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When Anxiety Causes You to 'Zone Out'

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As most people with anxiety know, you tend to “tune out” or “zone out” when you have severe anxiety … or is that just me? Anxiety sucks a lot, whether your case is mild or severe.

I have a perfect example of “zoning out” in public.

My mom and I went to the store, we got three items: body powder, ice and Sprite. We checked out, the lady grabbed the ice chest key, (for some odd reason the ice chest is locked in small-town stores) we put the other two bags in the car, she came out and unlocked the ice chest, handed me the first bag I put it in the car, then I “zoned out” and just stood by the open car door. I don’t know what made me freeze. Perhaps my body just didn’t realize the cashier had grabbed the second bag of ice and was waiting for me to grab it. The cashier then realized that I wasn’t going to move and put the ice in the car herself. I got in the car, shut the door and fastened my seat belt, still kind of dazed. I heard my mom say something from the car while I was coming out of my “tuned out” state before I got in the car.

So I got in the car and asked her what she had said.

She responded, “I was telling you to get the bag of ice from her and put it in the car.”

I simply said, “OK.”

My anxiety makes me “zone out” when I’m stressing out (most commonly about made-up scenarios in my head). At this point of being stressed out, I’m practically useless, mainly because my head is pretty much against me and only wants me to sleep. It’s one of those things that makes me dread going out in public.

I miss my brain when I didn’t overthink everything, if there ever was a time in my life I didn’t overthink.

Getty image by nadia_bormotova

Originally published: November 26, 2019
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