How I Get Over a 'People Hangover' as Someone With Anxiety
Looking at me, talking to me and watching how I interact throughout the day, most wouldn’t believe I am someone with anxiety. The kind of anxiety that leaves me numb, but pained with an unsettling feeling of something being wrong. The kind of anxiety that leaves me in bed all day crying for no reason. The kind of anxiety that steals my appetite or makes me so sick to my stomach that I can’t keep in any food I do manage to eat. The kind of anxiety that causes my heart to skip beats, leaving me breathless. The kind of anxiety that makes me want to fall asleep for days, or not sleep at all.
No, you’d have no idea. But why would you? I can play it off like I’m just fine, I can handle the situation I am in. Granted, the medication I’m on is a great support, but there’s this motivation in me to get through each day, to accomplish something no matter how small. Getting out of bed is something I give myself a small pat on the back for each morning, because it means I’m actually up and somewhat ready for what’s next.
I am a full time college student, meaning I am taking 5 classes a day on campus surrounded by thousands of people. It’s exhausting. I also work with kids six days a week after classes are finished. It’s exhausting. I try to maintain what little of a social life I have. And I do mean little. Whether it’s due to my busy schedule or being too emotionally drained from my daily interactions, I have no desire to spend even more time surrounded by people. Again, exhausting.
I need my down time. Maybe it’s a day in bed binge watching something on Netflix and eating pizza. Maybe it’s a day when I take more than one nap and spend the rest of my time awake still in bed. Or maybe it’s a day when I lay on the couch watching movies with my boyfriend. Whatever it may be, it’s a day to recharge and get over what I like to call a “people hangover.” When the anxiety of making it through each day catches up and I’m in desperate need of alone time, when all the endless interactions finally get to me, I need to recharge and prepare myself for the next round.
You may not be able to tell though. You may have no clue that once I’m home from class, from a long afternoon at work, from a weekend spent with friends, my anxiety tells me to shut down. I can power through it most days, I can play it off that I’m in control. Yes, there are plenty of days I wish I could spend alone in bed forever but I know in the end, it’s time to get back out of bed and start the show all over again.
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Thinkstock photo via OGri.