Home Stories I Am Not Stressed Out – I Have High-Functioning Anxiety

I Am Not Stressed Out – I Have High-Functioning Anxiety

I Have High-Functioning Anxiety

I’ve always known that I’m an over-critical, high-maintenance kind of woman. But these last few months I’ve been feeling very stressed and quite honestly, a bit drained. Or shall I say, anxious? That’s pretty much it.

The funny thing is until recently, I thought that my life was actually okay. That I am doing well, despite the current situation with the global pandemic and our basic human rights being taken away from us. I accepted life as it is and decided to make the best of it. So, I organized my work from home, I isolated myself from my family for a while, I even started gardening, at last. I truly thought I managed to dodge a bullet there.

But as it turned out, I didn’t. The stress, or shall I say, my high-functioning anxiety was always there. Lurking in the shadows. Waiting for me to settle down so it can finally resurface and take its toll on me.

And so it did. Only, it came disguised as stress and overthinking. What I thought was another bad day or simply my own way of coping with this crisis, was actually high-functioning anxiety. For those who do not know what high-functioning anxiety is, it’s not a specific type of anxiety, but rather a term that describes a state in which a person is normally (highly) functioning without realizing that there’s anxiety just below the surface. In other words, hidden anxiety.

Pretty quickly, I learned that individuals with high-functional anxiety are in fact very successful and determined in what they do in life. The official definition described them as over-achievers, dreamers, doers, hard-working, and ambitious human beings. Traits that in general, define me.

And all of this made me wonder. How could I not know what I am going through? How could I not know the name of the one thing that has been bothering me for so long?

Was I really that busy to make time for myself and find out who I am or was I perhaps, too scared that I’ll face a part of me that I am not ready to accept?

I am still not 100 percent sure, but the only difference is that now I know.

I am perfectly aware of what both my mind and body go through.

I am not stressed out. I have high-functioning anxiety. And it’s okay. It’s perfectly fine. It’s not something that I am ashamed of. It’s not something that scares me. It just who I am. Overthinking, lamenting, and stressing over things is just the way I sometimes deal with life. Knowing that I am not alone is one of the things that help me the most. Another self-help method is being aware that there is always a way out. That no matter how painful how life sometimes gets and how hard it is being inside my head, there is a way to overcome it. There is a way to heal both my body and find peace. It may not always be as easy as it sounds, but personally, it’s very helpful knowing that there’s an option. That the power is in my hands.

So, to all of you out there who can relate to all of this, I salute you. If you are still out there fighting your way through the darkness, you are truly an inspiration. Not only to me but to the entire world around you. You are proving to us that no matter how self-destructive our anxiety sometimes is, we can always find a way to heal and keep moving on. If you are still out there refusing to give in, you are stronger than any other person I know.

Thank you for choosing to accept the real you. Thank you for showing us the way.

Stephanie Reeds