Anxiety doesn’t look the same for everyone. For some it is an extreme daily struggle. For others it may be the occasional time when several days in a row cause angst and fear. For others it may be somewhere in the middle.
Anxiety can be self doubt, a lack of confidence in yourself and, sadly, those around you.
Anxiety can be restless nights of sleep; a constant tossing and turning with the feeling that your brain is on fire, despite how exhausted your body feels. It is the constant barrage of thoughts, dreads and details that keep turning over and over in your mind, throughout the entire night, as you attempt to get slight snippets of broken sleep. It is waking up tired, and staying tired.
Anxiety can be a super sensitive awareness of everyone around you. And sometimes, everything. It is so acute that you can instantly sense a shift in someone else’s energy and will fret that you may be the cause. It is a hyper awareness that something wrong could happen when your kids are jumping in the trampoline, or when you are walking down a set of stairs, or when you turn on the garbage disposal. But, like, on an auto loop, and with everything.
Anxiety can look like a texting nightmare. “How do I word this properly?” “Why hasn’t she responded?” The worst- the unanswered text. Several scenarios play out in your mind starting with fear that you may have done something wrong all the way to “fuck her, she is a bi@tch anyhow”- all with no truth validating the stream of stories playing out.
Anxiety can look like an overloaded schedule or to do list, but a paralysis of not being able to decide. Or move.
Anxiety can look like a ruined or failed relationship before it even starts. It sounds kinda like, “I messed this up by saying this”, “I shouldn’t of done that”, “wonder what she meant by this” so that conclusions are jumped to, and it is just all wrong, wrong, wrong.
Anxiety can be irrational. But disguised suspiciously like rational thinking. Like, that I could get in a car accident. Except, it could happen right now. Or in the next minute. Or the next minute. Or when I get to that sign up ahead, someone might run that light. Or when I switch lanes, someone might not see me and run into me. Or, that a random pipe might fly through the windshield and through my head.
Anxiety can be having to have a plan. And rarely being late to something, unless you want a world war to explode inside your head and body.
Anxiety can be a racing heart. Or shortness of breath so that you constantly feel like you need to yawn, or catch your breath. Or sweaty palms. Or upset stomachs.
Anxiety can be overcompensating. Killing yourself to please others. Overcommitting. Striving for perfection, and then, beating yourself up if you fail, even a tiny itty bit.
Anxiety may not mix well with alcohol. Cause the next day it could be a stream of conversation about what was said and done and regret, shame, anger and sadness come storming in to cozy up to anxiety.
Anxiety could be the Oscar of acting. Acting like everything is fine. Acting like your stomach doesn’t feel balled up, or your chest isn’t tight, or that you like everyone and everyone likes you.
Anxiety could be that one day you’re the life of the party, and the next you are trying to figure out how to leave, as quickly as possible, without anyone noticing or engaging with you.
Anxiety can look like thinking too much. Caring too much. Everything is just too much.
Anxiety can sometimes look like not wanting to wake up just to do it all over again.