By Holly Riordan
Even when I have nothing to worry about, my anxiety keeps me on edge. Makes me question whether something horrible is going to happen out of the blue.
After all, if life is going well for too long, then I assume that something bad is bound to happen. That the universe wouldn’t let me be happy for too many weeks without balancing things out.
So instead of enjoying the moment while it lasts, I’m stressed about the moments that are going to follow. Instead of giving myself a rare chance to relax, I worry about anything and everything that could possibly go wrong.
I guess I could be called a pessimist, because I expect the worst of the worst. No matter what, I brace myself for disaster, because in my mind, the universe is against me. Everyone is against me.
That’s why I take stupid little things as signs. If I’m getting ready for a party and then end up spilling food or toothpaste across my shirt, I tell myself it’s a sign that I shouldn’t go. If I get stopped by a dozen red lights and am hovering in traffic for ten minutes, I tell myself that it’s a sign to turn around and go home.
My anxiety makes me want to hide myself away, so I look for any excuse that I can to justify staying under my covers.
And, deep down, I realize that I’m being ridiculous. That just because the jeans I wanted to wear to work are still in the wash doesn’t mean that I should take the day off. That just because my friend took an hour to answer my text doesn’t mean that she wants me to cancel our plans that weekend.
To anyone else, those things are forgettable. If you need a new outfit, you pick something different from your closet. If someone doesn’t answer a text, you either send another or you wait. It’s simple.
But not to me.
In my mind, little things are massive. The tiniest look or smallest comment can stay stuck in my thoughts for hours.
My mind is always on a loop, worrying about the same things over and over again with a few new things thrown in every few hours.
My thoughts are nonstop. My stress is never-ending.
I wish that I was an optimist, that I could hear about a party and think about how much fun I was going to have instead of thinking of all of the ways I might embarrass myself. I wish that I was excited about leaving the house instead of dreading every second of it.
But that’s not who I am, that’s not the way my brain works.
Sometimes, I feel like I’m broken. Like the social part of me is missing.
But I’ve been like this ever since I was little. I’m used to my pessimism, my stress, and my anxiety by now. By that doesn’t mean that I’m okay with it.
That doesn’t mean that I’m happy about it.