Updated: May 23, 2020
As far as I remember, she has always visited me like a reality check. First, she came in before every exam in school telling me how I would fail.
Then, she visited me in the gym telling me how fat I was, popped a thought every time someone called me “moti” and every single time I stood on the weighting scale.
Then, visited me regularly when I was 17. I was studying for my engineering entrance exams; I was not sure if I wanted to do it. She came because I felt claustrophobic about the “study hours”, “the pressure to deliver”, “the pressure to get into a good college”, “The fact that I felt I didn’t fit in”.
Then, she visited me again when I gave my first exams in my engineering college. Again, I thought I failed to do well. She came and went a lot over the course of those four years then, went off for a while. I thought she was gone for good.
She came again, some 3 years later – I was in MBA, doing well academically, had a good support system, some good friends but that didn’t stop her. She would call me right before I slept reminding me of the things I could complete not because there were too many but because I was not good enough, give my wake-up call up every morning reminding how many things needed to be accomplished yet I was not good enough to do it.
Fast forward to December 2016 when I was moving to USA, she would not stop talking. She commanded like she had the right to every thought in my head. She constantly told me how I could not survive in a new place, how I would be the failure everyone would talk about. The 8 pages of “list of things” I need to do/carry I wrote didn’t matter, she told it would never be enough.
As my wedding week approached, I had everything to survive the apocalypse or so I though. But she, reminded me of every scenario that might happen. I was so over-prepared that I bought 3 pairs of sandals just in case all the other 6 broke. It was a nightmare.
She does not fail to call me every time I plan to go on a trip, every time I try a new recipe and the list is endless. Her conversations have started affecting me a little less, I think or I hope but some days she just gets to me.
Then, Corona hit. It has been tough – I have never been too concerned about my health but worrying about family and friends is killing me. I don’t know when I can see my parents again. I don’t know when I would be able to travel to India next. I don’t know how I would be able to deliver better at work. I don’t know how I will clean every surface, every piece of grocery, vegetable, fruit, anything and everything.
HOLD ON. I am ranting or is she making me rant?
Now, she has become a part of me, I think.
I hope not.
But I can feel her looming around more than usual.
A part of me that is always trying to be one step ahead of her, always planned, always prepared - my plan B, C and D waiting to get implemented. Over the years, I have found ways to avoid her, some successful and some not so much. And, these last few months have been on the not so successful times.
I know she will never go away; I hope she does from my life but I know she won’t.
She is my friend and my foe, Anxiety. I have been an anxious person, always but didn't realize for a very long time. She has made me a better person, understand me better but she has also made me cautious of everything around me. On one hand, she has made be very planned but she is also the one who is responsible for that weird chill that hits me some days.