Anxiety isn’t just a temporary feeling that happens when you’re working against a tight deadline, or trying something new for the first time. It’s a constant presence that can pop up even when there’s nothing to be anxious about. Here are some things that only those who struggle with anxiety know all too well.
1. How annoying it is when people tell you to “stop worrying about it.”
Trust me, if I could stop worrying about how I’m going to get all my work done and if I’m going to be late for dinner, I’d stop. You telling me to stop worrying just makes me worry about it even more.
2. “Maybe” is the worst word in the English language.
Uncertainty triggers the worst anxiety. Especially these days, with everyone making such loose plans. Let’s just make our plans now and be done with it, thank you very much.
3. How loosely people use the word “panic attack.”
No, a panic attack is not simply freaking out. It’s like when you’re crying and you cannot breathe and everything will not be OK and it never has been OK and you feel like you’re going to die.
4. Waking up in the middle of the night and not falling back asleep because your brain is a spinning wheel of anxiety.
You have so much to do tomorrow and now you’re going to be so tired and you basically ruined everything and oh my god, I accidentally said that weird thing to my boss the other day and now she totally hates me and…
5. You feel anxiety about the tiniest things.
Your phone is going to run out of battery, even if it’s at 53 percent. And why didn’t you get invited to that neighborhood get-together? Oh my god, you missed the train to work, and now you’re going to be late and it’s all your fault.
6. You can’t stand being late or early.
You freak out about being early — Will it be weird? What will I do while I’m waiting? — but if you’re late, you freak out about keeping someone waiting or or having your boss get mad at you or…
7. If you ever have to cancel plans, you’re afraid everyone will hate you.
Sometimes you just need a night off. Then, of course, you get anxious about it. Because you’re anxious about everything. Because anxiety sucks.
8. When your anxiety is in full-throttle and you just shut down.
Fetal position, please.
9. You have anxious tics you don’t even notice.
For me, it’s slapping my leg and overusing the word “honestly.”
10. When too many people are trying to communicate with you at once, your brain feels like it’s about to explode.
How do you respond to everyone at once? How do you resist the urge to throw your phone across the room?
11. On the flip side, when no one’s texting you back, it’s definitely because they all hate you.
It’s all because of that thing you said three years ago. Or they never liked you to begin with and they’re done pretending. Yep, it’s definitely that.
12. That sporadic anxiety crying.
Please, pay no attention to me, I barely even know what I’m crying about. I’m just so overwhelmed.
13. Those terrible anxiety stomachaches.
No, it definitely wasn’t something you ate.
14. You freak out if there’s no order in your life.
Calming activities include: making to-do lists, cleaning, organizing, and taking deep breaths.