I wasn’t always an anxious person. I thought more about past mistakes than anything else, fretted over decisions I’d already made. I was huge on regret. But then things changed, and now I confess I sometimes get anxious if I don’t have something to worry about.
Explaining anxiety to someone who doesn’t have it, or doesn’t live with it, is hard to do. I don’t know that I’m really up to trying. All I will say is, in my case, it never even helps when I tell myself, or when someone else tells me, that I’m worrying for no reason, or that everything’s okay. But it’s not for no reason if it turns out there *is* something wrong, you know, so the only thing that usually calms me down is finding a way to be sure — to rule out danger. It’s not very easy to do that, though, and it never lasts for long. Something can go wrong any time. You can get up for work one day and an hour later your life is changed. You can be standing in your living room and seconds later you can be gone, with no warning. It can all go away that quickly, and there’s no way to reach back in time and stop it from happening, no matter how much it seems like you should be able to. Sometimes there’s no reason to worry. Most of the time, really. I know that. But I didn’t see it coming last time, after all. This time, maybe if I’m watching carefully enough, it won’t be able to happen at all.