Mental Health

A Day With High-Functioning Anxiety

6.15am

I’m awake. My eyes are shut, but I’m awake. My alarm won’t go off for another 45 minutes, and I could really do with some extra sleep. But I’m worried that my alarm won’t go off. I know, logically, that it will, I checked it 5 times before I went to sleep last night. But I’m still worried that it won’t. So, I open my eyes and check my alarm. It’s on, it’s fine. I have a little more sleep.

7am

The alarm goes off. I’m tired and wishing that I didn’t have the unnecessary 6.15 wake up, but it’s fine. I’m fine. I get ready as quickly as I can, have breakfast, and write a to do list for the day. I put small tasks like doing a wash load on this list too, because sometimes I forget things. I should remember now that I’ve written it down.

8am

I leave the house. I check the door three times, I can’t leave it unlocked, I know that no body else is going to be in today.

8.07am

What if that car drives onto the pavement and runs me over?

8.15am

I am half way to the train station and I’m worrying that I didn’t lock the door. I know I did, rationally, but I am also convinced that I didn’t. If I turn back, I will be late. But I also cannot keep the door unlocked all day.

8.25am

I decide to turn back. I can’t get the image of the door being unlocked out of my head, I know I won’t be able to concentrate on my lecture. Obsessing over it is starting to make me feel sick and dizzy.

8.50am

I did lock the door. Now I’ve missed my train. I feel guilty, anxiety has already won one battle today.

9.25am

What if I drop my phone down the train gap?

9.30am

I am finally on a train and on my way. I check my bag to make sure I’ve got everything, and then check my train change because I don’t want to miss it.

9.40am

I am on my journey and I’m trying to read my book. But, this morning’s episode is getting to me. I check my bag again, so I definitely have everything? Yes, I think so. I check my train change again just in case anything has changed.

9.55am

Time to change trains. I check my bag, and again to make sure I have got everything, leave my current train and head to my next platform. I board my next train, check my bag, and sit down and try to get some more reading done.

10.10am

What if my laptop has smashed in my bag?

10.15am

Did I turn my straighteners off this morning? Shit shit shit. I’m pretty sure I did, I remember the feel of the button under my fingers. But, the more I think about it, the more that I’m convinced that I forgot. What do I do? I text a housemate and ask them to check. I feel sick.

10.20am

My straighteners were turned off. I check my bag and breathe a sigh of relief.

10.30am

A group of teenagers on the train are laughing, are they laughing at me?

10.35am

I’m pretty sure that they’re laughing at me. They’re not looking at me, but something is telling me that they are.

10.40am

I don’t know why they’re laughing at me. Do I have something in my teeth? Have they taken something from my bag? I check my bag, just in case.

10.50am

I have arrived. I check my bag, leave my train and start to walk to uni.

11am

A man is walking rather quickly behind me, is he following me?

11.05am

I’m pretty sure that he is following me. What do I do?

11.10am

Is he after my bag? I start to run.

11.15am

He just went straight passed me. He probably wasn’t following me.

11.30am

I’m here. Time to throw myself into writing this essay.

1.30pm

Lunch time. I eat in the quietest place I can find with headphones in. If I eat alone without headphones then I panic that everyone is talking about me so I’ve learnt that headphones make it easier.

2pm

Back to work.

3pm

Lecture time. Did I remember everything? I check my bag just in case.

3.30pm

Did I even bring my house key today? I haven’t seen it? I start to worry.

3.35pm

I need to check whether I have my house key but, if I do, I will annoy the person next to me by going under my chair. What do I do?

3.40pm

I need to check.

3.41pm

I have my house key.

4pm

My day is done. Time to head home. Do I have everything?

4.15pm

Oh no I forgot my book. It’s in the lecture theatre crap!

4.20pm

Doesn’t matter, I found it in my bag.

4.30pm

Do I have everything?

4.45pm

Train time. When’s my change?

5pm

Did I remember to put that wash load in?

5.30pm

Time to change. Do I have everything?

6pm

Do I still have my house key?

6.30pm

I’m home. I did forget to put the washing in, even after writing it down. Oh well, I can do it now.

7pm

I wonder what those teenagers were laughing at today. I wonder what it was about me that they found funny.

7.30pm

Have I checked my bag since I got home?

8pm

Where’s the car key? I don’t remember where I left it.

10pm

Time for a shower. I hope no one can see through this frosted window.

11pm

Time for sleep. Today was a good day. It didn’t end in a panic attack, it didn’t end with me crying. High-five for me!

11.30pm

Where is that car key?

11.35pm

Did I leave it in the car?

11.38pm

Eurgh I feel sick.

11.40pm

I’m sure that I wouldn’t have left it in the car.

11.42pm

Shall I just check?

11.45pm

It’s not in the car. The car is locked.

11.50pm

Where is it then?

11.54pm

It’s on my bedside table.

11.55pm

Good night. I hope that tomorrow is as good as today.

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