High-Functioning Anxiety

anxiety1 Have you ever read something and thought ‘How did this person get in my head?’

Today I found an article via To Write Love on Her Arms simply called, ‘Living With High-Functioning and Hidden Anxiety‘ on The Mighty.

It was like reading a journal I’d written myself, if I was, you know, highly articulate and much more insightful about myself than I probably am.

The panic that flashes through my eyes when a plan changes. When anything changes.

Last week, my SO tried to change the way our table faced. It wigged me out. I had to ask him to change it back, pretty much immediately.

my body is confusing answering an email with being attacked by a lion.


No one here likes you.

Oh yeah, I’ve had that track on repeat for years. 

It’s always looking for the next outlet, something to channel the never-ending energy. Writing. Running. List-making. Mindless tasks (whatever keeps you busy). Doing jumping jacks in the kitchen. Dancing in the living room, pretending it’s for fun, when really it’s a choreographed routine of desperation, trying to tire out the thoughts stuck in your head.

This never really occurred to me. Do I run two monitors and sometimes wish I had three because of this? Do I play a game, read an article and watch TV all at once just to shut an inner dialogue up?

It’s always being busy but also always avoiding, so important things don’t get done. It’s letting things pile up rather than admitting you’re overwhelmed or in need of help.


so often find yourself standing in a room where it feels like no one knows you.

Is that what that feeling is? That weirdly sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when faced with a social event?

It’s when answering a text impulsively and thoughtlessly is an act of bravery.

anxiety2 Has this person been watching me? Most replies, except for those select few I feel very comfortable with, are carefully measured. They’re written, read and re-read, then a pause while hovering over the send button.

Getting taken by a flight of fancy or a spat of anger and firing off anything hastily results in a panicked rush to the outbox, to review just how much “damage” I just did.

Spoiler alert: None.

High anxiety can be a natural consequence of a busy lifestyle, but its existence is akin to the chicken and the egg. Which came first, the anxiety or the busyness? Am I always moving because I’m anxious or am I anxious because I’m always moving?


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