My anxiety “quirks”.

I thought it would be fun, or rather enlightening to list all the things that trigger my anxiety; or that my anxiety grips onto. My Mum calls them my “quirks” as if it’s what makes me unique and I like to think of it like that, rather than things my brain can’t cope with. So here is my list of anxiety quirks:

  1. Shops that are too small or enclosed, where the attention will be on me because I’m always in the eyeline of people who work there.
  2. Shop assistants who make conversation with me when I’m checking out, it’s lovely but I’m too awkward to respond.
  3. Answering the phone; I avoid it most times. I can’t make calls either, even to family or friends.
  4. Answering the door; it makes it hard when I’m ordering online because parcels come and I have to force myself to answer the door but if I’m not expecting a delivery then I hide and wait for whoever is knocking to go away.
  5. Locking doors; I have to be sure all doors and windows are locked before bed, or if I go in the bath etc. I even have a lock on my bedroom door so I feel more secure.
  6. The centre of town; I can’t go there to the centre of any busy town, it’s too much and I get overwhelmed with anxiety.
  7. Making sure the oven is off, If I use the oven then I have to check I’ve switched it off before I go to sleep.
  8. Appointments; I am used to seeing my local GP now but any other hospital or doctor appointments make me so anxious.
  9. Laughter; if I’m out and hear people laughing then I assume they are laughing at me because I don’t fit in.
  10. Lifts; being in an enclosed space with strange people is my nightmare.
  11. People asking for directions
  12. What I’m wearing; I end up changing several times before I go out and stress myself out to the point of having panic attacks.
  13. If there is a gap in the curtains at night; I panic that people are looking it the window, even on the second floor…
  14. Ordering food when I’m out for a meal.
  15. People complimenting me; it makes me feel like I’m the centre of attention and feels fake to me.
  16. Sweating; my medication and fibromyalgia make me sweat more than average and I worry people are staring or making fun of me.
  17. Taking public transport. I avoid it at all costs.
  18. Being on a ledge or high place where I could fall.
  19. My weight.
  20. Eating in front of people, I really struggle with it.
  21. Having my hair cut; the small talk and social aspect puts me off.
  22. Being on my own for longer than a couple of days.
  23. Pubs or bars because I always feel like I stick out and don’t fit in.
  24. Having my photo taken or being on camera.
  25. Being approached by people selling things in the street.

These are just the things I can think about right now, but I’m sure there is more. Anxiety is definitely a daily fight, it’s like my brain is constantly working against me. I’d love to be able to go out and be social but my brain literally finds that terrifying. It’s hard being afraid of so many things but I continue to live and make the most of what I can enjoy and at times, I push my boundaries and make myself deal with scary situations because I don’t want to let my feat dictate my life.

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