When reading blogs about anxiety, I usually find a lot of articles about how to cope with this never-ending feeling of unease. However, I want to do something a bit unique, and just write about some of the weird crap I find myself doing daily thanks to anxiety. I’m not saying everyone with anxiety has these same habits, but as always, I write in the hopes that someone else out there can relate.
I replay almost every conversation in my head.
I’m not talking about conversations with people I’m comfortable with, or every time I make small-talk with a colleague or passer-by. I usually dwell on conversations where I’m venting, or important conversations with either someone I’ve just met, or a superior (like a boss, or a girl who looks like a supermodel).
When I’m venting about something, I get very passionate. I mean, I get “talking with my hands” passionate. However, I’ll tend to replay those conversations over and over in my mind, because there’s always a secret part of me that feels as though that person will go off and tell someone else what I was venting about. There’s a phrase I read that said, “be careful who you vent to,” so if you’re one of the few people I share my frustrations with, know that you are someone I trust. I always go back over and think about what I said, and make a list of what damage might be done if those words were to be spread around.
When it comes to conversations with strangers or superiors (and, let’s be real, I basically think that everyone else is superior to me- I can’t help it), I usually replay those conversations to make sure I didn’t say anything too stupid. I tend to blurt out personal information and make bad jokes to keep the conversation going, and my husband has even admonished me at times for talking about finances or our living arrangements. I don’t even realize half the time what I’m saying, so long as the conversation doesn’t have a long, awkward silence. Hence, the constant replays in my head.
When an unknown phone number calls me, I Google it instead of answering it.
Usually, an unknown number means it’s a telemarketer or a doctor’s office. However, I still Google the number to find out if this person is important enough to warrant a call back. This is especially the case if the caller has not left a voicemail. I swear, half of my internet history is a list of random phone numbers, and my constant attempts at registering my own number on the “do not call” list. Does that list even exist? If so, I don’t think it’s working.
I get depressed when I see successful people who are younger than me.
I know this is unfair. I know I should see other people’s successes as goals, and not reasons to be sad or jealous. However, I can’t help but I feel like a failure when I see someone younger than me who has a better career, or a house, or a child. I feel like an old maid who may as well label herself as “the crazy, tipsy aunt” already.
I am working on this. I’m working on not living my life for others. I know that if I am happy, that’s all that should matter.
The thing about anxiety, though, is that it’s not rational. And even if I know that I don’t want a well-paying career in marketing or finance, and that I want to travel instead of paying a mortgage, and that I want to wait a few years before starting a family, the emotional side of me says that I’m too old, and, oh- look at the person on Facebook who is so young and has everything- they are so much better than you! It’s not rational, but it’s there.
I assume every negative or passive-aggressive comment is about me.
You see that random post on social media with no context, by someone I barely know? It must be about that conversation we had the other day. They must have overheard something I said and disagreed with it.
Do you hear my in-laws talking in a different language on the other side of the table? I thought I heard my name thrown in there. They must be talking about me, and how horrible of a wife I am. I don’t cook for my husband every day, that must be it.
See those co-workers laughing in the hallway? They think I look ridiculous, and that I have no idea what I’m doing, and they’re mad about that issue I couldn’t help them with five weeks ago. Now they’ve joined forces and will never include me in any lunch outing again.
Yeah, this is just a peek into what my brain goes through. Thanks, anxiety!
I can’t drive with other people in the car.
After my bad car accident in February of 2016, I stopped offering people rides. I stopped offering to be one to drive somewhere. I just can’t do it. Not even with my husband or family. I can only drive on my own, with my own music playing.
I know how rude it must make me look every time I meet a friend somewhere, and don’t offer to drive. I know how rude it must be when I hesitate every time someone asks if I can drop them off at a certain place.
It’s not you, it’s me. I am so scared I am going to kill you. Please, I will offer up any amount of gas money you desire. Just don’t make me drive with other people in the car, judging every slow turn I make.
I’m sorry if this post doesn’t have a point to it (that’s another thing- I’m always apologizing). I hope this gives someone without anxiety insight into what my mind is like, and I hope it gives someone with anxiety something to relate to.
Tl;dr: Anxiety makes me batshit crazy.
Hugs and Fishes,