1. When I’m in the drive-thru and something goes wrong with an order. It feels like time stands still and everyone behind me is wishing I’d hurry up but there’s nothing I can do.
2. Answering questions in class. I know this is a voluntary thing, but as soon as the professor asks a question I know the answer to my heart rate skyrockets as I think about answering. Usually I don’t raise my hand, but it certainly makes me anxious just thinking about it, and then it gets a thousand times worse if they have random call…
3. When I’m talking to someone and their expression changes suddenly, and my stomach drops like, “Fuck, what did I say?”
4. Typically something at work that either I screwed up or may have screwed up. This results in me realizing it in the middle of the night and panicking. Then I’m up all night.
It’s always something that never matters at the end of the day.
5. A knock on my front door because it’s never anybody I want to talk to.
6. When I’m driving and the police get behind me.
7. Going to bed on Sunday nights.
8. Having to walk past a group of teenagers. Nope nope nope.
9. When I pay at a gas station with cash and there are 10 people behind me and I can’t put my money in my wallet fast enough while trying to take my items and move.
10. Parents don’t pick up their phone after a couple of tries.
11. Getting a call on my phone.
12. Being in people’s way. If I’m at a grocery store and someone else is trying to get past me, but I can’t move because there’s people in front of me, I’m sweating. I hate being in peoples way. Traffic, the store, anything. My wife won’t go let me go to Costco with her anymore, because I get so on edge.
13. Saying “no” to my employers. They are perfectly reasonable employers and it’s a perfectly reasonable “no,” but I could barely sleep last night. Anxiety disorders really suck.
14. When my college professor is going over the syllabus and I see a presentation on the list.
15. “We need to talk.”
16. When you are following your GPS and accidentally take a wrong turn in an unfamiliar city and your GPS doesn’t update right away so you keep going the wrong fucking way.
17. Any form of second-hand embarrassment.
18. Driving with people who can’t control their road rage.
19. Any sort of public speaking, it’s paralyzing for me. I have general anxiety problems, not as bad as others, but public speaking will put me into a violent tailspin.
20. “Alright everyone, stand up, we’re gonna start off with a fun little ‘Get To Know You’ warmup exercise”
21. Whispering from behind me. Maybe it’s a little narcissistic, but I always feel like they’re whispering about me and my anxiety skyrockets. It’s been like that since I was little.
22. Getting a text, writing a thoughtful reply, and getting, “K.”
23. When I’m in the self checkout lane and there’s like 10 people in line.
24. Coming to a 4 way stop at the exact time as the other cars.
25. Finding out I have to go somewhere unexpectedly.
26. “Transaction declined” or any variation of that.
27. Anytime someone raises their voice. Even if they’re raising it due to excitement.
28. “Give me your phone and I’ll look it up.”
29. My parents arguing.
30. Needing to check my bank account.
31. Any time a car follows me for more than 3 consecutive turns.
32. The tingle of an approaching sneeze while driving.
33. Those Emergency broadcasts sirens that play on tv.
34. Going swimming and not seeing the bottom when I look down… just thinking about it gives me goosebumps.
35. An email from my boss.
36. Bloodwork. Always bloodwork.
37. When old people start talking to you in the bus.
38. Seeing a spider and then the next time I look for it, I can’t find it anywhere.
39. When the toilet water keeps rising.
40. My real name starts with A, so in class, for almost everything, I’m the first one to do it. This is not so bad, but sometimes I’m like “wait what do I have to do again?”, but the teacher JUST said it, and I don’t want to be THAT kid who just delays the class. The worst part is when I actually miss what I had to do, and everyone just looks at me and the teacher goes “ok… can you do it again please?”
41. My phone ringing with an unknown number. Also the doorbell ringing when I haven’t ordered food or I’m waiting for someone.
42. Waking up feeling well rested and not knowing what time it is
43. When I reach into my pocket and my wallet is gone.
44. Loud chaotic places…
45. My mom using my full name, while lowering her voice.
46. When I was a kid: waiting in line at the grocery store. Mom says, “I forgot something, brb” and you’re getting closer and closer to the cashier but your mom hasn’t come back yet.
47. When I’m home alone and hear a noise coming from inside the house.
48. Being left alone with my future mother-in-law.
49. The “check engine” light comes on.
50. