Look, anxious people find many things difficult or unenjoyable that others might consider everyday or ‘normal’. Anxious people cannot help this, in fact they really wish they could turn their anxiety off, but like that stubborn tap in that first flat you rented in your 20s, this anxiety is always there, drip drip dripping away in the background.
So I thought, considering the theme this month is Halloween, I’d share some ‘horrors’ we anxious individuals have to face every day…
Answering the phone
If it’s a number you don’t recognise you’re definitely not picking up and instead quickly type it into Google to find out who it is. If it’s a family member or a friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time you immediately freeze and think the worst and wait for the voicemail to roll in so you can reply in your own time. If the person rings more than once hyperventilation may potentially set in.
Making a phone call
You thought answering a phone call was bad, imagine being an anxious person and having to make the decision to press that green button to call someone else. Imagine their heart racing as they hear the dial tone, the silent pleading in their mind as they pray the person at the other end doesn’t answer and the panicked stuttering that occurs when they do pick up and have to talk. The horror.
Talking to more than three people at once
Imagining them in their underwear does not help.
Taking part in a group conversation
Do I interject here?…wait, no they’re talking…oh God I’m talking over someone, shut up…no one laughed, why did no one laugh?…I’m just going to sit here and listen.
Watching someone read something you wrote
Is that an eyebrow raised in confusion? Are they smirking because they think it’s funny or that I’m just an idiot? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD READ FASTER AND TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK! (But only if it’s positive!)
Making an appointment
You probably had to make a call for this, which was hard enough, now you have to arrange a time and date. They keep suggesting options you can’t do but in the end, in a blind panic, you say yes to one and put the phone down knowing you’ll have to rearrange it.
Getting somewhere on time
Leaving three hours for an hour journey is not excessive.
Locking up the house
This responsibility can sometimes get too much for anxious people.
Fun story: The other day I actually cried out in frustration because I didn’t feel like I could physically leave the house until I’d checked the back door was locked again (I’d already checked like five times already). I have a friend who films herself locking the door and I take photos of my straighteners when I pull them out, just to ease the anxiety a little.
Watching the news
Yes, I know I should be clued up on current events, but with the politicians shitting all over us, the wars going on in multiple countries, the deaths, the new disease I need to worry about, the crime, the hate…it just makes me want to curl up in a foetal position and never leave the house.
Attending an event you were invited to
You’ve received an invite, whether that be verbal, written or on Facebook and you’ve been present when the event has been discussed several times. People have asked you what you’re wearing, how you’re getting there etc. but still, in the back of your anxious mind you wonder if you’re really wanted there and it starts to nag at you until you decide to just not go.
Talking to your boss (or just someone important)
For hours/days/weeks afterwards you will replay the conversation in your mind so much you’ll turn into an anxious mess and convince yourself you said something so offensive you’re going to get fired any minute.
People who just type the city into the sat nav, not the address
Oh my God, just use the postcode or find the road. Drivers who suggest ‘finding the place when you get there’ are an anxious person’s idea of Hell. These are the laidback individuals who make anxious people late for important things, who swear they’ve been somewhere before only to find themselves very lost and don’t trust technology to do it’s job and guide them somewhere with ease.
If you’re suffering with anxiety you are not alone. Many people believe it’s just a term that’s thrown around for people who don’t want to do things or like making a fuss, when in reality it can make you feel small, confused and like you can never leave the house.
Many of us succumb to panic attacks and I can confirm these are the scariest things to deal with. Being unable to breath, like someone is sitting on your chest, your hands and face going numb and the feeling like you’re completely trapped in your body is something I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.
I’ve got my anxiety pretty much under control these days, I was prescribed medication while at University but I tried to get things under control without it. I recommend breathing exercises and yoga, which might sound a bit new age, but they’re great for getting things under control and taking some time out.
Otherwise, don’t hesitate to reach out to a body such as Mind (click here for their contact page) to talk to one their people about your situation or even your GP if you feel like you trust them enough to talk to. I know some GPs are less than helpful.
On a lighter note, Happy Day 5 of the Halloween advent calendar!