21 Things I Do When Anxiety Convinces Me Everything Is Going To Fall Apart

Daniella Urdinlaiz

1. Hide. Hide from other people. Hide from the world at large. Hide from myself, even. Burrow my way under under a mountain of blankets, place pillows on my body. Let the only light be the one coming from my phone. Put on an episode of something I’ve seen 10000th times. Hide inside of it. See if it means I’ve disappeared.

2. Read WebMD. Spin out of control even more. Inspect every section of my body. Compare freckles to photos on the internet. Massage my lymph nodes.

3. Cry. Not loudly. Not violently. Not enough that I can even really call it crying. More like watery eyes. A welling. A lump in my throat that I can’t seem to clear.

4. Take a walk. Slow down for a second. Listen to music and dance when my body has the urge to. Smile at the neighbors.

5. Listen to a Podcast. Laugh with the hosts.

6. Watch blackhead extractions.  Feel better. Wonder if it’s concerning how soothing watching those are.

7. Tell myself it’s going to be okay. Be skeptical of myself. Mhm. SUUURE, girl. You’ve said that before.

8. Tell myself maybe it’s not going to be okay. Be indecisive. Be wary of which narrative to trust.

9. Nap. Or hide. I can’t tell if there’s really a difference.

10. Get out of bed and force myself to go the gym. Run until I can’t feel my feet.

11. Talk to myself in the shower. Pretend I’m on the talk show circuit. Ellen Degeneres is asking how I prepared for my film role. I laugh. “My personal trainer kicked my ass for months.” Flex to show her. The audience claps.

12. Run more. Notice blisters forming. Decide I need new running shoes.

13. Watch You’re The Worst. Feel better about my own issues. Feel like I’m not actually the mess I think I am. Remember those are written characters.

14. Talk to Kendra about how horrible we think everyone is. Realize we obviously don’t think that because we love each other. Describe our individual panic attacks. Feel a sick sense of relief in our shared discomfort. Feel glad someone gets it.

15. Bombard Johanna on Twitter with GIFS. Continuously question how to pronounce GIF. Ask her something like, “Hey, can I ask you something weird?”

16. Hug my mom. Feel like crying when she asks what’s wrong. Don’t know what to say. Say, “I’m not sure.”

17. Look at Airbnbs in random cities that are too expensive. Wonder if I could be a nomad. If I could be a minimalist. If I could not care about materials and money and having everything planned out. Remember who I am. Remember I’m not wired to be bohemian.

18. Download Tinder. Immediately delete it.

19. Organize my room. Stumble upon my ex box. Try to throw it away. Can’t. Still, all these years. Can’t do it.

20. Read Modern Love and cry about strangers. Feel grateful that such beautiful writing exists.

21. Go back to bed. Decide tomorrow will be better. It has to be. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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