Mental Health

A Day With High-Functioning Anxiety


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


What if I drop my phone down the train gap?


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.


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.


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.


What if my laptop has smashed in my bag?


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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


Is he after my bag? I start to run.


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


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


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.


Back to work.


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


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


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?


I need to check.


I have my house key.


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


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


Doesn’t matter, I found it in my bag.


Do I have everything?


Train time. When’s my change?


Did I remember to put that wash load in?


Time to change. Do I have everything?


Do I still have my house key?


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


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


Have I checked my bag since I got home?


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


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


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!


Where is that car key?


Did I leave it in the car?


Eurgh I feel sick.


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


Shall I just check?


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


Where is it then?


It’s on my bedside table.


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

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