Yes, indeed, I have similar reaction . . . I think that for folks like us, anxiety is often misunderstood by those we feel should understand . . . if a person has never experienced anxiety at our level of experience, it is often difficult for them to appreciate the impact that it may have on our personality . . . . even for those who are well intentioned, they think that anxiety is simply an issue of ignoring it and doing things . . . .although this may be part of the recovery process (getting out and doing things), it cannot be forced on people with anxiety . . . at times, especially in the past, it took all of my focus to manage my anxiety and to have someone say that I would feel fine if I just did x, y, or z, made me very angry because they could not even come close to understanding what I was going through and that there is not a quick fix to anxiety . . . .many times folks who do not have anxiety do not want to invest in hearing about it or understanding it . . . .I do have some friends who do understand and allow me to deal with my issues without trying to force me to do something . . . .for those who do try to force me to do what I know is not appropriate, I know am strong enough simple to say no and if they insist on a continuing basis ignoring what I am telling them, then I simply do not interact with them . . . .yes, I did lose people in my life who wanted to control my decision making but so be it . . . .
My approach now is that I simply tell people that this is my decision and if they keep pestering me, I simply hang up the phone . . . it is unfair that they get to go away from the conversation to live their lives as they see fit but that I am left with the results of the conversation which usually increase my anxiety so that I do not have the option of doing anything other than dealing with my anxiety . . . . I no longer engage in conversations that will trigger my anxiety and I do not feel the least bit guilty as I used to feel . . . it is not easy to get to this stage especially if you have been brought up to be polite, etc. but I see it as an issue of self-protection . . . .so, in order to avoid the stage where you get nasty and then you feel bad, etc., lay down the ground rules . . . if you lose your friends, then they may not have been friends . . .
As for needing to feel in control, this is not unusual . . . anxiety makes you feel so out of control, as least it does for me . . . I do not know if you are taking medication or working with a trained counselor, but if you are trying to unravel your anxiety and depression into causes and triggers in order to decrease your symptoms (and I have been there and still am there), then you certainly do not need other people putting addition pressures on you to do things that they feel are in your best interests . . . how you experience and manage anxiety (and, again, getting out and doing things to challenge your anxiety may be part of the recipe for your recovery but that is for you perhaps in consultation with your professionals to decide on the how, when, and what) that is as individual as anxiety is . . . . yes, you need to have a recovery plan and yes you need to take difficult steps, but you need to do so in a way that is meaningful to you . . . hopefully you are working with someone to guide you . . . the good news is that at 21 years of age, your brain is still developing so that if you can get involved in your recovery now, you probably will see progress more quickly . . . .
Please let us know how you are doing . . . . again, recovery yes but work with someone who can guide you so you can move out of the blahs and into the sun . . . . take care, kc