When Anxiety Is a Fight Against Your Own Thoughts
Every day feels like you are fighting against the world. The truth is, that world you keep fighting is you. You fight against your own thoughts and cannot stop yourself from overanalyzing every situation. Why did you say that? What are you doing? Who wants to be around you? At just the right moment, these thoughts can destroy you. Nothing is ever good enough and you are never good enough, but you keep fighting yourself because there is nothing else to do but push forward. There is nothing to do but hope things will get better. They always do but your mind creates new obstacles.
You want nothing more than to walk up and tell everyone how much you struggle, but you also do not believe anyone would care about anything you say. So, you tell no one. It is easier. Endure the struggle because that is what people do. Is it not? Sometimes people ask you how you are and you answer and say you are doing well. Sometimes the answer is honest because in that moment you are doing well. Sometimes the answer is a lie and you say you are well because that is what people say. It is scripted and predictable so the other person goes away and leaves you alone.
People attempt to be polite and show you courtesy, but you hate being around anyone. You enjoy being around a small amount of people like in a coffee shop where each person has their own space and no one talks. You feel social in this way. You feel less like a freak this way. Someone tries to talk to you. Nope. Nope. Go away. That is what you want to say but you do not because that would be rude, and you would hate yourself for being rude, but then you hate yourself for listening because now the person will not stop talking to you. Just walk away.
You spend all your time avoiding people, even people you like and want to see, but you avoid them anyway because that is what your instinct tells you is right. Then something happens. You meet someone new or you start to know someone better and you feel something. At first you do not really know, but you are curious and explore. This person makes you comfortable. You are comfortable with friends, but this feels different. A connection of sorts. You cannot explain it. You enjoy being with and around this person. This person is not like anyone else you have ever met.
Naturally, you try to spend more time with this person. Your schedules never seem to line up. It is like this is not meant to be. You continue pursuing something because this person touches you in a way that is unfamiliar. There are levels to receiving another person’s touch. Strangers touch you and it is as if every nerve in your body is connected to this one spot that is being touched and all five senses are gravitating towards this spot. It feels like danger and you need to leave. Then there is the touch from a close friend or family member. You have known this person or many years and you feel no threat.
This person who touches you differently in a new way. You cannot explain what this is. They seem like a close friend, but the touch is still very different. The touch feels like they are being cautious. The touch feels like they know how you feel around other people and want you to feel safe around them. It is like they can sense your uneasiness. They touch you lightly, gently. In a way that says do not be upset, you are safe. How is it no one has ever touched you this way before?
You attempt to move things to another level with this person. Social interaction is a foreign concept that you will never understand but you try. You want to take this person out on a date. Every person you have taken this step with immediately ignores and avoids you. You feel this could happen again. You do not want to lose the only person who has ever made you feel the way you think “normal” people feel. But still you take a chance. You do it. No response. They ignore and avoid you. You were right. It happened again.
Three weeks pass, you have moved through each of the five stages of grief because that is what you do with the smallest issue and this felt like a larger issue. The person contacts you, casually, as if nothing has happened. You start talking again, only a little at first. You also act as though nothing has happened. Are you a hypocrite? No. You just do not want to lose another person when so many in your life have left you. You still want to tell this person how important they are to you but you feel they will not feel the same. That is OK.
Maybe they struggle with their own thought the same way you do. Maybe they were just as scared and anxious as you were. Maybe they did not know how to tell you no without hurting you because even though they are not interested, they still like you and want to keep you around. There are always too many maybes. You force yourself to stop creating maybes and just be happy that someone wants to talk to you sometimes. But there will always be maybes. There will always be what ifs. Why did you say that? What are you doing? Who wants to be around you?
It is a never-ending cycle. You cannot stop the thinking. You cannot stop the worrying. You cannot stop. You only want someone to hold you but you do not want anyone to touch you. You find someone that could bring the comfort you seek and then you screw everything up before it even starts. You always screw things up because that is what you do; you overthink, you worry, you screw up, you panic over nothing, you jump into something too soon because you are afraid of missing a chance that will only come with patience. But there is no patience in anxiety.
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Getty image via Grandfailure