Aug. 1, 2020, 2:45 p.m.
3 things I want people to know about my anxiety (written for Time to Change’s StoryCamp 2020)
- The anxiety I have is the so-called ‘high-functioning’ form. I have perfected my mask, beneath which lie the vulnerabilities that are almost too entrenched to expose – this doesn’t mean I’m ‘faking’ it. It just means I’ve just somehow managed to operate reasonably ‘well’ within the limitations of a hypervigilant nervous system. So, what I need is for you not to judge but to be understanding, accommodating and flexible. If you are, it will make it easier for me to be and do my best for you because I will see giving 110% as a way of returning the favour.
- I need saving from myself. If overthinking was an Olympic sport, I would probably win the gold medal. Due to pathological self-doubt, I preface almost everything I say with ‘I think’, even when I’m 99% sure of what I’m saying. Literally, it feels like the only certainty I have is what my name is. Please take me out of my own head from time to time.
- I have a compulsion to be constantly doing stuff and consuming stuff, as if life was a race towards personal development and diversity of productivity was the benchmark by which progress was measured. I wish I could turn off this constant need to be busy but I don’t know where the switch is. I don’t know if a switch even exists.