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Anxiety Makes Me Think My Friends Hate Me

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When we’re walking to class and I drop my water bottle, it takes me 24.8 seconds to pick it up.

Now we’re running late. He hates you.

I accidentally ran into you while we were walking to class.

You’re such a clutz. She hates you.

I fumbled over my words when I answered a question in class.

You look so stupid. They all hate you.

I got an “A” on a paper.

They got a C. They hate you.

Ridiculous, right? None of these are reasons for hatred, yet my anxiety convinces me they are. Anything I do, good or bad, is a reason for someone to hate me. My mind is bombarded by comments like the ones above all day. Negative thoughts aren’t just “one and done” as some people think they are. These thoughts come with every breath I take. Breathe in — negative thought. Breathe out — negative thought. The longer it goes on, the worse I feel. Because of this, my anxiety and depression just increase as the day goes on.

I stopped doing my homework to write an article for The Mighty.

You think you’re better than everyone else because you’ve written for the Mighty. She hates you for it.

I’ve been in therapy long enough that I know what to do. Stop, evaluate the thought, find a more accurate statement to say in my mind and move on. I work all day to better my thoughts. Sometimes I can, and sometimes I can’t. If that doesn’t work, I can distract myself for a while. No matter how fast I work, some negative thoughts slide through and stick.

I’m tapping my foot right now.

That is the most annoying noise ever. You’re annoying him, he hates you.

I am also blessed with the ability to read people. With a glance, I can get a general feel of how someone is feeling. But then, of course, my anxiety tells me their emotions are my fault. So, I “fact-check,” another technique I learned in therapy. If I feel like someone is upset with me, I ask. I end up asking a lot of questions of my friends. A simple “yes” or “no” means the world to me — I know they will tell me if they’re upset with me and reassure me if they’re not. Unfortunately, this means some of my closest friends get asked that all the time.

He’s upset.

You did it. He hates you.

I get it — hearing “are you mad at me?” almost every day can be annoying. My friends think I ask because I don’t trust them. Yet, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Hear me out: if I’m asking you to fact check for me, it’s because I trust you more than I trust my brain. My brain is just so much louder and more persistent than you are. I ask you because I need you to counteract the anxiety mounting in my brain. I keep asking you because my brain keeps telling me you hate me.

You’ve asked them if they hate you 100 times this week.

Goodness you’re annoying. They do hate you.

My brain is louder and more persistent than you. My fact-checking might be annoying, yet it is healthy coping. Giving me a smile and letting me know you still care about me gives me hope and calms me down. So please, let me be annoying.

Originally published: June 13, 2018
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