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!

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