Anxiety attacks will make you do funny things, or rather, will make you think you have to do funny things. And let’s be honest, checking to see if the front door is locked… 20 different times before you can actually sleep at night can take a toll on your emotions. So today, I decided to change things up.
As an anxiety sufferer, you likely spend a significant amount of time dwelling. You dwell on the things you think you can’t do; you dwell on the things anxiety makes you do, and you dwell on the way anxiety makes you feel. It’s part of the disease; you feel bad for having an anxiety attack or for having a panic disorder.
Feeling ashamed or bad about having anxiety is one sure-fire way to keep it coming back. So the next time your best friend thinks it’s weird that you can’t leave the house without a water bottle, don’t let it get you down. It’s silly.
Change your perspective and you will prevail.
I decided to make a list of all the weird things anxiety has or still makes me do. They’re the kinds of things that people who don’t have a panic disorder don’t understand. In fact, they’re the kinds of things people who don’t suffer from anxiety simply can’t fathom. More importantly, they’re the kinds of things that a plethora of other people do.
You aren’t alone. You aren’t weird. You just have a disease and that disease isn’t you.
I always – and I mean always – have a water bottle with me.
It doesn’t matter where I am, who I’m with or what I’m doing, a water bottle is with me. In many ways, it makes things difficult or impossible to do, such as riding a roller coaster. However, I don’t deem this anxiety quirk as an unhealthy one. It’s not like I am carrying around a bottle of liquor with me.
I do practice going without it even if it’s for a couple of minutes just for the sake of improving myself and my anxiety condition.
Water is healthy, and it’s my little sense of security. It was the first anxiety attack habit I developed, and it’ll likely be the last.
I couldn’t eat in restaurants.
It took me more than 15 years to finally step into a restaurant and confidently have a meal. My anxiety attacks started in a restaurant, so eating in public has always been a huge challenge for me. Or at least, it was. With a bit of practice, I finally overcame this fear. I sometimes have doses of anxiety when placed in this kind of position, but that’s to be expected and it’s nothing I wasn’t able to handle before.
But yes, I went without eating in a restaurant for more than a decade. In fact, it was incredibly hard for me to even sit in a restaurant.
I couldn’t eat in public.
The longer I fought off eating in restaurants, the worse it became. Eventually, I stopped eating in public altogether, or rather, I was “unable” to without feeling a full-blown anxiety attack. Why? It all stems from the first time I ever had anxiety. I was eating at a Burger King as a child, got sick and got punished for it. So for more than a century, I also feared getting sick while eating, regardless of where I was. I would go hours without taking a nibble, and as soon as I got home, I would stuff my face in full and complete starvation mode.
I couldn’t go in cars with people.
There was once a time where getting in a car with someone I’m not comfortable with was a challenge. I felt trapped in the car physically, fearing that I would get sick. Since some people didn’t know about my anxiety, I felt even more trapped, knowing that I couldn’t just tell them to pull over. The reality is, I could have told them just that and it would have been fine. Now, years later, I travel on planes with total strangers and live my life the way I want to.
I couldn’t go to people’s houses.
Yes, there was even a point where I struggled going to someone’s house. Anything other than my house or areas that I was familiar with was an anxiety attack zone, or at the least, it was in my panic-strickened mind. From friends to family, boyfriends and classmates, I couldn’t just walk into someone’s home without a rush of fear and thoughts. This took a significant toll on my social life several times.
I hide a plastic bag in my purse.
I got this tip from my Aunt several years ago. She also suffers from anxiety and depression, fearing that her nervous stomach will get the best of her in the worst of times. So, she always carried a plastic bag with her ‘just in case’. Of course, the chances of you ever having to use it is rare but having that little sense of security gave me the confidence I needed to regain control of my life. It simply helped knowing that if I felt so sick I wouldn’t have to spew all over the place.
Even today, there’s a plastic bag hidden somewhere in my purse.
I couldn’t go on field trips for school.
The best part about being a kid in school are the field trips. They’re the days kids look forward to, but for me, they were the days I feared. I feared having to travel out of my comfort zone and be stuck in some place. I got sick on a couple of field trips, which only stamped my fear further into my life.
My list can go on and on, but these are the few things that are my most prominent anxiety attack quirks. I’m not ashamed of them. Every disease causes a reaction, whether it’s hair loss, weight gain or confusion.
For anxiety sufferers, we think irrationally. That’s it. We fear irrational things.
So, stop being ashamed of your little quirks or the silly things anxiety attacks makes you do. Embrace them, accept them and for anyone who doesn’t understand, fack them.
Just kidding – that’s not very mature or effective for mental wellness, but it rhymed so I went with it. It’s the writer in me! Jokes aside, people who don’t understand or who don’t care to understand don’t deserve the opportunity to bring you down.
What are the silly things anxiety makes you do?
Share them and stop being ashamed.