Everyday things that make anxious people even more anxious
It’s no secret I’m an anxious person. In fact, the older I get, the worse it becomes. Maybe it’s because I know what I like (and what I don’t), or maybe it’s that some days it seems the world has evolved into a continual loop of things that annoy me. Hence, my daily routines to help eliminate the possibility of disruption. Because disruption equals more coffee and more coffee makes me more anxious which, in turn, sort of creates more disruption. See a trend here? And yes, I’m working on it! Regardless, there are a few things that, despite being a completely normal part of the day, send me into a full-blown anxiety craze.
Being an author with a book I’m submitting, every little beep or buzz from my phone signals one thought: IT’S ABOUT MY BOOK! But usually, it’s coupons from whatever pizza place I order from or offers from that one place I bought something that one time. It’s not usually from my agent about said book because she has other things to do than email me every hour. This anxiety happens even more so when the phone is on silent because when I see the little red notification number, I kind of stop breathing. If only I could know what my email holds before I commit to looking, such as a notification subject that says “THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOUR BOOK!”, that would save me a lot of deep breathing exercises.
Apparently, people still want to talk ON THE PHONE! I understand putting a voice to a face is helpful but if you’re an awkward writer who prefers to edit words 700 times before sending/speaking (me!), a phone call is nothing but a stressful situation waiting to happen. Unless you’re my agent calling about my book (see above), let’s keep our relationship through written word.
Seeing the mailman
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. “The mailman stresses you out? Really??” To which I reply a million times, yes!!! Did I get anything? Is it a card? Is it an invitation to meet Steven Tyler? The reality is, all I ever get are bills and bills create stress. I’d love if the mailman could just fold everything he’s delivering into paper airplanes and float them to my doorstep. At least then, I’d be distracted long enough to calm down.
There is nothing more frustrating than getting into your favorite show and the screen flickers and pixelates, or worse, freezes altogether. This scenario, being completely out of my hands, is enough to induce more panic than needed at 1 p.m. on a Tuesday. I’ve learned, the only thing to do is to wait it out by doing jumping jacks to eliminate some of the anxiety.
That show you tried to DVR that DIDN’T DVR
Speaking of TV, how about when you set your DVR to record your favorite show ever and it doesn’t record?? WHY?! I’m not sure why the box feels the need to decide what I should and should not record but nonetheless, this is infuriating when it happens and totally not a necessary part of life.
Internet is down
Free wi-fi is amazing. Internet being down is the opposite of that. Sometimes I have many things to post about, Tweet about, or write about. I do not have time for the Internet to spin that little wheel of indecision. Will it work or won’t it? How about the first one? Thanks.
A knock on the door
We live in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. It’s a warm community, brimming with conversation and small talk so it shouldn’t surprise me when a neighbor knocks on the door for sugar or a donation request. But it does. A knock on the door could be anything. A solicitor. The mailman with more bills. Steven Tyler wondering why I declined to respond to the invitation he sent. Dangerous convicts in need of a hideout. I usually just hide and poke my head through the blinds in secret just in case. You’ll never know if I’m really here or not and though you may wonder why I do this, it works for me.
An impending appointment
It doesn’t matter if it’s a doctor appointment, a parent/teacher conference, or a dinner date with a friend. If it’s on my calendar, my stomach hurts because it means no matter how I’m feeling, I have an obligation. And if it’s an appointment to have a phone call AND it’s written on my calendar? Unless you’re my agent about that book, Just. Don’t.
Facebook message or Twitter DM
Few of my real life friends and family contact me through social media so when it happens, I immediately go to the worst case scenario. Obviously something terrible has happened like your phone caught fire or you’re unable to speak because why would you choose this method of all the others?? Okay, so maybe I haven’t left you many options to communicate with me because everything stresses me out. The solution? Carrier pigeons.
As you can see, life is full of unexpected anxiety-triggers so if you’re going to contact someone who stresses easily like me, always include a cat meme because cats make everything better.
(Image via Dimension Films)