illustration of a woman

I Know My Anxiety Isn't 'Logical,' but Please Try to Understand


I am me. It’s all I know, all I can be. I don’t know what it’s like to live in someone else’s head. Make decisions and choices without weighing up every possibility. Do things without worrying about the consequences. Live without considering what other people think.

My life is not like yours. I’m not saying mine is worse or I’ve had it harder. It’s not about comparison or competition. I’m just trying to explain to you that it’s different for me. What works for you doesn’t work for me.

I overthink things. I know I do. I just don’t know how not to do it. It’s a part of me, like breathing. It comes naturally and I know that doesn’t make sense to you. Because you’ve never lived with anxiety and depression — and I’ve never lived without it.

Telling me what to do and expecting me to be able to do it is not very realistic. I’m sure it makes sense. It’s logical. It’s what most people would do. I’m sure you have my best interests at heart. I know you only want me to get better. But it’s just not possible. It breaks my heart to let you down. I hate to disappoint you. I feel like such a failure. Logic doesn’t cut through the emotion. Panic is not logical.

Loud noises startle me. Adrenaline floods my system and I can’t think straight or make decisions. I am in survival mode. Having the TV on or music playing too loud is sometimes too much for me. Neighbors using loud machinery hurts my skin. Noise is overwhelming. When you shout at me that’s what happens and I can’t cope with it. Please try to understand.

Anger stresses me out. Shouting and getting angry at other drivers on the road makes me feel unsafe. It’s like a punch in the gut. The physical reaction is real. I want to jump out of the car and run away. Being around someone who is angry is not a safe place for me. I get the jitters and feel extremely anxious.

Anxiety doesn’t build up for me. It’s goes from zero to panic in a millisecond. I am sensitized to it. I don’t have “normal” reactions. I have super-charged mega-huge hyped-up reactions. Yes, they’re too much. Over the top. Unrealistic. Out of sync with the situation. That’s how it is. I live my life just one or two points away from total panic, so it doesn’t take much to push me over the edge.

Staying in bed is sometimes all I can do. I don’t have the energy to sit in the living room or interact. I just need some quiet time to allow my system to recover. I am on overload and everything is just too much. I can’t keep explaining myself to you. It wears me out. I don’t have the resources left in me.

My system is in overdrive. Everything is hyped. I’m hypersensitive, hyper-alert, hyper-stressed. I can’t switch it off. I don’t know how I switched it on.

And yes, I am aware that it’s my thoughts, my head, my thinking that’s put me in this place and keeps me in this place. And only I can get me out of here. I know that.

I’m just lost and I can’t seem to find my way out.

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Thinkstock photo via Silmairel

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