Because of this sneaky monster, called anxiety, I take every little, unimportant thing too personally.
When something unexpected happens, I begin making assumptions and creating all kinds of worst-case scenarios in my head. When someone takes a lot of time to answer my calls or respond to my messages, I begin to think that they don’t like me.
They don’t want to hang out with me. They don’t want to be seen with me. They must find me very annoying. They think I’m weird. They hate me.
If you’re not struggling with anxiety, then these thoughts most probably sound irrational to you, but in my case, they’re something with which I have to struggle on a daily basis.
Because of my condition, I tend to overanalyze everyone and everything.
When a friend sends me a message, I analyze it from every possible aspect. I try to find out if there’s a hidden meaning behind the words. And I behave the same way when I text my friends. I spend hours rereading the words before I finally send the actual message.
It doesn’t matter whether I’ve been friends with a person for four months or four years. I need to be constantly assured that I’m accepted and loved. I need to know that they have a positive opinion of me and that they like having me around.
I need to feel accepted and cherished because this makes me feel secure and relieved. It makes me feel that our friendship is real and that I don’t have to fear that it’s going to end.
My anxiety makes me doubt everyone around me. If I have to attend a party with someone and they bail out on me at the last minute because they have to stay at work late, I don’t believe their words.
I think that they’re just lying to me and that the real reason why they’re not going to the party with me is that they find me annoying or repulsive or that they even hate me.
My anxiety makes me think that the entire Universe is against me. It makes me have a pessimistic outlook on life. It makes me think that something bad is going to happen the moment I leave the house.
Whenever I’m with my friends, my anxiety forces me to fear that I’ll say or do something stupid and make myself look like a fool in front of everyone. And this fear often makes me say NO to my friends when they invite me to go to parties and concerts with them. This fear often makes me stay at home.
This fear paralyzes me in social situations. It prevents me from thinking clearly. It makes it difficult for me to start and maintain conversations with others, both with people I’ve known for ages and people I meet for the first time.
Whenever I go to the supermarket and meet an old friend from school there, I don’t know what to say or what to ask them. I think that whatever I say, I’ll make myself look weird and stupid. I think that they’ll laugh at me as soon as I turn my back on them.
This fear often makes me look unsociable. Reserved. Distant. Weird.
Anxiety makes me doubt everyone around me, but it also makes me doubt my self-worth. That’s why when a person is giving me a compliment, I don’t believe them – I tend to think they’re just being nice.
Even when someone is flirting with me and showing that they’re interested in me, I ignore them and convince myself that they don’t want to have anything serious with me. I convince myself that as soon as they find out about my condition, they’ll run away from me immediately.
Yes, this awful monster, called anxiety, is lurking behind every thought and action of mine. It makes me doubt my qualities. My potential. My strength. My relationships with others. My self-worth. It prevents me from seeing the beauty inside of me. What I can only see are my flaws.