I’ve been trying to think of just one aspect of my life that isn’t affected in some manner by anxiety. And I can literally not think of a single thing.
I tend to usually go about my day with a sort of soft, underlying feeling of dread no matter where I am or what I’m doing. If I concentrate on it or pay it any kind of attention, then it sort of grows rooty fingers like the mould in Resident Evil 7, and quickly takes over my brain. For example, I’ll think too hard about the fact I’m having caffeine in my coffee, and then become anxious about it making me anxious. Yes, it’s silly. But it’s a physical feeling and its incredibly uncomfortable.
The biggest sufferers from my anxiety are my relationships with other people. Friendships cause me a huge amount of anxiety – do they want to see me? Are they just being nice to me? I can’t bother them, they’ll think I’m clingy. Are my friends all out tonight without me?
I’ve had 5 boyfriends in my entire life, and each relationship was tainted with constant worry. I simply cannot date a bloke, no matter how much I like him, without analysing every aspect and applying some kind of negative connotation to it. He’s not messaged me since this morning? He’s gonna dump me. He’s mentioned his ex in passing? He’s totally still sleeping with her. He didn’t hold my hand in public? He hates me.
I suppose with the relationship thing, it’s not just the anxiety that’s a pain in the arse – it’s my own lack of self-worth. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for four years – bar the 1 month at the 2 year point where we split up – and I still can’t shake the idea that if I go out wearing a skirt my boyfriend will call me a slut. If a male friend makes a move on me, I’ll feel like it’s my fault even though I know it isn’t. I feel like that relationship has ruined all potential for any future ones.
Trying to keep a cap on the anxiety is hardest when dealing with any kind of interpersonal relationships, because while you may know its irrational, the other person doesn’t know you think that – they don’t get it. I’ll say to my friend or boyfriend I’m incredibly anxious, and they say “why? You shouldn’t be.” Well yes, I agree, I shouldn’t be. But I am, and it’s making me come across as a mentalist.
Since my channel surpassed 10k subscribers, the anxiety has skyrocketed. My much bigger Youtuber friends tell me not to let negative comments bother me, and I know they shouldn’t – however, I get huge anxiety about upsetting other people. And my brain seems to think that someone leaving a nasty comment is upset, and then I feel bad about it. I’m also starting to get more than a little uncomfortable at the kind of attention I’ve started to get from some people who are a little *too* admiring of me. I’ve started having some horrible nightmares.
It would be great to be able to switch this anxiousness off.