By Kirsten Corley
When people tell me I’m overanalyzing things or overthinking it or reading too much into the situation, I want them to be right. I want to dismiss this little thing that is overcoming my thoughts and emotions as me being a paranoid fuck.
When anxiety strikes I would love nothing more than to be completely wrong.
I would love to categorize this as just another thing I thought too much about and the scenario I played out didn’t come true before my eyes.
But every once in awhile (actually more than once) I’m completely spot on and I hate it.
There are times where my friends tell me this conclusion I’ve come up with is crazy and there is no way it could come true. But I just have this uneasy feeling I can’t explain. It’s the red flag that goes off in my mind that I know something isn’t right.
Then I watch in horror as my predictions become a cold reality and I’m left in tears over some ending I completely saw coming because of a simple change in tone with one sentence.
The thing is people with anxiety have an innate ability to read situations and read between every line most people look past. People with anxiety have an ability to read others so accurately that a lot of these things they think about do come to life.
When your senses are heightened and you are constantly thinking, you avoid bad situations that can cause danger or a threat in your life.
There are two parts to the brain that help us to understand anxiety disorder. The amygdala and the hippocampus.
“The amygdala is an almond- shaped structure deep in the brain..It can alert the rest of your brain that a threat is present and trigger a fear or anxiety response. The emotional memories stored in the central part of the amygdala may play a role in anxiety disorders,” (Henry, 2013).
This is why people with anxiety disorder can sense more so than the average person when something might be repeating itself from the past in a situation. It’s the breakdown you might have had for whatever reason. Your emotional response to that is stored in your memory.
“The hippocampus is the part of your brain that encodes threatening events into memories,” (Henry, 2013).
When you connect the situation you are dealing with at hand with something that’s gone wrong in the past, you have that example to look back at.
For example, if someone has been cheated on multiple times they look for any sign their current partner may be acting the same way their exes have to avoid being as blindsided as they were the first time it happened. The emotions and the memory scar you to a point where you’re anxious about everyone. It isn’t just a lack of trust or confidence it’s in every person in your past who has again proven this will happen again.
When my brain starts churning I want to be wrong. Whether it’s my judgment of a person or a situation, I want to trust people. I don’t want to analyze every detail wondering if there’s more to it. I don’t want to reread texts or wonder if what I said or did was wrong. I don’t want to come up with three scenarios just so I’m prepared for the worst possible outcome. But when that worst possible outcome comes to a head all I can think about is how I wasn’t crazy and I was right.
There is no worse feeling than that moment you feel something off inside you and you can’t shake it. You can’t stop thinking about it.
It’s an increased heart rate, it’s over-thinking, it’s muscled tense up and a heightened senses of reflexes, it’s a loss of breath or some breathing exercise to get oxygen into your lungs normally, to prepare you for whatever situation is about to occur. Anxiety is your body physically responding when there is a threat.
And while I wish I could control every rapid thought or just not think so deeply or so much I think the only thing I can do is learn how to manage it.
While I know anxiety will affect every relationship I do have, I hope the people I choose understand and leave me with confidence over doubt. I hope the people I choose constantly are there to remind me they won’t leave. I hope the people I choose remind me what I deserve in those anxious moments I think it’s less and I’m too critical of myself.