Anxiety is driving all the way to the next town to go to an event you really wanted to attend, but not being able to get out of the car once you finally get there. Sitting in the parking lot going over all the possibilities of what might happen when you enter. Until so much time has passed that you figure you’ll be too late and may interrupt something and be THAT person. So you turn the car back on and head back home.
Anxiety is over-analyzing all the intricacies of human interaction and realizing that literally anything you do or say could be perceived poorly. As a result, you end up talking in monotone and just generally being bad at conveying any kind of emotion to anyone. Because emotion is scary. And what if you convey the “wrong” emotion at the “wrong” time? Thus, you end up coming off as nonchalant. Aloof. Like you don’t care about anyone or anything. Makes it awfully hard to convince people you’re interested in them. Or to promote yourself to a potential employer. And whenever you try to emulate human emotion the way your analytical mind perceives them from other people, you just end up sounding patronizing. Or at the very least fake.
Anxiety is writing and rewriting a blog post over and over because you’re afraid of how people will perceive it. Are these thoughts really that original? Probably everyone feels the same way so it’s likely dumb to possibly rehash it. On the contrary, what if these thoughts are completely original but are just dumb? Well gee, that might be worse than just being a hack. But at least it would be more original. Does that even matter? Does anything matter? But of course it matters, because we’re social creatures. When did multicelled organisms begin being social anyway? Wait, could even simple single celled organisms be considered “social”? How do we define “social”?
Anxiety is caring way too much about definitions and semantics and other trivial matters because you “know” every tiniest detail can add up and accumulate to something that could really affect you and if you don’t firmly understand all the intricacies and nuances on any subject, then you’re bound to miss something important that you really wish you would’ve known that could’ve prevented you from being embarrassed or hurt.
Anxiety is sending a draft of this post to a friend you trust because you’ve already overthought every little detail of it and now you’re fretting over potential responses to it – or worse, lack of response. But at least now that you’ve had it approved by a trusted source, you can put some of the blame on them when it bombs. And sometimes that’s all it boils down to is blame. Blaming yourself. For every. Little. Thing.