These days, I’ve been feeling pretty anxious. Anxious about things that I have no business even thinking about, but I get myself worked up in a tizzy, overanalyzing, worrying and making myself sick over imaginary things. I know I have an active imagination, sure, but the way I’ve been living my life lately is not right.
Someone asked me if Kidlet has anxiety issues and I said, “No.” After I said that though, I looked it up and found that the things they described are exactly me. According to one website, the symptoms are irrational fear, problems getting to sleep, perfectionism, panic attacks, compulsive behaviour, self-doubt. All of these things ring true to me. Before I blow this out of proportion, but let me tell you what happened to me recently.
I volunteered to make banana bread for a work pot luck. I had made the recipe quite a few times and I felt good enough about it to share it to my new co-workers. I made it exactly according to the recipe, but worried the whole time that I had misread the recipe, “Is is baking powder instead of baking soda?” “Did it say half a teaspoon or half a tablespoon?” I questioned my own eyes. I continued, trusting that I had read it correctly. It baked and I was happy with the result. It looked just as it should, smelled just as it should and tasted just as it should. No worries, right? Wrong!
In the hours leading up to the pot luck, I silently worried that no one would like it or eat it. It was time to have the banana bread, and my heart raced the whole time anyone got near it. My co-workers tried it, praised it and had seconds. I continued being nervous because I didn’t know if they were being polite or if they genuinely liked it. I don’t even know why I thought that because they just about ate half the bread. Instead of relaxing, I thought, what if something went wrong? What if after they’ve eaten all that bread, they got sick because I had messed up the recipe by mistake? What if half my office had food poisoning from my banana bread? I spent the greater part of the afternoon being anxious about that, thinking, I’d be okay if I went back to work the next day and everyone hadn’t spent the night throwing up. THAT was when I knew I had a problem, for real. This can’t be normal. My mind goes into a vortex like that all the time. All the time.
My mum died from an aneurysm. She was going about her business when a blood vessel broke in her head and within hours, she was lost to us. Forever. It freaks me out thinking that it could happen to me if I keep up this way, but I can’t help but get worked up. I think the issue is not that I get worked up, is that I get worked up over things that haven’t even happened or are likely to happen. So why do I still do it? Sigh. I just didn’t know it was bad until I read that there is a ‘thing’ called anxiety. I thought I was just being paranoid or that I have too much time on my hands and/or don’t really have real problems to worry about.
All I know is that I can’t go on like this. So what do I do?