Anxiety Looks Like…

Anxiety looks like sitting perfectly still, eyes far away.  It almost, deceivingly, looks peaceful.  Except those far-off eyes are a little too wide and the hands laying in the lap are curled into fists.

Anxiety feels like a storm on the inside, a rushing wave, impending and yet also happening at the same time.

Anxiety sounds like a train coming around the corner.  It’s loud and pressing and demanding, yet your focus remains on the outside.  Have to look a certain way, have to look like you feel a certain way, have to actually feel a certain way, have to have to have to.

Anxiety steals the touch of the sun and the softness of your child’s skin and replaces it with concern about sunburn and fear that you’ll somehow hurt that child and also did you forget to turn off the stove and is that person upset with me and how will I get through today and tomorrow and the day after?

Anxiety smells like something is burning, when you can smell at all.  Your senses collapse into each other until all you can do is thinkthinkthink, trapped in a spiral of imaginary acts and words and possibilities, drowning in what the COULD be and what SHOULD be.

Anxiety feels like questioning every moment of the day, every interaction, every movement, every phrase and breath and glance.  It’s wondering if you scratched your nose at the wrong moment.  It’s feeling fine about a conversation until you are driving away, and then you replay every detail of that conversation and wonder where you messed up.

Anxiety is a constant battle between reality and head space.  A teetering between what is real on the outside and what is real on the inside and a forceful contest convincing the two to meet.

Anxiety looks like me.  It looks like me when I am smiling, it looks like me when I am confident.  It looks like me when I am crying in the closet, and when I am shouting to my music, and when I am furiously texting for help.  It lives in me, my constant companion, a part of me.


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