Am I being anxious or is this how normal people feel?
This is a question I ask myself every day. Different circumstances call for different answers, but it’s not always black and white. The amount of gray area coming into play is significant. It wasn’t very long ago that I discovered my anxiety leaks out in different forms, including my everyday thought processes. Often turning situations that would seem frustrating for “normal people,” it would place me instantly on the repeat track. Thoughts would replay over and over again, not allowing for other thoughts or distractions to butt in. These ideas might start harmless, but with time they would morph into feelings that were negative and hurtful.
Let me back up a minute. I’m a fun person, I look for fun things all the time. Dinners, restaurants, fairs, festivals, vacations, bonfires, and other social events charge me up and refuel me. I think I can be rather chatty, maybe a little too chatty at times. I like to laugh and get others to laugh with me. I’m a spirited person when in my comfort zone.
Normal people don’t blame themselves every time plans fall through. Normal people don’t think about the jerk that cut them off on the highway for a few days. Normal people don’t lose sleep over a typo in an email or a slipped word in a conversation. Normal people can stand in a long line without feeling like they are going to freak out. Normal people don’t go to great lengths to hide all of the above from others.
Through therapy I recently discovered that some of my thoughts are irrational and driven by anxiety. This realization has set me free from so many self-tormenting mind games. Guess what, things come up and people cancel plans. That jerk on the highway might have diarrhea! Sorry, long lines are still horrible, but play a game on the phone for distraction, the line will end eventually.
The question: Am I being anxious or is this how normal people feel? Is one I ask myself often. The answer is all over the place. Though sometimes the answer is straight forward, and I have been able to let those feelings float way into the abyss, stopping the repeat track before it starts.