Anxiety: My 4 A.M. Friend

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I am awake. It is 4 A.M. and my anxiety has my mind spinning. I thought today had gone well overall. However, toward the end of the day, my boss simply mentioned in passing to me something I should be aware of: making sure I greet anyone who comes into the front office, which is currently closed due to COVID-19, by mistake. I didn’t even have a response for her as no one had walked into the front office who didn’t work there today.

And then she mentioned it was a new hired who was training. The new hire mentioned she was “taken back” by my initial greeting. But she never came into the office by herself, she was always accompanied by another staff member. Each time she walked in, I greeted her. The one time she walked in, my computer just died and I was a bit stressed so my greeting was very brief as I was clearly in the middle of working. But each time, I did greet her. I am not sure if it is because of the masks, perhaps she wasn’t able to comprehend my facial expression due to it being covered up, but each time I did greet her.

It also makes me wonder why at 16 years old and on her first day of work she feels the need to mention to the boss something negative about her soon to be co-workers that she has no current knowledge of. But that isn’t really the point.

The point is that despite this one small and brief moment, my day was perfectly fine. A little stressed, but perfectly fine. And in fact, I often go beyond my “assigned duties” at work and truly enjoy my job most days. But this one moment launched me into a spiral of overthinking and a night of unrestful sleep. Hence, why I am awake now. At 4 A.M. writing about my anxiety attack, hoping that perhaps getting my thoughts out of my head and into the world will make me feel the slightest bit better.

This small moment was more than likely, nothing to even think much about at all. And certainly not something to worry over. My boss was not upset or angry, she was just delivering a reminder. In fact, when I could not remember anyone walking into the offer without notice, she quickly moved on in our conversation and said it was fine. So, why am I here? Why am I awake? Why does any of this even matter?

Because anxiety makes it matter. Anxiety has tricked my brain into thinking this was the most important moment of my entire day or perhaps my entire week. Anxiety has told me I need to over analyze my every move to study the mistake that was made and to move forward in life always aware of never making the same small mistake again. My anxiety is like an outside force. Something that is a part of me, while also being outside of myself. My anxiety is not me and yet we have become friends during the early hours of the morning. Constantly, conversing about my life. If you live with anxiety, never be ashamed of it. If it helps, give it a name and make it your friend. It will always be a part of you, but it does not define you. You are not your anxiety. You are a strong beautiful individual and you will be okay. Just be honest with yourself, reach out when you need help, and find your own personal ways of coping. Life is not meant to be perfect, but we can certainly make the best of the cards we are dealt.

Goodnight World. Goodnight Anxiety.

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