Thought Catalog
April 21, 2017

Anxiety Makes Me Feel Like I’m Still A Little Kid

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What is the issue?
God & Man

I don’t like to go anywhere on my own. If I’m invited to a party, I want to drive there with a friend, so I don’t have to walk through the door alone. I want someone that I can follow around like a puppy dog, someone that will make me feel a little more comfortable.

Going anywhere alone  — especially a new place I’ve never visited before — is terrifying to me. Honestly, any sort of social situation is terrifying to me.

That’s why, whenever I can, I make someone else speak for me. If I have to schedule a doctor’s appointment, I ask my parents if they’ll pick up the phone and make the call. If my friends are over and I order a pizza, I’ll hand them the money when I hear a knock at the door, because I don’t want to answer it myself.

I can dial a number and answer a door on my own, I know I can, I’m not incapable — but it’s so much easier to ask someone else to do it for me. Otherwise, I have to waste time psyching myself up.

I can’t just drive to a place, get out of my car, and walk up to the building like a ‘normal’ person. I could spend up to twenty minutes in the car, trying to convince myself that I’m ready to handle the supermarket or office or hair salon.

Life is easier when I have someone around to help me out, but I don’t know if relying on others is making my anxiety worse. If I should push myself outside of my comfort zone more often, so that I get used to acting like a functioning member of society.

But I have a feeling that I’ll never get used to it, no matter what I force myself to do.

There are restaurants I’ve been to a million times, meals I’ve ordered a million times, but it still makes me nervous to talk to the waiter. I still practice the order in my head over and over again so that I don’t get it wrong. If my friends try to talk to me while the menus are still out, I’ll only be half-listening, because I’ll be focused on the fact that I’m expected to say words to a stranger.

I wish little things like that didn’t scare me. I want to be the type of person that smiles at passersby and makes smalltalk in line at the grocery store. I want to be the kind of person that makes new friends everywhere they go.

But that’s never going to happen. At least, I can’t imagine it ever happening.

My anxiety makes me feel like I’m still a little kid, like I’m half my age. I want to call myself independent, but how can I do that when I’m afraid to step out of the house by myself? When I can’t go on an interview or talk in class without having a mental breakdown?

I hate what my anxiety reduces me to. I hate how I’m technically considered an adult, but still feel like a child. TC mark 

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