"I don't know anybody who has worse anxiety than me," said Lauren Kane of New York City. "I wake up every morning with a crushing sense of dread. If I even managed to fall asleep the night before, that is."
While sympathetic to Lauren's anxiety issues, Ben Brattle of Brooklyn strongly feels that his anxiety is even more debilitating. "One night I was so anxious about getting together with a group of guys I hadn't seen since college, that I literally sat there frozen on the couch in my living room all night long. It was like I was paralyzed. I couldn't even move."
He added, "And that's just one example."
Nevertheless, another of their acquaintances, Liz Farrell, believes that her anxiety is far and away the worst - without or even with anti-anxiety medication.
"Neither Lauren nor Ben takes anything for their anxiety," noted Liz. "I'm one of those people who hates popping pills, but if they felt even a fraction of what I feel twenty-four-seven, they'd have been desperate enough to get on something, too. Not to minimize, but the fact that they didn't tells me their anxiety is relatively low-level compared to mine."
Nevertheless, it may be that the most anxious one in the friends' social circle is in fact Sandra Gleason, who, although she privately speculates that her anxiety is far and away the worst of everyone's, has no plans for trying to win the anxiety contest. "Competition makes me super anxious," she said. "I'm starting to have a panic attack even thinking about it."
Although their debate over whose anxiety is worst may never be resolved to everyone's satisfaction, the friends have agreed to support one another as best they can throughout all the difficult emotions - to the extent that it doesn't negatively impact their own mental health, of course.
"When you're as anxious as I am, self-care tends to go out the window," said Ben. "I'm still learning not to put other people before myself. It's hard, though."