January 30 19

The constant need to be busy. Being on the go is a bit like a drug to feed the anxiety beast. If I’m working several jobs, if I’m focused on my new ballet classes OrangeTheory classes watching Shtisel in yoga pants or 6th grade math homework 7th grade math homework 8th grade math homework or taking multiple photography classes or making lists or reading books or listening to podcasts or downloading new music or simply searching for something on my phone, it keeps my mind off of my mind. 

Being unable to say no.


Taking on too much, yet still feeling like I’m not doing enough.

Being so tired, all the time. Being so tired, but not being able to fall asleep. Being so tired, but not being able to stay asleep.

Nervous laughter.

Apologizing. A lot.

Telling people how comically bad I am at things because my brain tells me that it’s a safer option than the risk of someone mocking me. I am really a terrible bowler, even though I’m from Wisconsin. Just wait until you see me do karaoke. And don’t even get me started on dancing. 

Being obnoxiously early for everything.

Checking and re-checking. YES, I have my phone in my purse, let me just check one more time to be surely sure.

The inability to quit things — books I’m not enjoying, Grey’s Anatomy.

Feeling that Not Alone Kind of Alone. Having a hard time letting people in — not because I don’t want to, no, in fact, I really, really, really want to — but because friendship breakups for anxious people are particularly heavy.

Stressing about a restaurant menu. About making a phone call. About answering a phone call. About *not* answering a phone call. About my voicemail message on my work phone. About what to wear to parent-teacher conferences. {Am I overdressed? Am I underdressed? Is everyone looking at me? Is there something on my face?} About traveling. About boats. About crossing the border.

Overthinking a conversation. A text message. An email. A Facebook comment. Minutes, hours, days, sometimes even weeks later. I’m still thinking about that weird thing I said at the 7th grade spelling bee. No really.

Indigestion. Stomach aches. Nausea. Chills. Sweats. Chest pressure. Racing heart.

Panic attacks. Sometimes at my daughter’s school play. Or at a movie theater. Or a restaurant. Or at my in-laws’ house. Or on an airplane. Or on a train. Or a bus. Or in a car. {transportation is clearly a tough one for me} Or just this week in the middle of a board meeting.

Having a terrible naggy voice inside my head constantly telling me that I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not funny enough, I’m not thin enough, I’m not organized enough, I’m not a good friend, I’m not a good mom, I’m not a good daughter, I’m not good enough at my job, I’m too lazy, I’m not a good enough photographer.

Emetophobia. Germ-o-phobia.

Weird habits. During particularly panic-y moments I sing the words to We Didn’t Start The Fire in my head. And I make teeny tiny little braids in my hair.

Hitting publish on this post, on any post, even though my palms are sweaty. 

Because I have anxiety, but you know what? It doesn’t have me.

One big thing that has changed between last year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day and this year’s is that now I OWN MY ANXIETY. I’m not ashamed of it, I’m not embarrassed by it. I’m not afraid to say it out loud.

It has made me who I am.

And you know what?

Who I am is pretty freakin’ amazing.


Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day. So, I hope you, too, won’t be afraid to say it out loud. Don’t be afraid to talk.

But also don’t be afraid to listen.

Don’t be afraid to text — For every text message you send today, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives. Don’t be afraid to tweet — Each time you tweet today using #BellLetsTalk, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind on Facebook — Every time you watch the Bell Let’s Talk video today Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives. Click here to see all of the ways you can make a difference.


And every day.

And today I won’t be afraid to record the voicemail message on my work phone.


  1. […] Over at Cheaper than Therapy, Ali apparently crawled up in my head when she described how her anxiety comes out…it’s eerily familiar: {My} Anxiety Is […]

    Pingback by Posts I Love | Redefining Perfect on February 9, 2019

Allowed tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>