My high-functioning anxiety looks like…
Goody-two-shoes. Fussiness. Perfectionism.
When mines sneak out, it transforms into nervous habits. Picking at my skin. Picking and scratching my scalp. Touching my birthmark all the time.
If you look close enough, you could probably see it in my face when I think someone is angry or upset with me (they aren’t). Jitteriness and almost overly joyful. Nervous laughter. The panic that hits me when a friend or family member takes to long to respond to my text.
High-functioning anxiety feels like…
My shoulders sitting up around my ears and my eyebrows being so far up my forehead they are almost on my scalp. My heart feeling like it’s grown teeny tinny jaggy fingernails and it’s attempting to climb up my throat and throw itself onto the ground in front of me.
High-functioning anxiety sounds like…
You’re not good enough, for anything so just don’t bother. You’re a god-awful friend. You’re not good at your job. You’re wasting time doing that eyeliner. You’re a waste of time. Your boyfriend doesn’t love you, and if he says so he’s lying. You’re so needy, someones gonna get fed up with you reaaaaally quickly. What are you doing with yourself? Why would you say that? What if they hate you? Why can’t you have your shit together? You’re going to get anxious and because you’re going to get anxious, you’re going to mess your day up. Your week up, your whole fucking year up. You’re letting everybody down. No one here likes you.
All the while, it appears perfectly calm or it at least comes across as being overly motivated and ‘nice’.
It’s silent anxiety attacks, hidden by smiles.
It’s always being busy but also getting worked up by the things you do to keep yourself busy. It’s letting things pile up rather than admitting you’re overwhelmed or in need of help.
It’s that sharp pang of saying the wrong thing, the one that starts the cycles of thoughts. Because you said something meaningless, and nobody cares, and it makes you never want to speak up again.
It’s going back and forth between everyone else has it together but you and so many people have it tougher than you. So really you’re some awkward thing in the middle of all that.
It’s guilting you because either everyone has their shit together or they have the right to feel the way they do and you don’t.
Stop being so dramatic.
What the fuck is wrong with you?
I could lie awake at night because of that word-vomit moment I had when I was 12 and I hope that girl still isn’t offended by it.
The worst is when someone asks you if you’re okay and you want to say no but you don’t want them to pull that face that looks like they are sad but also as if they’re melting.
It’s feeling unqualified to write this blog because right now I’m doing good.
Having anxiety means constantly micro-managing which can be productive or self-destructive, depending on how sensitive you feel that day. Depending on the day. Depending on the moons position in the sky or some irrelevant shit like that.
It’s when “living with it” means learning how to sit with it and accept that it’s your problem but also trying to handle it by ignoring it.
It means every once in a while sitting with a friend or family member and just bursting at the seams with all the itty bitty teeny weeny little first world problems you have.
It’s when standing up for yourself is an act of huge bravery and it’s fighting against your own need to constantly prove your right to take part in this world.
It’s learning how to validate your own feelings. It’s learning that no matter what factors might be making you sensitive today, you’re feelings are valid and there to be felt.
It’s a way to live with a constant toxic friend and learning to bury it away at a moment’s notice like a collapsible pram.