themighty logo

Little Moments That Shouldn't Cause Anxiety, but Do


Yes, I get extremely anxious going to unknown places and meeting strange, new¬†people. Yes, sometimes even family visits or friendly get-¬≠togethers scare me. But the¬†little moments are the worst…

The doorbell.

Every time! My heart starts beating in my chest, and I really, really don’t want to go¬†and open the door. Even when I know people are coming: the screeching sound¬†makes my muscles tense.

A call from an unknown number.

I wish we could all use email. All the time. When I hear my phone ringing, I can’t do¬†anything but stare at it. I should pick it up, but I don’t know who it is. What do I say?¬†What if it’s someone I don’t know? What do I do? And if I decide to let it go, it gets¬†even worse. Because now I don’t know who’s been calling me, and that’s enough to¬†make my brain go wild¬†for the next couple days… And if they leave a voicemail…¬†well… that’s like forcing me to call back.

When someone doesn’t return a text.

As you’ve probably figured from the one¬≠ above, I always text. And when someone’s¬†read my text (how awful is it that you can see that?) but doesn’t reply, my anxiety¬†goes through the roof. They have to be mad at me… I’ve said something wrong…

And when that person replies a little later, with 10 silly emojis, my anxiety doesn’t¬†stop. Because that would just be too easy…

Going to the toilet at night.

I’ve had this fear as long as I can remember. I can’t get out of bed in the middle of¬†the night. I practically see myself getting murdered or kidnapped or slipping on the¬†floor. This is one of the reasons I can’t see myself living in a house instead of¬†an apartment. I can only imagine my fear when there’s a whole other floor just¬†beneath me.

There are hundreds more — especially¬†when you count the “occasional” ones, like¬†cooking over a fire. Sometimes I only focus on the biggest, baddest anxiety kickers, but¬†that doesn’t mean these aren’t equally important — or any less satisfying to¬†overcome. Because I recently dared myself to shower when I was home alone… and¬†I did it!

The Mighty is asking the following: Create a list-style story of your choice in regards to disability, disease or mental illness. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.