On other days, I think I have anxiety.
Then there are the days when I don’t have anxiety at all. Nothing is wrong. Nothing happens. Absolutely everything is fine.
Today … well, it’s one of those days where I KNOW I have anxiety. So, I decided to talk about it. People don’t talk about it enough. I don’t talk about it enough.
My phone is a constant source of anxiety. I have a weird relationship with it. It goes off all the time, mostly group chats or dumb notifications because the people I know — actually know — don’t pick up the phone to talk to me that often. And if they do contact me, it’s usually because something is wrong. If I’m having a good day and anxiety isn’t making me feel like something bad is going to happen constantly, picking up the phone and responding to notifications is no big deal. I can respond to Twitter notifications. I can post something on Instagram. I can do any-fucking-thing.
But then there are the bad days, and those fuckers can L-A-S-T. There have been times I’ve needed to clear over three thousand emails from my inbox, a result of not reading or responding to a single one for months. I can leave Twitter until it has hundreds of notifications, and Facebook too. I can avoid Instagram, I can leave everyone on read, sometimes months, not wanting to be reminded of just how great everyone else’s life is. I am always criticised for what I write, what I post and what I do… you have your opinion I have mine, I don’t ask you to read my shit, I don’t ask you to comment, you know where the block and delete button is my friends …
I just have a problem with people on bad anxiety days — the days I know I have anxiety. I can’t bring myself to muster up whatever strength it takes to act like I’m okay when inside I’m not feeling okay at all. And when I try, I fuck it up. I say the wrong thing, or I just don’t say anything at all, or I don’t say the right things. I forget to do the polite stuff, like say hello. I don’t remember to ask how they are. I forget the important things in their lives. I’m a terrible friend. It’s no wonder people don’t reach for the phone to ask if I’m okay. It’s a vicious cycle. Even if they were to text or call me I probably wouldn’t respond.
SEE … I’M A TERRIBLE FRIEND.
The thing is, I’m not a terrible friend. I’m a really good one. I’d give my friends my last fiver if they needed it. My doors would always be open to them, as would my sofa. I’d have tea on tap for them, and all the cookies and biscuits they could possibly want.
Having anxiety feels like I’ve been replaced by a version that’s only half of me. I’ve only got half the conversational skills, half the attention span, half the politeness-capacity. I forget quickly and say offensive things by accident, and sometimes, I don’t know what to say so I just say nothing at all. Every single conversation is exhausting, and proofreading every email/text message/DM a hundred times before I send it takes up what feels like most of my day. It’s for the same reason that I don’t publish blog posts as frequently as I’d like. Or share all the tweets I type out. It all feels not quite ready. Unfinished. With room for improvement.
Everything seems to annoy me too. Literally … everything. I’m too easily offended or embarrassed, or I get the wrong end of the stick. And then, when I get the RIGHT end of the stick and the other person has actually been offensive or stepped out of line, I question my reasoning for being offended. Was what they said really that bad? Did they mean it that way? Do I really have a right to be upset about this?
Do I *really* have anxiety and can’t cope with friends/people/anyone on bad days … or am I just a shit person? A shit friend? Can I just snap myself out of it? Should I try? Do I really need to explain myself at all?