I didn’t make a lot of money tonight. I’m getting worse at serving. Yes, weeks of doing well have proved that I am just fine. It was just slow tonight and we were overstaffed. But I forgot table 21’s syrup and I didn’t grab enough straws for that table of six. How could I do that? Pancakes always come with syrup. Even numbers are so easy. Being slow should mean I’m better at my job. I’m getting worse, and I have to work even harder.
I’ve cried five times this week in front of my girlfriend. That would be so irritating. I’m so irritating. I’m not going to cry in front of her anymore. Walls down. If I’m upset, I hide it. But she’s the only non-familial person I’ve ever been able to be vulnerable with. I don’t want to negate all of that progress. I can’t hide my feelings now. But if she leaves, it’s all gone anyway. It’ll be harder, and I’ll never be able to show my feelings to anyone ever again. Why did I let myself be vulnerable in the first place?
I just want to go to bed. Tonight was so long, and my emotions were all over the place. But I didn’t even work tonight, I shouldn’t be so exhausted. Maybe I should pull an all-nighter. But then I’ll be way too tired at work tomorrow. But if I go to bed now, I’ll feel tired all day. It’ll be too hard to wake up in the morning, and I won’t have enough time to shower. I have to take a shower if I’m serving. Gross hair doesn’t equal good tips. I have to make money. I have to provide for myself so no one else has to. I’ll be able to pay for college to make up for the scholarships I’ll lose if I don’t do this math homework tonight. Maybe I should drink Redbull? Mom says that ruins your kidneys. My kidneys are already bad. Coffee? I hate coffee. What if I put a bunch of sugary stuff and flavoring in it? What if I still don’t like it? Then I’ll have wasted too much and feel guilty. Coffee makes your breath stink. I already am trying everything I can to get rid of that all day every day. Mom says it stunts your growth. I’m too short. If I could grow any more I don’t want something as trivial as coffee to get in the way of a few more inches. No Redbull. No coffee. No math homework. I just want to go to bed.
I just want to go to bed.
With generalized anxiety, every single aspect of my life is overanalyzed in microscopic detail all day in constant cycles of thought and processing until the moment I decide enough is enough, I just have to go to bed.
This moment is always a tiny breaking point. A paragraph I can’t read enough times to understand, an anxiety attack that dries my eyes out to the point of painful rubbing, tears that just won’t stop even if nothing is wrong, a math problem with one too many variables, it doesn’t seem to matter. Something in my chest snaps, and I just want to go to bed.
For the longest time, this scared me. I thought I was falling into a depression, having to juggle that with my anxiety and work and school and a social life I had just accepted as being okay to have. “Not everything in life has to be so serious, Kati. You’re allowed to have fun,” my mother would say constantly.
Everything is serious. Everything has the potential to not be fun.
Hanging out with friends? What if they didn’t actually want to hang out with you today? Maybe you’re holding them back from doing something better with their time. You could be doing homework while they do what they would rather be doing. What if you don’t enjoy it? All of that potential to-do list work time gone to waste.
Vacations? The plane could crash. You could get sick from the drinking water. You could get mugged and not be able to get home. You could get a really bad sunburn and get skin cancer. What if you didn’t bring everything you need?
Watching Netflix and eating junk food? Your face will break out. There’s so much sugar in this food. You’ve already eaten too much sugar today. You need to go make something good to eat. Now. You’ve already watched this episode too many times. Get up and do something with your life.
But what happens when you do?
I got busy. I got a girlfriend, got a job, got some friends, got a therapist, got on medication, I didn’t sit around and wait for my anxiety to consume me.
I let it quietly nibble on me while I was on the go, doing things that distracted me from all of my constant thoughts. I jumped in with open arms and tried not to think about things too much.
I still can’t breathe some days. I still cry way too much and deal with it way too less. I still think too much, and all of those thoughts and constant analytics never abating, but I’m trying. I’m getting up and doing something with my life to feel better than I ever did.
And when I inevitably feel bad some days, can’t handle anything, and that something in my chest snaps,
I just go to bed.