I’ve talked about my crippling anxiety in a lot of previous posts. From being in control till 2020 to taking an ugly oppressive form in the post COVID era – me and my anxiety have come a long way. While I’ve mentioned the issues I have faced because of my anxiety, I have often realized that a lot of people who don’t suffer from anxiety or recognize its evil head, don’t really understand how anxiety can impact a person’s day-to-day life. More so because a lot of us suffering from anxiety do tend to lead normal lives on the surface. Despite being uncomfortable sharing this portion of my life, I want to show how anxiety impacts my day-to-day life, just so that if you come across an anxious person, you treat them with kindness, and if you are likewise inflicted you know that you are not alone.
Social anxiety –
I’ve always been an introvert who was awkward in social settings but with the lockdown and spending time alone, I now have severe social anxiety. Examples of how it impacts my day to day life –
A. I don’t look forward to meeting friends. As much as it used to be comforting to hangout with friends, these days I usually get hit with so much panic every time I have to go meet a friend.
B. As a small business owner most of my office communication is done by me. On so many days my anxiety cripples me into not being able to answer the phone and talk to whoever is calling. It literally takes me my all to just answer the phone and get through calls with strangers or business partners. On 70% of the days, I rely on WhatsApp/e-mail for all my communication because I just can’t get myself to talk to strangers on the phone.
C. I just can’t bring myself to go to the gym when there is a possibility of a lot of people being there. I usually time myself to either go very early morning or at lunchtime. This has messed up my schedule so much.
D. I cancel on dates all the time unless I am super comfortable with the person on chat. The first 30 minutes of a first date are always supremely awkward since I am too anxious to just be myself. I can’t even make proper eye contact while talking and keep staring at my hands or at the wall behind them. (Arghhh)
I’ll be doing fine for weeks and then one innocuous day I’ll be hit with a panic attack from out of nowhere and then I won’t have the energy to just get out of bed and adult. (I put on a mask and get to it anyway.)
A. In my anxious phases, I depend a lot on food for comfort but I also like keeping my binge eating in check which leads to crazy days of overeating followed by days of not eating enough.
B. I’m always at the edge, a slight change in my peace and I have a full-blown panic attack.
C. I dread even talking to my therapist when I’m in an anxious state.
D. I look down and walk and don’t make eye contact with anyone in an attempt to be invisible.
E. Every time I get a mail that I know might spark my anxiety and I literally throw my phone away and ignore it till I can’t anymore.
I could go on and on about how I behave ‘differently’ when in an anxious state but these are some of the examples of how anxiety impacts me. A lot of times when I bring up my anxiety in conversations with people I realize that they think it is made up (which to be fair it is- all made up in my head). With this post, I wanted to share some of my experiences where anxiety makes it hard to function to normalize accepting people with anxiety.
PS: I am not a medical professional and don’t have any advice to offer to anyone that suffers from anxiety or any other mental health problems. My one recommendation is not to take advice from people who are not qualified to give advice. 🙂
Give my other recent posts some love –