I had something come across my Facebook feed the other day. It was a list of anecdotes that anxiety sufferers shared with the website. These are behaviors that aren't traditionally associated with anxiety.
The list resonated with me.
1. “I have an attitude out of no where and I can be really short with people even though it’s not their fault.” — Lisa K.
This one hit me hard. My "F You" threshold gets turned WAY down when I'm anxious. And it comes out of the blue. If you ever listen to me having a strong negative reaction from me, especially if that reaction is out of the blue... it's usually anxiety.
2. “I cannot express myself right. I can’t find the words, they don’t come out in the right order and I cannot process what people are telling me. I can’t look at them, hear them speak and have no idea what they just said or did not understand them at all.” — Laura P.
There's two sides of this for me.
#1- I'm ALWAYS searching for the right word. My mind blanks out of the correct noun ALL THE TIME.
#2- if I'm flustered, or trying to be part of a conversation, I'll spend more time trying to craft something to say than actually listening to the conversation.
3. “I brush people off and close myself off. So many people think anxiety looks like running around and being visibly upset, but most often it’s a battle within your own mind. I know I’ll come off snarky, and I do, if people force me into talking (especially small talk) when I’m having a panic attack.” — Amanda P.
This. So much this!
4. “I question every little thing and no amount of reassurance will convince me that the people in my life don’t hate me.” — Lillian S.
And of course when people DO try to reassure me, I'll start the internal dialogue: "Of course they SAY that, but do they REALLY mean it?"
7. “I lash out in anger. My brain fills up with anxiety and I sometimes say things I don’t mean because I feel like I’m in a fight or flight situation. It hurts my relationships with other people if I don’t watch what I say when anxious.” — Morgan M.
See number one. It's another reason why I tend to hermit.
13. “I stop answering any and all texts, I rarely talk when I’m with someone or I talk too much.” — Erika K.
If I'm in a social situation and develop verbal diarrhea? That's anxiety.
16. “I cancel plans… even if it means missing out on something I used to love. Anxiety has been a huge part of my life for about two years now and I have missed out a lot. Just thinking of planning something can be so physically exhausting. I don’t think people know that I am so drained from just worrying about what could happen, I would rather stay home.” — Kayla L.
It doesn't happen very often. Maybe once every few years. But when I'm SUPER anxious and have to leave the house I spend all day paranoid that the house will burn down and the pets will die. Irrational? Yes. But thankfully it happens very, very rarely. (Though I came home years ago and there were fire trucks in the apartment complex. It wasn't us, but I freaked the f*ck out!)
What does all of this mean? Well, I should get out of the damn house more. (It's a personal goal). it also means that if you ever see behavior from me that seems out of left field.... don't take it personally.