Anxiety is when I wake up in the morning and feel guilty about not getting up immediately.
When I sit down on the computer overwhelmed by incoming emails and notifications. What do I do first? What if this takes more time than it needs to?
When I leave the house and worry about looking silly sticking my hand out for the bus. Where should I sit? If I go upstairs, will I fall over coming down? The way I nearly talk myself out of going out as I’m half way down the road. Did I leave the straighteners on? Will the cat be okay, does she have enough water in her bowl? Will I be home late? What if I miss a train? I can’t walk home alone. What do I do if my phone dies? Is what I’m wearing going to attract people? When I walk around town. Are people looking at me? Do I look stupid? Oh god, why is that man making a beeline for me? Do I get out of the way, or will he? Where do I look?
When I’m out shopping. Oh god, how do I politely tell the shop assistant I’m just browsing? They hate me. I’d hate me too. When I’m trying on clothes. Is this worth the money? Will I wear it? I think I’m wearing the wrong bra for this. These mirrors make me look huge and I hate that I think that. Do I always look like this?
The way I beat myself up for not being able to overcome thoughts that are ingrained on us. I should know better by now. The reason I feel guilty for having a bad body image day. Why I sometimes feel like a bad feminist or activist because I am constantly trying to overcome negative thoughts. The overwhelming presence of everything that’s bad in the world and how it feels like we’re not making any strides.
The way I suddenly think about all the traits I hate about myself and wonder why they haven’t disappeared yet. Why I sometimes lay in bed at night wide awake thinking about something that happened years ago and cringing.
Why I struggle to say simple things like “I’m sorry” and “I love you”.
Anxiety is the 20 minute pep talk I give myself before making a phone call. The way I have to make notes on what I want to say. How stupid I feel afterwards when the phone call goes well. The sudden panic when an unknown number is calling me.
The way I over think everything all the time.
Why opinions that don’t matter have the power to destroy me. The way something so little has a complete domino effect. Is this how I am coming across? Does this anonymous person have a point? Does everyone actually think this about me? The way I ask myself about 50 questions before scheduling a blog post and the overwhelming sense of dread I feel before it goes live. Did I include this thing? Will people take this the wrong way? Did I word this right? Is the language okay? Should I just not publish at all?
Anxiety is why I am constantly plagued with crushing self-doubt every time I achieve something. Imposter Syndrome is the story of my life.
Why I come across as standoffish when I meet new people. The way I push people away when I’m hurting, even those that can help. The reason I feel like I should deal with everything alone. Why my bitch face is never resting.
The fear of public speaking I never got over.
The reason I’m not great in crowds.
The way I like plans to be put together. The reason why last-minute changes throw me off. That annoying feeling of anticipation that keeps me on edge and distracted throughout the day.
When I can’t shut my brain off for even five minutes. The way I have to schedule in time to relax. Why I have to actively remind myself to ‘switch off’. The reason I am always scribbling down thoughts, ideas, worries.
The way it makes really simple tasks seem completely revolutionary.
Anxiety is the self-hatred I battle with everyday. Why am I like this? Why do these things bother me? When will I change?