There are a million things that suck about having anxiety. Aside from the obvious, here are some of the (seemingly) small things that bother me most during my day-to-day life:
1. At any given time, I have a million things on my mind, a million things on my to-do list, a million things stressing me out — but I never have the energy to actually accomplish those things. I end up putting them off and putting them off, which makes my anxiety even worse because the clock is always ticking.
2. I have a warped way of looking at the most mundane, average situations. I can turn anything into a problem. An innocent text message asking how work has been. A friendly conversation with a stranger at the supermarket. A glance given by a crush. A smile shared across a room. My mind has a way of taking good things and turning them sour.
3. Sometimes, my anxiety makes me snap for ‘no reason.’ It makes me come across as moody and bad tempered. There are times when I’m irritable without meaning to be because there is a storm inside my mind and I have no idea how to deal with the conflicting emotions. I shouldn’t take my pain out on the people I love, but sometimes it happens before I can stop myself.
4. I have a bad habit of overthinking. Small, two-second decisions can take me hours. I will end up starving because I take too long to decide on which restaurant to order dinner from or which snack to steal from the fridge. I will end up ruining a fun conversation with a friend because I take too long to reply. It’s close to impossible for me to talk over Snapchat because by the time the other person reads my response, they forget what they originally sent to me in the first place.
5. I love being alone — but it causes me stress. I freak out when someone knocks on my door, calls from an unknown number, or rings my doorbell. When a friend or relative is in the house with me, they can help me out, but when I’m alone, I have to handle the strangers on my own. Of course, ‘handling it’ usually means hiding away and waiting for them to leave.
6. The clock is my worst enemy — but we spend way too much time together. When I’m having a bad day, I will keep checking the clock and groaning about how much more time I have to spend suffering. When I’m having a good day, I will keep checking the clock, groaning about how little time is left. I’m never satisfied.
7. The people closest to me think they understand how I feel, but they have no idea. They only understand part of my anxiety. They understand why I get nervous in front of crowds or making phone calls to strangers because those things freak them out too. But they don’t understand how I can freak out about getting lunch with my best friend or answering a text from a parent. They don’t understand my anxiety does not discriminate. It can arrive at anytime, around anyone.