Invisible illnesses/Anxiety

I wish there was a way to put others in my brain. To let others experience my nonstop worrying and self-criticism. I have no idea how to explain it to people who do not understand. They just tell me to stop thinking like that.

That would work only if I had any control over my thoughts, which I definitely do not. I can not control how many times my brain tells me that I have forgotten something or that someone doesn’t like me. I can tell myself a hundred times and it will barely make a difference. Talking to myself in my head doesn’t work at all so I talk out loud to myself to try and calm my thoughts down. Sometimes it does work. These thoughts that I have are intrusive thoughts and I live with them every day.

If you were to see me out in person, you would barely notice me, I am very quiet, and not very involved in anything, I may even seem calm. If I was with friends, I might be laughing and joking with them. I would look happy and fairly normal. In my head though, it is a mess of different thoughts running through. The list that follows is a list of things that may run through my head:

  • What I’m doing later
  • Am I being annoying
  • Am I talking to much
  • Am I imitating my friends
  • Do my friends really like me
  • Do they secretly hate me
  • Am I being obnoxious
  • What if we go get food
  • Where will we go for food
  • What will I order
  • Will I have to order myself
  • Am I being a burden on my friends
  • Am I too needy
  • What if I need to go to the washroom
  • Will they be annoyed by the fact that I need someone to bring me to the washroom
  • What if they leave while I’m in the washroom
  • What if I lose them
  • What will I do if I can’t find them
  • Do they want me to sit with them
  • Do they want me to leave
  • How am I getting home
  • What if we are late for the movie
  • What if they want to do something out of my comfort zone
  • What if I have a panic attack
  • Are they faking being my friend because they feel sorry for me
  • Do they actually care about me

What I call my “anxiety voice”

My natural speaking voice is in the middle range for a woman which makes sense as I am a woman. However, anytime that I talk to a stranger or I feel anxious talking to someone, my voice goes up a full octave.

The first time I noticed this was when I was trick or treating with my friends in grade six. Anytime we went up to a house, I would always say “trick or treat” in a squeaky voice. I would also say “thank you” in an even higher voice somehow. My friends noticed right away and questioned me as to why I turned into a mouse when I talked to strangers. I did not know how to answer then and I still don’t know how to answer.

I have tried to be more aware of the pitch of my voice when talking to strangers but most times, I don’t even realize that my voice went high until after the fact when I start talking normally again.

Empathy part two

I have discovered a new way to describe how empathetic I am. I feel as if I am a sponge that is able to soak up everyone’s emotions. I believe that this is one of the reasons why I don’t particularly like telling people how I really feel because I don’t think that they need to share my emotions. I don’t want to burden them with my emotions even though I absorb the emotions of everyone around me.

Another thing that I have noticed that I am not sure if it has anything to do with empathy is the fact that through my life, I adopt parts of others personalities or traits. For example, just a little while ago, my friend brought to my attention that I copy the YouTuber Amazingphil when I laugh by sticking my tongue out slightly when I laugh. I never did that before I started watching Dan and Phil on YouTube.

I am so weird

My anxiety is insanely weird, I don’t understand it at all. I am petrified of starting conversations with anyone, even people I know sometimes. When someone actually talks to me though, it’s like an explosion of words. I just can’t stop talking. Then, when I start talking, I start second guessing if they want me to shut up which they probably do because even though I am very anxious, I am fine with people knowing almost anything about me. I overshare a lot.

Paranoid

I find that any time I am around people, I am always paranoid that everyone is judging me and talking about me. I always believe that my friends are not really my friends and are just pretending to be my friend. I try to stop thinking like this but I always counter that with, “but what if”.