I take after my dad. No big secret there. I take after him in a whole lotta ways - many of which I'll never admit to publicly. But I can't deny that I have his intense (and mostly irrational) anxiety.
There are many types of anxiety and everyone suffers from it to a point. I'm not talking about that kind of anxiety. I don't mean "Is that black dress too tight to wear on my date tomorrow night?" anxiety. I'm not talking about "I've got to walk on stage in five minutes and I'm not sure I can remember my lines" anxiety. Neither am I talking about "I just had a big interview and I'm so nervous" anxiety. Those are normal, healthy anxieties.
No... I mean "Is it really 4AM? How Long have I been lying here, wide awake? Three hours? Four? I'd probably be asleep right now if I hadn't forgotten to brush my teeth. Why didn't I brush my teeth? I don't normally forget that kind of thing... Am I losing my memory? I'm only thirty, I can't be losing my memory already, can I? (I should google memory loss... What if I go to turn the computer on and it dies? I have to have a computer, I can't be without one. If it dies, I'll fail my classes. I'll probably fail anyway... I fail at everything I do...) I can't believe I forgot to brush my teeth. I'll probably lose my teeth before my memory - I can't believe I forgot to brush them! Dad lost his teeth when he was younger than me. Oh, gods, I'm going to lose my teeth and my memory! I'll lose everything eventually, though, won't I? I'll shrivel up and there'll be nothing left of me. (What if I die? Of course I'll die. I'm dying now, every breath...) I'm getting wrinkles already... That big one on my forehead... Is it getting worse? Did I remember to moisturise? I probably forgot to moisturize... No wonder I'm getting all wrinkly. Like I needed any help in being unattractive. (No one will ever be attracted to me. I'm so disgusting. I wouldn't be attracted to me, why should anyone else be?) Did I moisturize? I'm sure I did... I can't remember! That's it, I have to get up RIGHT NOW, brush my teeth, moisturize, take Ginko Biloba and google memory loss." anxiety. That's the kind of anxiety I suffer from, every minute of every day.
Just because you see me laughing and cracking jokes (can you say "coping mechanism") it doesn't mean I'm not FREAKING THE FUCK OUT in my mind. So don't assume that I'm happy and in control because you don't know. Unless you suffer from this kind of anxiety, unless you know what it feels like, unless you break out in a cold sweat as you get up to get a drink from the vending machine because you can feel every eye in the room on you and the walls closing in and your stomach dropping right down to the floor and all the air suddenly disappearing for no other reason that you might slip, trip, fall, fart, bump into someone, lose your pants, walk into a wall or do some other stupid and clumsy thing that you have no control over, don't ever presume to understand the type of anxiety I suffer from.
And don't ever - EVER - try to tell me how to cope with it because you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.