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My Anxiety Makes Me Question Everything

This piece was written by Holly Riordan, a Thought Catalog contributor.

Anxiety makes me question whether¬†there’s something wrong with me¬†‚ÄĒ for being afraid of¬†talking to strangers, for being afraid of looking “stupid,” for being afraid of stepping out¬†from my¬†bedroom door.

I¬†wonder why the group of girls that just walked past me¬†started laughing ‚ÄĒ even though chances are it wasn’t about me at all. I¬†wonder why some stranger¬†has been staring at me¬†‚ÄĒ even if they only glanced.

I¬†question every move the people around me¬†make, because I’m¬†worried that they’re focused on me. That they’re making fun of me. That they hate me.

I even¬†question whether my¬†friends actually like me¬†‚ÄĒ even though they’ve proven time and time again they do care. Even though they’re there for me¬†whenever I¬†need them. Even though they haven’t done anything to suggest I¬†mean nothing to them.

But it doesn’t matter if every sign points to the truth, that they’re my¬†genuine, honest to goodness friends. I¬†still question their friendship, because I¬†don’t see my¬†own value.

I¬†don’t see how anyone could enjoy being around me. I¬†don’t see why they would choose to spend time with me¬†when they could be hanging out with someone more fun, more “sane.”

That’s why I¬†always wonder¬†if¬†a group¬†would be having a better time if I¬†wasn’t around. If they’re only being nice to me, because they feel bad for me. If they’re going to talk about me¬†behind my¬†back the second I¬†leave the room.

I can’t stop doubting myself, wondering whether¬†I’m making the wrong moves. I¬†question whether the words I¬†wrote in a text¬†sounded stupid. Whether my¬†stories are too boring. Whether my¬†laugh is too annoying.

Friendships and relationships are difficult for me. If someone asks me out, I question their intentions. I question whether I have what it takes to sit through a dinner without embarrassing myself. I wonder how long I can keep someone interested before scaring them away.

I don’t know how to talk to people. I don’t understand people. Sometimes, I don’t even understand myself.

That’s why it’s so hard for me to socialize.¬†I never know what to say. What to do with my hands. How much to smile.¬†How long to look them in the eyes.

Instead of listening to what someone¬†is telling me, I¬†get distracted by my own thoughts. I focus on what I’m doing ‚ÄĒ how I’m coming across ‚ÄĒ instead of what they’re actually saying. I’m busy questioning every gesture¬†I make, every breath I take, because I’m terrified of looking dumb.

But mostly, I¬†question whether I¬†belong on this planet. I¬†question whether I¬†have a purpose, if I¬†mean anything to anyone. If there’s a reason for me¬†to keep on existing.

Anxiety makes me¬†question everything ‚ÄĒ especially myself.

This story is brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog.

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Thinkstock photo via finwal