to breathe right now."

I could be wrong cause I'm rusty in reviewing, but this piece was very heartfelt. Thank you.




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Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:22 pm
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EliElyna says...



Wow... this is exactly what I'll be showing people when I get asked what it's like to live and manage Anxiety... this is everything I want to say but when I'm asked I just can't seem to find the words... Thank you, this is truly amazing.




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Thu Sep 03, 2020 3:46 am
kattee wrote a review...



Hello there, dux!

A bit of disclaimer but this girl's rusty and cramming. Your story captivated me because of the theme and woah, almost everything is relatable at some point. I was compelled to read throughout because I see myself often in your paragraphs.

Essentially, there's nothing for me to critique at what's in your paragraph. My problem comes with the overall structure. Short stories have a plot, conflict, etc. and I see none of those? This was overtly filled with description and emotion-- somehow looking for the definition of anxiety. It's fine, of course, if placed on poetry.

Though, don't get me wrong, the message somehow belonged to poetry but the style and structure(stanzas) was still prose. If you plan to keep this a definition-esque writing, then please translate it to poetry (if this is your choice, message me and I could give you a hand).

The second option would be trying to get it into a well-developed prose. Each paragraph told a different circumstance, there's barely any show. How about specifying more? Give realistic instances and dialogues into each paragraph. It's only a suggestion but what if you dedicate mini chapters per paragraph? That would help the reader understand how difficult it is to be in those situations. Of course, you have to carefully choose which comes first, middle, and last for a good build-up.

It's also preferable if you switch into the third or the first person's point of view. Perhaps it's just me, but I found the second perspective uncomfortable. It feels a bit more imposing and intimidating because anxiety is a pretty heavy topic. Giving all these feelings and emotions in the reader's perspective was jarring because they were obviously personal statements. They don't feel mine. It doesn't feel like I was in the story because there's no plot in the first place. It was full of emotions, feelings, thoughts. I felt like you were assuming what we're feeling and comparing it to your "unhealthily large overdose." It became to clear me during the:

When you never get to pen that novel you desperately want to write because you are petrified that what you produce will not be perfect and that will mean you are a failure.

What if your readers weren't writers? Again, I'm not saying you should scrap it but please don't use "you." And I hope I wasn't rambling.

A curious inquiry: are there more parts of this? You somehow ended at the climax. It'd be interesting to know what you meant by a "large overdose." Right now, it's vague and abstract. Is it the heightening of every single thing you've stated? To what degree? Does that mean you spend about ¾ of your life stuck in a fantasy world? Elucidate (but it doesn't mean you have to explain your version of every single thing).

Lastly, I'm not a grammar police but the way you compressed all these sentences into one was so evident in the first two paragraphs. I'm not sure if it's a stylistic choice, but if it is, it has no power. The only time I actually liked that style was when you used it in this paragraph:

When the world is spinning, the floor drops out beneath you, you can't breathe, drowning in a room full of oxygen, your chest has caved in, trapping your lungs, your ears roar, where did these tears come from, your heartbeat shakes through you, or are those sobs, why aren't your hands holding still, you can't hold a single thought, except that you are absolutely certain that you are going to die, now.

This paragraph was overcrowded with commas and it's brilliant. It mirrored the frenzied descriptions and had successfully made me anxious. You've replaced what should be question marks and periods into a comma, uniting your thoughts into one. Because, during breakdowns, they are one. It'll sound cliche but our thoughts are hurricanes during this. They are elusive that processing everything is impossible. I genuinely love this.

Meanwhile, in the first two paragraphs, it just isn't the case. It doesn't work. In fact, it subverted the power of the quote over there^^ You dropped the comma-bomb style at the very first start so this quote ^^ wasn't as shocking and impactful as what it potentially could be. If you made all of your other paragraphs normal, they will amplify the chaos inside that quote^^

That's all I can say! I hope it isn't too rambly for you and if it sounded confusing, ask me. If harsh, also tell me. I like to keep my reviews polite. Hope this helps <3 <3

SENDING LOVE, Kattee




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Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:41 am
Elinor wrote a review...



Hey dux!

May name is Elinor, and I thought I would drop by to give you a quick review. I enjoyed reading this story, and your use of second person. It's hard to pull off, and I thought you did a good job of keeping me engaged.

I think the main thing I was looking for in this story was more of a clear sense of point of view. At first, I thought the point of view of this story was going to be focused on anxiety itself, but it seemed to oscillate back and forth between being about anxiety about the person experiencing the anxiety.

If you want to focus on the latter, I wanted more of a clear sense of who this character is. Even if it's all of us. Commit to it.

I also thought you could do a little bit more with your language. For example:

When you never get to pen that novel you desperately want to write because you are petrified that what you produce will not be perfect and that will mean you are a failure.


This is all one sentence, and it's a bit of a mouthful. Consider ways to break it up.

Anyway, I think you have a great story on your hands, and I'm curious to see what you do with it!
Hope this helps, and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions! Keep writing!

Best,
Elinor





It always seems impossible until it's done.
— Nelson Mandela