I Have ‘High-Functioning Anxiety’ & Here’s How It Affects My Everyday Life

I’m horrible at “spontaneity.”

I always need to plan things out. I like my days/weeks planned out in advance, I like knowing exactly where I’m going or what I’m doing. If I have to travel or drive somewhere, I’ll look up traffic, the time it takes to get there, routes, etc. in advance so I’m never, ever late or lost. I also leave with a ridiculous amount of time to spare. Whenever I have plans with people, they’re constantly annoyed because I asked a sh*t ton of questions about time, directions, place, etc. Sometimes, it helps me to have things just set in stone rather than playing it by ear.

I have a very, very hard time telling people “no.”

Most people think that those with anxiety are constantly saying “no” to people, because they’re scared of panic attacks, leaving their comfort zone or doing something they can’t handle. But, with my high-functioning anxiety, it’s the opposite. I barely ever say no to people, it’s as if I don’t know how. I don’t know my limits – I think there is no such thing as limits. When people ask for my help with something – editing a paper, writing something, driving them somewhere – I always say yes. No matter who it is or when it is, or how much I have on my own plate – I pile it on higher and higher until I stretch myself so thin, I nearly break.

I don’t sleep very well.

I don’t sleep well – at all. I hardly am able to fall asleep at a reasonable hour and I usually need something to help me sleep. In recent years, I stopped taking things such as Tylenol PM and other things of that nature and turned to herbal teas to help “calm me down” before bed and relax my mind. But, I usually wake up at least 2-3 times a night, especially if I have something important to do the following day. Sometimes, I’ll even have dreams about being “late” to somewhere I have to go, not doing something I said I’ll do or underperforming at a task.

My biggest fear is letting everyone down.

No matter how hard I work, how much I take on or why I do so, my biggest fear is always letting down those I love. People who know me will describe me as a giving person, who is always there for the people she loves and is constantly “trying to do more and more.” But, no matter how much I do achieve and I do for people I love, I have put extra stress on myself to please everyone. I’m a huge people-pleaser, even if it means the amount of work and pressure I take on is insane.