I’m anxious. About everything, about writing this, about new things, about the future, the past, about what the world is thinking, about things that don’t matter. I’m anxious. Anxiety is not a new thing, many people have varying degrees of it, it affects around forty million adults in the United States. It can effect day to day activities or come around once in a blue moon. Whether it manifests socially, through phobias, stressful situations, or sometimes it’s just there, a feeling of anxiety that can not be pinpointed to a cause.
Mine is high functioning, honestly, you probably wouldn’t know I even have it unless you know me incredibly well. I compartmentalize everything, I don’t share much, people don’t really want to know. Every tiny thing I do I overanalyze, did I sound obnoxious, like I don’t care, like I care too much? I like to be alone because that is the only place I don’t have a mask on. My best friends, my family, my coworkers, all know me, but they only know me as I choose to let them see me. I know what sets me off, I mostly know how to calm myself down, I refuse to use my anxiety as a crutch. I try new things, I try to push myself out of my comfort zone, but that only works sometimes. I’ve cried and pulled on my hair in my car because I just can’t get out of the car for whatever reason, it’s too new, what if this happens, what about that, what if I can’t control what’s going to happen? I’ve spent countless nights pondering over an awkward situations years ago, playing it over and over, changing my reactions, changing their reactions, staying awake, tossing and turning, getting three hours of sleep. Sometimes I drink wine specifically so I can finally have a full night of sleep. I work hard, I take tasks at work on top of tasks at work. I’d rather be anxious because I have so much to do, at least then I know why I feel anxious. There are times I go weeks without feeling a hint of anxiety, it is a great feeling, then all of the sudden something happens and I won’t feel calm for another three months. I watch people, the carefree ones, and I envy them.
People always claim to understand. Yeah, I get that way sometimes, my sister is anxious so I get it. Some people tell me to just get over it, she just wants attention, she’s being a baby. I stopped sharing how I feel with people, most of the time I can’t describe it anyways. I’m the out of place one in my family. My sisters, strong willed, sure-footed, full of energy and confidence. Why did that skip me? Then I think are they wearing masks too? Does everyone have masks they wear for different people? I guess that wouldn’t be so surprising.
Everyone has their demons, and some are a lot worse than mine. So, I try not to let my anxiety define me, but nothing pains me more then hearing someone say, well she’s anxious you see, she just can’t do that. Maybe they are right, maybe I can’t do it. Just don’t make excuses for me. I’m awkward and strange, I’m nervous and scared, I break down easily, I hate new situations, but I’m me and trust me I’m trying. It’s hard, nerve racking, and definitely terrifying, but it’s my life and I’m trying to be confident.