I forgot how difficult school was.
Not even in the homework way. Academically, I’m doing fine. It’s the sitting for hours in the same cold spot with rules and proper etiquette. It’s the waking up at seven in the morning and having a routine to get ready when I’m so tired. It’s being around a constant classroom of people talking and moving and breathing and… ugh. It’s a lot.
At least when I’m at work I have moments to myself. I don’t usually work register so I have tasks on my own usually, and the only people I see are customers, but even they aren’t always passing by because I’m tucked away in the crook of the store. When I’m at school, I’m on display at all times. I can feel imaginary holes burning in the back of my head. It’s exhausting!
It messes a lot with my anxiety, which often makes it hard to learn. How can I possibly be asked to pay attention when there are two strangers minding their own business on either side of me? I’m just constantly thinking. Oh my god they’re totally thinking about how bad I look, they think I’m annoying, look at the way they eyed me like that! I want to disappear.
This, of course, is a normal routine for me. Anxiety is a constant friend that won’t go home, even though you’ve strongly hinted that you want to stop hanging out. What do I do? Try to cope with it.
Which, of course, is easy to say. Not so easy to do.
Anxiety can really affect some aspects of my life. Worse than not being able to focus in school.
There are times – usually at night – that I have total meltdowns. During this time, I feel like I lose a lot of control. When the morning after a meltdown rolls around, I wake up and scroll through my old texts from the night before to survey the damage. There’s a joke from John Mulaney (who – eek! – I’m seeing live this week) where he says that when you’re a drinker you have the excuse of saying, “I’m really sorry about saying that last night, I was just so drunk.” When you don’t drink, you can only say, “I’m sorry about what I said last night, it’s just that I’m mean and loud.”
It kinda really it though! (Makes me sound like such a catch, huh.) I say things I wish I wouldn’t have, in the way where I unleash a dramatic ranting on a friend who is now overwhelmed. It’s like my existential crises’ build up and then I explode with a bunch of MY LIFE IS MEANINGLESS!es and I DON’T MATTER!s.
My anxiety also likes to convince me that no one cares about me. Which isn’t the best thing to tell someone who is listening to you – who is caring. It’s offensive. I know, I’ve been that person too.
I started a relationship this year, and this has actually been a reoccurring problem between us. It’s hard for him to understand sometimes. “How can you say no one cares? I’m right here.” “Why aren’t you looking around you? So many people care.”
It’s, unfortunately, not that simple.
“You can’t reason with anxiety,” I always tell him, my mom, my best friend. “I’m sorry. I know that you love me. But my brain tries to prove that you don’t.”
It’s irrational. And it’s hard to deal with… sometimes for everyone involved.
Racing thoughts aren’t fun. Anxiety is no picnic. And I guess the only thing I can ask from people is… patience. It’s okay if you don’t understand, but if you try to it means the world. I know I’m a mess, and I promise I’m trying to collect myself. Be patient with me.
And please, don’t ever doubt that I love you. Even when I am tricked to think that you don’t love me, I never ever stop caring about you.
And if you read through all of this, thank you for listening.
Love you all,