I didn’t know that waking up in a rush and getting ready in a rush and racing down the freeway in a rush (even though I had no need to be rushing because I’m an hour early for work) was any different than how other people went about their daily routines. I have never been able to grasp the phrase, “take your time.” When someone tells me to take my time, my brain does this: “Why are they telling me that? Do they not want to see me? Are they running late? Should I offer to come over later? At what point should I take my time? Should I take a longer time to brush my teeth or should I drive slower? Do they think I drive too fast and crazy? Do I drive too fast and crazy? What time is it now? I think I’ve taken enough time. I’m leaving now. I hope they don’t think I’m late. I might drive a little too fast just so they aren’t waiting on me.”
It took me a long time to realize that anxiety and overthinking are two different words with similar meanings. While growing up, I was picked on of for overthinking. Feeling vulnerable, I locked my doors, and did my best to keep the tornado inside of me at a steady pace. Over-thinkers are crazy.
That’s what society tells us.
“People who suffer anxiety just need to calm down and people who suffer depression just need to cheer up.” Ever heard that before? There is very little support for mental illnesses in this world, and that is not to say that anxiety and depression are the only mental illnesses. However they should be taken more seriously. There is also that group of people who exist in this world who believe that those who claim to suffer anxiety and/or depression just want attention. Please trust me when I say that attention is what I am trying to escape and have always been trying to escape. I have always aspired to be the wallflower, but the truth is that I’m not cut out for that life, and so I’ll use the disappointment that I make some people feel as fuel. And I’ll take the support of my loved ones as fuel. My anxiety presses me forward in the way that a parent presses their kid into the dentist to get a cavity filled. And everyone needs parents until they feel ready enough to let them go. Well now I am ready, but where do I proceed now?