• Tristan J. Miller

Anxiety about Anxiety

One of my favorite games to play is worrying whether or not the anxiety I’m currently feeling warrants taking my as-needed anxiety medication.


I’m anxious, agitated, annoyed, and aggravated; my heart pounding harder than High Heffner in his prime.


“I’m feeling anxious,” I say to myself out loud in the bodega. A man turns his head and pulls out an earphone. “What?” He says. “What?” I say. We stare at each other. “I’m feeling anxious,” I say.


He looks at me and then at the beef he’s holding. Then turns his head back, placing his earphone deep inside his ear canal in order to never hear another person breathe let alone admit something so embarrassing.


I am again left alone with my predicament. I feel a Jean Valjean level of conflict. “If I take the medication, I’ll feel better. But, if I don’t I’ll remain sharper.”


This line of thinking proves you don’t need to be sane to be dumb.


I used to have this problem a lot. Where I would become anxious about being anxious and taking my anxiety medication. Now, I use that as proof, if I’m feeling anxious about taking my medication, I’m clearly anxious enough to need it.


Problem solved.


But how do you know if you’re even feeling anxious? Or are you simply having a reaction to being alive? Fear is a logical response to external stimuli, whereas anxiety is a disproportionate fear-type (my favorite pokemon) reaction.


Here is a three-step rubric to see if you’re anxious.

  1. You feel fearful

  2. Nothing much is going on

  3. You’ve been told by peers to calm down

Now, how do you know if you’re anxious if no one is around to tell you to calm down? Simple, you have to channel your inner crappy boyfriend and tell yourself to “just calm down, because, like, it’s not even that big of a deal.”


I am of course joking here. It is a huge deal and it is all your fault. I am of course joking, no one noticed you.


One of the greatest reliefs I’ve ever had in life is the fact that most people are so self-absorbed that they will never notice the thing you did that you’re worried about. So that thing that you’re so concerned about? No one noticed.


Unless, of course, they are the IRS.

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