Because Of My Anxiety, I Don’t Feel Like A Functioning Adult

An adult with anxiety
Unsplash / Maria Badasian

When I have an appointment to schedule, I ask my parents to pick up the phone and make the call for me. I ask them to come to certain stores with me when I’m too nervous to go alone. At family parties, I follow behind them because I don’t want to be left alone to mingle.

Even though I’m supposed to be past the point of relying on my parents, I could not imagine living without them. I still need them more than I’d like to admit.

I do the same thing with my friends. When we meet at a restaurant, I expect them to walk up to the hostess and get us a table. If I need extra ketchup or napkins, I hope they’ll do the talking for me. If we’re hanging out at home, I don’t even want to answer the door when the pizza arrives.

Because of my anxiety, I don’t feel like a functioning adult. I feel like I am fumbling my way through life.

When I was younger, I thought I would have a better handle on my social skills by now. I thought my anxiety was just a phase that I called shyness back then.

I always assumed that, by the time I reached the age I am now, I would be comfortable in conversations. I would be able to make a phone call without rehearsing my words ahead of time. I would be able to walk up to a cashier without my heart thumping hard. I would be able to send a simple text without overthinking until the person finally answered me.

I never thought I’d reach my 20s and still be nervous in crowds. I assumed my worries would naturally go away as I grew older.

Because of my anxiety, I feel like I am falling behind. There are people I went to high school with who are working their dream jobs, dating their dream person, living their dream life. Meanwhile, I am still struggling to leave the house without my hands shaking.

It’s difficult to create the world I have always wanted when interviews make me nervous. First dates make me nervous. Everything makes me nervous.

I never feel like an actual adult, because even when I am working or networking or filling out my taxes, I am only winging it. If I look like I know what I’m doing, it’s because I’ve gotten better at pretending. It’s an act I put on for the public.

From afar, others might think I have it all together, but when I get back home, I will have trouble cooking a meal without burning it. Keeping my room clean without procrastinating. Living an adult life when I still feel like a little kid.

Because of my anxiety, I never feel like I am acting my age. I never feel like I am where I am supposed to be by now.

I feel like everyone else is ahead of me. I feel like my anxiety has been holding me back. TC mark

The truth is that you can be struggling and still be loved.

You don’t have to solve your whole life tonight. You just have to show up and try. Focus on the most immediate thing in front of you. You’ll figure out the rest along the way.

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Image Credit: Unsplash / Maria Badasian

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