Blogger Laura Mazza, the woman behind Mum on the Run, has penned a powerful letter to anyone with a partner suffering from anxiety.
The message has resonated with women and men all over the world, with her Facebook post receiving over 126k shares, 47k likes and thousands more comments of support.
The mum-of-two details the day-to-day struggle of fighting a war inside your own head and her gratitude towards the man who has stuck by her side through it all.
“You might have heard that she has anxiety from sitting by her side in a doctor’s office, holding her hands while the tears stream down her face,” she writes. “You might have seen her get angry and explode because she's overwhelmed. Wondering where this rage has come from. You might have seen her sit quietly staring into the distance with a panic in her eye.
You might have guessed, or she might have told you, but either way there are things you should know.”
She writes that anxiety isn't one size fits all, that the mental illness is rarely consistent and easily misinterpreted.
“You might think she's just snapped at you, but it was anxiety that did it, you might think she's angry, but it's the anxiety that's got a choke hold, you might think she's not enjoying herself when you go out and it's your fault, but it's not. It's anxiety.”
Laura goes on to write of the constant fear anxiety sufferers have about being a burden on their loved ones.
“Sometimes she wonders why you're with her, and if you knew she had anxiety would you still be there, do you regret it? Being with her? Do you wish you were with someone else that didn't have this vice around their neck?”
She also acknowledges the indispensable support required of a partner in this situation.
“I want you to know I see that this is tough on you, tough to see your loved one hurt, tough on you, the pressure for you would be immense.”
“She knows it's not your fault, and she knows you want to fix her and in the way that means you help her, but you can't fix her. She's not broken.”
“But you can help her, you can loosen the vice. You can see what gets too much for her, the crowds of people or bed time, dinner time, see it and help her by holding her hand and tell her you're with her. Do it with her, take over, tell her to sit down for a while and breathe.”
“She appreciates you, she loves you. She's vulnerable and scared. But she chose you to share her biggest deepest scar tissue that resides in her heart, and she knew the day she met you that you were the one worthy enough to see her in all her imperfections.”
Wider awareness and understanding of anxiety is needed and powerful posts like this are going a long way in achieving that.
You can read the moving message in its entirety below.
For more information about anxiety, or if you or someone you know is suffering, please visit www.sane.org or call the SANE Helpline on 1800 187 263.