Anxiety As Told By Someone With Anxiety

Anxiety As Told By Someone With Anxiety

It's time to get weird with it... wait, does that sound dumb?
5
views

Anxiety sucks. Really, there’s no other way of putting it. I often hear about people getting anxious about having to make an important phone call, or send an email, or do a little public speaking. But there’s more to it – for me, there are a lot of other, very specific, very mundane things that cause my heart to race. Honestly, even I know these things are totally insignificant, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about them… although it is kind of funny, in a convoluted sort of way.

First of all: Throwing trash out. Putting something in a trashcan in my room is no big thing, but it’s when I have time to think about what I’m doing that throws my mind into turmoil. My way to the trash bin outside, black garbage bag in hand, leaves my mind littered with questions: What if I accidentally threw out something important? Or I change my mind about something I did throw out? I’m never going to see any of this stuff again… it’s going straight to a landfill, and oh god, how much am I destroying the planet? Is it worth it? And I know I’m just throwing the trash out, and it should be a simple process, but… am I doing it right?

“Am I doing it right?” is a question that invades my head way more than it should be allowed to, and it’s even worse for the simple things because it comes with the added guilt of “I should know if I’m doing this right.”

Take laundry, for example. Put your clothes in the washer, dump some detergent on top, set the machine to the only setting I’ve ever used (regular warm/cold), and, I mean, that’s it. I’ve done it a thousand times before, but I have to leave the room immediately after starting the cycle, lest I think about my clothes getting wet and oh god what if I messed it up somehow and my clothes are never going to dry for some reason and I’m never going to wear my favorite shirt again or for that matter any of my clothes and there’s no way I can afford an entirely new wardrobe and maybe I should just not do laundry ever—

On the subject of indoor plumbing – well, don’t even get me started on flushing toilets. This one actually has a tragic backstory: when I was five years old (or something) I accidentally flushed my favorite pink gel pen down the toilet, and it’s left me paranoid ever since. Listen… apparently this is weird, but I habitually look in the bowl before “dismissing the oval office,” so to speak. And immediately after flushing, I check my body for my valuables (phone and keys) in the rare case that they teleported out of my zipped up pockets and into the toilet. I mean, it’s not very likely, but it could happen, you know?

Oh, names. I avoid saying people’s names for as long as possible for fear of mispronouncing it or having the wrong one altogether. This even goes for names like Sue and John. If you have a name, there’s a good chance I won’t say it, at least not on my own accord. What if I annunciate the wrong syllable or just botch it completely? I overthought this so much that once when trying to say the name “Martin” I panicked and said it with a “d” – “Mardin.” Mardin? Really?

Something I give myself a pass on is my absolute fear of driving. Even though I white-knuckled my way through the test, I somehow ended up passing and getting my license, but I haven’t been behind the wheel since. Look: I know you only get good at driving from practice, but I’m not really interested in “practice” when it involves being in control of a two ton hunk of metal surrounded by other two ton hunks of metal that I definitely am not in control of. I know driving makes some people feel powerful, but it makes me feel like a god in the sense that I am suddenly in control of who lives and who dies and if I’m being real that is something I am super not interested in being responsible for, do you feel me?

So I avoid being a driver of a car like the plague, but cars still affect my pedestrian life. I flip-flop between being overly cautious about crosswalks to bolting across them, even when cars would clearly not be able to hit me if they tried. And when cars honk their horns around me, oh boy, you can bet I break out in a cold sweat trying to list off every law I’m breaking, because if a car honks around me it must be about me, right?

There’s more, of course, like how I used to exclusively get salad and pizza in the dining hall because those were the only obvious self serve areas, or how when I leave the house I have to look and feel my pants six times to be sure I am, in fact, wearing pants, or how I’ve never ordered delivery for myself because what do I do when the person is at the door it’s not that simple.

I’ll level with you. It’s pretty funny (even I think it’s funny sometimes), but it’s not fun. I wish I could just chill out about doing laundry and crossing the street and flushing the dang toilet. I cannot do so many things people say are “easy” because I find them mentally and physically taxing, and on top of all that it’s just so tiring. It’s the constant feeling that everyone is in on a joke except for you, even when there’s no one else around.

