This Is What Anxiety Feels Like



A sore muscle that you can’t place. Only, it’s not a muscle, it’s something internal that’s off–but you need to flex the bad feeling in order to remember what you did to hurt in the first place. Remembering that there is a pit in your stomach and going through the usual suspects: money, health, relationships until you find whatever it is that you’re currently worrying about.

When you identify the object of your misery, you can talk to yourself about it. You might even make a list of why you’re being ridiculous—your fears will never come to fruition—or if they do, what good is worrying about it? But anxiety feels like something you can’t stop, that’s the point. It doesn’t matter how much self talk you engage in, how unlikely your fear is, it keeps gnawing away at you despite all your efforts.

Anxiety feels like trying to stuff some ineffable object inside a container. It will always find a way to seep out.

You need to unzip from the inside out, and step outside of your body, walk away from the worry. You cannot contain it, you can only learn how to stop caring.

This is, of course, the crux of it. It’s not a knowledge issue. Knowing that you need to do something doesn’t make you automatically able to do it. Anxiety is the lack of an ability it seems everyone else has—to have control over your thoughts, to slow down a racing heart, to truly breathe deeply and exhale out what ails you.

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