High-functioning anxiety doesn’t look like anxiety.
It’s because of this, that people often have no idea what you’re going through, or why you do the things you do.
Here are 6 things people don’t realize you are doing, because of your high-functioning anxiety:
1. Looking calm doesn’t mean we are calm.
Aches and pains weigh you down, pressures build up and your heart starts racing. Thoughts are wild and chaotic at the best of times. But somehow, through it all, you look like you have it together. You smile and seem fine to the onlooker, but inside? Inside, you feel like you’re being pulled apart.
2. There are times when we just have to leave, and can’t tell you why. This is not a personal insult.
At first, things are fine. We’re giggling and having a good time with our friends. Then, out of nowhere, our brain goes into “what if” mode and starts over-analyzing everything. Everything. These feelings can be so overwhelming that we simply have to leave in order to calm our thoughts.
3. We put ourselves down more than you know.
On the outside, we seem successful and might even be recognized for how accomplished we are at something. Maybe we’ve been told we’re great at what we do, and we really should be proud of ourselves. But do we feel the same way about us as they do? Not even close. When it comes to our career, our personal life and our love life, we put ourselves down because we think we can do better. We put ourselves through huge amount of stress, just so we can make it through the day.
4. Anxiety is always there.
Regardless of who we are with, where we go, or what is happening around us, anxiety can strike. The quickened thoughts, the tight grip on our chest, the worry and panic…it all takes place whether we are having a good time with our best friends, or about to do some mundane task. You never really know, and can never explain why it happens.
5. Perfectionism is our life.
We really, really, really want to do something right, so we try our hardest at everything we do. Work life and personal life are both areas where we find faults, even when there aren’t any to be found. If someone tells us we did a good job, we find ways we should’ve done better. If our partner tells us how much they loved the meal we made for them, we find things that should’ve done differently. Maybe we’ve been taught that we aren’t good enough, maybe it was something from childhood, but whatever it was, it left us with a feeling that we can always be better.
6. We freak out over the smallest things.
I’m sure you have seen this kind of behaviour and figured we’re just overreacting or having a bad day. We can be extremely mean to ourselves when we stumble, make mistakes, or fail at something. Even if it was something that didn’t require much effort, we will mentally beat ourselves up all day long. We simply can’t tell ourselves that everything is okay, and if we try to tell ourselves that, we think of 100 reasons why it isn’t.
High-functioning anxiety is a beautifully deceptive illusion. What you see is the Eiffel Tower. Strength, resilience, and unwavering spirit. What we feel like, is a house of cards. Just the slightest push can topple our world. Despite this, we are strong. We have to be.