Hello, everyone. I'm taking a break from my usual posting of book or product reviews to give you an inside peek of who I am as a person. I have always been a really anxious person. I don't remember a time in my life where I haven't been filled with worry or doubt. Even as a child I was constantly worrying about my family or my friends. I know those are things people normally worried about, but an 8 year old laying awake in bed at night thinking about what she would do if her family ended up dying isn't a thing a normal 8 year old should think about.
It's normal to feel anxious or nervous. That's what everyone tells me. "Oh, it's fine. Go order your food you need to get over it sometime." or "Just go talk to them! Who cares if they don't like you?" I care a lot. About everything. My mind is constantly on-the-go and very rarely does it decide to take a break. Even when I'm sleeping my dreams are anxiety riddled and filled with paranoia.
My day-to-day thoughts are consistent. Are my clothes so tight that people will judge me for being bigger? I can't talk to them because I'll stutter and someone will have a less than positive opinion on me. I'm going to fail this test. I can't ask for extra sauce because I don't want to be an inconvenience. On and on and on it goes.
I am constantly rehearsing conversations I may or may not have the following day in my head so I'll be "prepared' for anything. Even with a pre-thought thought, I still manage to stutter anytime someone I'm not comfortable with asks me a question. I hold every single bit of my money and count it before I go into the store so I'm not standing in line counting it and hearing a woman behind me tell her kids she's in a hurry. I sit in the middle of class and wait for people to get up to turn their tests in so I don't draw attention to myself by being the first one done.
Anxiety is a very big issue for me. It impacts my life so much that it interferes with everything I do constantly. It is a never-ending cycle. Sometimes I even wish that I could just stop thinking, in any way possible, and other times I'm like, "Ah, this life isn't too bad. A lot of others have it way worse than I do." Then that makes me feel worse. I'm a very privileged person, so I feel as if I have no right to feel the way I do.
I live with other mental illnesses, but anxiety is the toughest one for me. Dealing with the sweaty hands, my heart skipping beats, the shortness of breath, panic and fear in uncomfortable situations, horrible sleeping patterns, tension headaches, making myself sick from worry, and the dizziness I get when in crowds are the things that control my life constantly.
I've been called weird, strange, out-there, awkward, uptight, a bitch, hateful, closed-off. Everyone seems to want to judge, but not everyone wants to learn about mental illnesses. This is my life, and this is what dictates my life until I find a way to control this for myself.
Help raise awareness. Be mindful that the people you come across who are seen as different are most likely battling a war in their minds. We need more understanding, and a lot less judgment.