7:17 am. My mobile screen screams.
I can run ‘fast enough’ to catch the train. At this time, I recognize my thoughts are running faster than ever. I am wondering how much anguish and agony I would have to go through if I miss the train. I would be having a conversation with myself — Why did you sleep those extra 5 mins, can’t you just wake up when the alarm rings! I would be disappointed in myself, that I can’t make it because I am not a regular at doing exercise and thus pausing for a moment to catch a breath. And this moment is so precious that I may curse myself for being ‘slow’. And then facing repercussions of reaching work late, having to send a reluctant apology text to my senior. This whirlpool of thoughts is going on for about 10 seconds. Yes.
After 10 seconds, some other overthinking may arise like leaves falling from a tree. One after the other. And all I feel is irritation, anger and a tinge of disappointment at myself.
Anxiety sends me an invitation like those Google notifications that keep popping up on the phone screen, one notification followed by an email — reminding me — oh there is a meeting in 10 minutes.
Perhaps Anxiety is so lonely and so desperate to seek attention, that each of us gets invited turn by turn. Anxiety loves to sneak into any moment of my life. Be it a morning routine, a birthday celebration or a glance through my weekend plans. Anxiety has such a short attention span, it cannot thrive on one idea. A quiet moment of reflection fades fast when the phone begins to ring, or perhaps causes us to feel guilty that we aren’t focused on something “more productive”.It is like a contagious feeling, that we end up passing on to the people sitting around us.
So how do I respond to this invitation?
-Be assertive and say — Oh!, Anxiety you again, not today, perhaps can you wait outside the door? I am currently having a good time with my friends right now.
- Get carried away and say — Oh yes, I am not good enough anyway, come in and let us go down our usual path of dwindling thoughts and what-ifs.
-Hide in the remote corner, see Anxiety walking in and pretend that it is not as overwhelming as it appears to be. And keep hiding and denying your existence
-What would you say?
How would you respond if Anxiety offered you an invitation?