When you’re struggling with anxiety, your thoughts tend to whizz around your head at a hundred miles an hour. There are so many worries and questions that you have from the minute you wake up, until the moment when you’re in the safe confines of your duvet.
Here are just some of the questions that an anxious person may ask themselves during the course of a day.
1. Why haven’t they responded to my text?
If someone takes too long to respond to a text, especially a risky one, this is enough to send us into a tailspin. It is at this moment that we will sit and think of the last conversation that we had with the person and whether they may have suddenly started hating us since then. Is our friend/family member/acquaintance/SO alright?
2. Did I lock/shut/check/pack that?
Leaving the house isn’t the problem, it’s everything that we leave behind that is. Checking whether the door is locked multiple times and whether hair straighteners are turned off are firm favourite. No matter how many times we’ve checked, or how late it makes us, there is always a need to do a ‘final check’ before we scurry out of the door.
3. Why is an unknown number calling me?
This question isn’t limited to just people who get anxious, everyone gets a weird feeling in their stomach when an unknown number starts calling them. What do you want from us?
4. Is there something on my face?
All it takes is for someone to look at us weirdly and then we start trying to work out why. They might not even be looking at us strangely at all, but once we decide that they are, that’s all we can think about. Was it something we said? Is there something on my face? This is torture!
5. What if I type in my password or pin number wrong?
Can we even remember what either of those are? Yes, we may have done this a thousand times and it is just four numbers- we know that. But yes, it does still make us panic and second guess ourselves every time.
6. Does everyone know?
As we bumble about our day, doing our usual checks and worrying about every possible thing, there is one constant concern. Can everyone tell that we’re feeling worried? To us, we imagine that everyone can tell from a mile of, although this isn’t the case at all, try telling us that!
7. What if I forget something?
We can worry about this just before we leave the house or when we are running errands. Forgetting something isn’t only frustrating, it’s worrying.
8. What if I say something stupid?
There are times when we worry about this more than others. We particularly worry about this when ordering food or getting served at a till. Messing up an order, forgetting what to say or worrying so much that we mishear a question are all potential risks. No, we don’t want a hanger or bag or anything else that you’re going to offer. Quite frankly, we just want to run away and hibernate. Please?
9. Do we have to talk to strangers?
If you’re anxious, talking to someone new is a minefield. It’s not that we don’t want to meet new people and make friends- it’s just a bit scary! Sometimes we focus so much on what we’re going to say, that we don’t actually listen to what you say (sorry).
10. Does everyone think that I’m weird?
Chances are, no matter how many times we’re reassured, we’ll decide that you think we’re weird. Yes, we understand that anxiety is normal but it doesn’t exactly make us feel like we are. We are sorry for our constant need for reassurance, but trust us, it’s no picnic for us either!
If you think you suffer with anxiety, the NHS have some great tips on how to cope: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Anxiety/Pages/self-help.aspx