But there are positives. It’s not a requirement for me to be comfortable before doing something, because I’m rarely comfortable, and sometimes things just need to get done. I know how to take care of myself when I’m stressed, or I’m at least getting better at it. And honestly, I think because of this I value self care more than a lot of other people. I know when to take breaks and when to just keep going.

And of course, there are small victories. I no longer only get salad and pizza at the dining hall. I’m crossing more streets than ever before. Anxiety, sometimes, is not something you need to be rid of, but rather something you need to learn to tame.

Cover Image Credit: Fredo and Pidjin

Popular Right Now

I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
19902
views

It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The 5 Types of Retail Customers

A run-down on the many forms of customers you either encounter as a retail employee or are guilty of being.

618
views

We all get summer jobs or seasonal jobs at some place to get that extra cash when we find ourselves broke after spending $300+ on Ubers/Lyfts in under a month (possibly speaking from personal experience). This in turn led me to broaden my job searching horizons and led me to work at a fast food chain that goes by the name of 'Salsaritas' (ironic since my nickname is Salsa, also was not intentional) and currently a retail store at a local mall. So, I guess it's safe to say that I have come across a lot of different people with a whole lot of personality. Working in these types of industries, it can sometimes be really hard and pretty interesting. So voila, here we go:

1. The Always Angry Customer

media1.giphy.com

This is the customer that is constantly angry. They walk in pissed off and they want everyone else to know that they are pissed off. This type of customer also uses at least one of these following sentences: "Let me talk to your manager. Who's your manager?" or the "How long have you been working here for?" Honestly, there's not much you can do to help them other than try to just do what they ask for and get them the hell out of there as quickly as possible.

2. The Messy Customer

media0.giphy.com

Easily one of the most annoying types of customers (sorry). This person will walk and run their hands through an entire counter or rack full of perfectly folded clothes, unfold them, and then just leave them on the counter or on the floor. They also have the "it's fine, it's their job to fold them" mentality. Honestly though, how hard is it to put a jacket or shirt back on a hanger? And if you're this type of customer please, please, please, put what you found back where it came from. Sincerely, every retail employee ever.

3. The Super Nice Customer

media1.giphy.com

This customer is god-send and thank god that they exist. They are the ones who you can just tell are genuinely good people. New at work and don't know how the hell to ring up a customer at a register? No worries, they'll wait there patiently, smile at you, and occasionally tell you that "you're doing great sweetie." They treat you like you're not just a retail employee and at the end of the day, you just wanna give them a hug for making your day feel less shitty.

4. The Talkative Customer

media3.giphy.com

There's two parts to this one. This type of customer is either talking on the phone while you're ringing them up at the register or is just trying to get to know literally everything there is to know about you. If they're on the phone, it's impossible to know if they're responding to you or to the person who they're on the phone with. The worst part is when they hold up one finger to signal to you that they'll be just a minute and leave you to just awkwardly stand in front of them while trying not to listen to their entire conversation. The other part is when they just want to get to know you which is cute and all until they're just trying to analyze your entire background, where you're from, what you're studying, etc. Luckily if you're like me who wasn't born in the U.S. with a very ethnic name, you just scored yourself a talkative customer. Well done and good luck getting out of the conversation!

5. The Last Minute Customer

media3.giphy.com

Imagine that you just did an 8 hour shift and right when you're about to clock out and head out to go home, you see a customer walking in literally a minute or two before the whole mall is about to close. They'll probably ask you if you're about to close even though they can see that there's not a single person inside there other than you. They'll also probably tell you that they know exactly what they're looking for. It's never true and get ready for that OT. But hey, on the bright-side, you'll get a fat pay-check.


So, the next time you find yourself at a mall...Remind yourself to pick up something you might've accidentally dropped, keep in mind that workers are human beings too, and kindness goes a long way because at the end of the day, that employee could be one of your loved ones.

Until next time,

Salsa.


Related Content

Facebook Comments