It has become apparent to me recently that I have a real problem with anxiety. The feeling hits me at the most random and inconvenient places but somehow afterwards I always forget how it feels—that is until I experience it again. It’s not impossible to live with but it is most certainly uncomfortable, mostly causing my stomach to turn and making everything sweet taste deadly. Some days it’s like a feeling that underlies all of what I do during that day: What am I doing? Why am I doing it? Is this the right thing to do? What if it’s the wrong thing? If I can’t choose the right thing then how can I occupy myself until the anxiety goes away? What if it never goes away?
Even if they don’t say it, my friends know if I’m on edge. I’m noticeably slower since my mind is trying to work out everything all at once—all my movements feel rigid, forced and requiring a large amount of effort to carry out. Sentences are hard to construct and code is even harder to fathom, harder still is keeping my eyes still and pointing in the same direction for more than a second.
My cure, or at least what I’ve found so far works best, is to shut down my life for a few days. Submit myself to being a sedated zombie in a dressing gown, reliant on terrible television to remove silence. Sure, nothing good comes out of it, but everything just feels easier and I can concentrate on how I’m feeling. Before using this method, I tried to distract myself with various activities and even sometimes with people; this worked well until I had to go home and deal with myself again, or I had so hopelessly smothered the person I depended on until their knowing me become nothing more than a burden to them.
I’m not sure what the anxiety could be a symptom of. Perhaps my highly-introverted lifestyle, or just the empty confusing University lifestyle that I choose. Maybe because I can go for weeks without leaving the confines of my flat or my labs and retracing the steps between them each day. Maybe it’s because I look at my Instagram feed of friends I have long lost contact with, wondering if I’m spending my twenties incorrectly. Maybe it’s because I question whether a normal and sane person would care about what their friends of 5 years ago are getting so right and how the sane person may be getting it so wrong.