Anxiety is a hard thing to explain. You worry about every tiny detail but the thing you worry about the most is looking like you’re worried. Not many people know that when you eat you have to chew in an even amount of bites. Or when you brush your hair, there have to be an even amount of passes through. You know these things are so insignificant yet they bother you and disturb you to your very core. So much so that you have trouble sleeping. You’re always freaking out about something not being perfect. A spelling mistake. The size of your font.
These were the types of things that would cause me to freak out. To beat myself up. It seems so silly but the small stuff seems to affect me more than the big stuff. Like the stuff you’re supposed to be sad about. Money problems or family issues. I can be calm and help and give advice. But who is helping me?
For me, I think it’s easier to worry about the small stuff. I put it into perspective. I can control this therefore I can fix it. Someone sends me a report – I can edit it. Change the font to what I like. Rearrange the wording. Make sure the word count has an even number of words. But when your friends and family come to you with tears in their eyes… You feel helpless. Their problems are out of your control. Out of their control. How can I fix this? I can’t...but I have to be there for them. I'm their person. So we talk for a bit... but then the anxiety kicks in. Why are they upset? Is it something I did? Is it something a friend of mine did? Is it okay for me to ask more questions? Am I being respectful enough? Am I saying the right things? What do they think of me? Am I even helping?
That anxiety sticks with me. For a long time. I start to think of their problems as my own. What can I do to make sure they’re okay? How can I look calm and put together so that they can rely on me? It’s hard when you’re that person for a lot of people, yet who is that person for you? Anxiety kicks in again. What will someone think of me if I complain about others? Will they think my feelings are stupid?
But it’s slowly going away. I’m starting to learn how to control it. Take a step back. Does this really matter? How is it going to affect my life? Can I even do anything to change the outcome?
Most of the time, the answer is no. It just takes a while to realize that, and a really good friend.