Anxiety is something I think everyone experiences to a degree. But some people experience it to the point where it decides what you’re going to do with your time — with your life — and it really, really sucks. I mean, to just be simple about it, anxiety sucks.
Personally, I don’t experience the kind of anxiety where I’m worried that people are always staring at me or talking about me, but sometimes when I hear people around me laughing, I think, “Oh that’s definitely about me.” Even though I know logically, it isn’t. I am pretty sure no one pays as much attention to me as I worry they do. And that’s a great thing!
My own anxiety lies in feeling like I’m not “reaching my full potential”, to quote my 2nd grade class report. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed by what I have to do and the time I have to do it in, that I get stuck. A few days ago this happened and it felt like my heart was going to break out of my body. I paced around my apartment, which only made it worse. Sleeping is difficult. My health declines. When I’m panicing, I can’t use logic. Emotion guides everything I do. I know exactly what I should do, and I do exactly the opposite. And this only frustrates me further.
I try to cope in healthy ways, but…well. That’s hard. And the harder thing to do is usually the better thing to do. I don’t cope with drugs, and I use that as some sort of consolation. I cope by eating my anxiety. There’s that line about how when you’re sad you’re just going to go “eat your feelings” and I didn’t realize up until recently that that is exactly what I do. Tonight, my feelings come in the form of McDonald’s. I will eat them, feel happy, and then hate myself almost immediately after. And then, guess what? Yup, more anxiety.
I don’t think that I’m unique. I am aware that many, many people feel these levels of day-ruining anxiety. I’m thankful that I don’t let anxiety ruin my entire week, or months, or years. I’m doing my best. As tired as this sounds, sometimes it helps to take a deep breath. On a busy scary day, I realize that it feels like I’ve been holding my breath, and I have to remind myself to stop, inhale deeply and slowly, and it let it out.
Anyone else suffer from anxiety? What helps you?
Photo of Ingrid Bergman from LIFE photo archives.
Almie Rose is a writer from Los Angeles. She has a blog, Apocalypstick. In addition to Dating & Hookup she also writes for Hello Giggles, The Frisky, Thought Catalog, and Genlux Magazine. Her book, I Forgot To Be Famous, is out now. You can follow her on twitter @apocalypstick. Her favorite pastime is eating and drinking and sleeping and then eating again.
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