I like to call anxiety the silent killer of my aspirations. It likes to convince me that I have nothing good to say, or that, even if I did, someone else is already saying it better than I ever could. It likes to set negative expectations, so that in the event that the bad thing actually happens, my useless fears are reinforced. “See?” my anxiety says, “what did I tell you about ignoring me?”
They say fear is a natural thing. It serves an important role in our lives, and has kept our species from dying out. Anxiety is fear on steroids, it’s death from the inside out. It’s when your brain is hijacked and constantly in fight or flight mode. It’s exhausting, it’s useless, and fighting against it makes you feel like David standing up to Goliath. There’s many reasons I despise my anxiety, but the following five are the bulk of my scorn.
1. The Ups and Downs.
Anxiety is one step forward, one step backward, a never ending cha cha. You feel trapped in a loop of “wow, I’m doing so much better” and “today I failed massively.” The worst part? You don’t know if you’ve really failed, or if it’s just your anxiety is making you feel like you did.
2. Constantly needing reassurance.
Constant reassurance. You know, more than anyone, that it can be a pain. The last thing you want to do is ask your friend if you did an okay job ordering from the drive through, because the lady at the window looked at you kind of funny. Sometimes the “you did fine” that follows isn’t enough to calm your racing thoughts.
3. Always worrying about something.
Anxiety is proactive and reactive. It will not only stop you from doing things you want to do, thus, being proactive. It will also plague you when you are having fun. There’s always that moment where your immediate problems have all been solved and you feel almost as if you’re missing something. Shouldn’t I be worrying about something? Then it starts again. To be noted: if you have anxiety, googling symptoms of an illness is not advisable.
4. Caring too much. About everything.
Anxiety likes it if you care what other people think; that further hinders your ability to find yourself and be truly happy. If you try to cater to everyone, you will be locked in a very tight box, I assure you. It’s so easy to lose sight of your own identity in trying to make it fit with someone else’s picture of what is right. It’s hard not to want to shrink yourself into the smallest person you can be, just to appease your fears.
5. Being too much while simultaneously not being enough.
You’re too much of a worrier, too much of a people pleaser, not enough of a risk taker, not enough of an individual. If anxiety and all the things it prohibits is not enough, the constant misunderstanding of those around you can really make you want to crawl into a hole. It’s important to accept who you are, anxiety or no. It’s important to ignore the people who don’t appreciate you, but it’s so much easier to say these things than to actually do them.
My anxiety is a grotesque, slimy creature that feeds off of canceled plans and inner turmoil. I don’t like it, and I don’t like its friends. This is why I hate my anxiety.