Preparing for an Illusion of Danger: My Brain on Anxiety


All I needed to do was make a phone call. Dial a number. Ask a question. Listen. Hang up. Easy. But I was shaking, my breathing became heavy and forced. My eyes couldn't focus on anything and just darted around aimlessly at my surroundings. I felt like throwing up. Why is something that is so simple for everyone else such a chore for me? Why am I so afraid of outcomes that exist only in my brain?

I'm not professionally diagnosed but every day, anxiety is force in my life. If one concern gets resolved, it's onto another one. I worry about everything.

I worry that I'm not a good friend. I'm very introverted so even just a one-hour conversation can leave me exhausted. Am I spending enough time with people who want to spend time with me? Do I let people know I appreciate them enough? Sometimes I feel like there's some sort of ingredient to good friendships that I haven't caught onto.

I worry that I'm not a good girlfriend. I can be fiercely independent to a fault and I get so caught up in working that it can be hard for me to slow down and enjoy time with my boyfriend. Am I good enough to be someone's life partner? Am I there for him as much as he's there for me?

I worry about my business. What if I'm unsuccessful? What if I don't know how much I'm worth or that I'm not what people are looking for? What if I'm doing everything the wrong way even though I fill my time educating myself on running a business? What if people just don't care about what I offer?

I spend so much time guarding myself against an illusion of danger. I'm so afraid of being hurt that I play the worst-case scenario over and over in my head and prepare myself for it, even though there are ZERO signs of it becoming a reality. I get so caught up in the "what-ifs".

Luckily, it's easy for me to put these feelings on the back-burner. My anxiety is strong but I am stronger. I won't let it hold me back from my goals. I work hard and I know I can muscle my way through anything because I NEED to be. I have a business I'm proud of, I love my work and my style. I have amazing friends who are there for me and who root for me. I have an incredible boyfriend of seven years who is so patient with me and knows exactly how to help me get through the hardest times. I know I have an amazing life and I know everything is okay. Everything is always okay. It's just my silly brain.