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True Life: I have high functioning anxiety.

High Functioning Anxiety : Constantly busy. Perfectionistic. Juggling a hundred different projects and responsibilities. Constantly scanning the future and laying the plans and groundwork for what you want or don’t want to happen. Feeling motivated and pulled forward by the hot energy coursing inside of you. Being described as super Type A. Having a mind that races and obsesses over your to-do list if you accidentally wake up at 4 in the morning. Covering up your daily anxiety with overthinking, overdoing, over-performing, over-preparing, over-everything…

Living with anxiety is like being followed by a voice. It knows all your insecurities and uses them against you. It gets to the point when it’s the loudest voice in the room, no matter how much you try to get rid of it, it’s just there.

Having no control over your own mind, your thoughts, your worries is scary. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world, especially when everything could be perfectly fine, but your mind tricks you into believing everything’s so wrong.

It makes you question: “is something wrong with me?” and apologize for being crazy, irrational and a mess, days on end. It’s tiring, frustrating and something you can’t really control. No matter how many times you tell yourself to calm down, tell yourself everything’s fine – you still can’t help but worry about the “what if.”

Your mind will convince itself that things are worse than they really are.

Not only do you not understand why you’re this way, the people who care most about you don’t understand either. And as much as you try to explain what’s wrong, no words come out. Just tears – from sadness, anger and frustration.

I have one of those minds. I know what’s it like to not be able to explain what’s wrong, especially if nothing is really actually wrong.

I’ve always been hard on myself. I’ve always stressed myself or thought the worst of every situation. But never like this. Maybe it’s because I graduated college and everything began happening so fast? Maybe a little too fast for me to handle. I’ve been unhappy, not sure why but my mind wouldn’t let me be happy. No matter how hard I tried to convince myself that ‘everything was okay.’ Whatever it is, it slowly gets better – every single day, I’m learning (or at least trying) to not let anxiety win.

People underestimate what anxiety really is. You want to call those who overthink everything, or make up scenarios in their head crazy, but you don’t understand: those with anxiety can’t control it.

It doesn’t make us crazy and we definitely don’t need you telling us we’re crazy either.

Loving someone with anxiety can be hard, but the worst thing you can ever do is give someone more reason to worry. If you truly believe in them – try to understand. Know that it’s you vs. anxiety vs. them. The best thing you can do is just listen – or be there if someone can’t explain why they feel how they do.

Understand that sometimes you may be the reason for an attack, even though you haven’t given us a reason as to why you or your actions should be. Don’t take it personal. Be careful with your words – don’t say we’re overreacting, to calm down or to stop worrying. Don’t you think that if we could stop worrying, we would have by now?

I’m drowning and you’re standing 3 feet away screaming, “learn how to swim.”

People try to understand what’s going on in my head, why I worry about things that haven’t happened or why I let my thoughts make me so unhappy. My answer is “I don’t know.” And no matter how many people I talk to, my answer is always I don’t know. I wish I had an answer, and someday, I probably will.

One thing I have learned is: do not lose yourself in your fear.

I tell myself everyday. With a million thoughts and worries running through my head – I try to tell myself to not let it control me. Don’t lose yourself worrying about something that may, or may not happen. It’ll begin to eat at you and ruin your life. It’s hard, trust me, and you might not be very good at not letting those thoughts control you but you can try and that’s really all you can do.

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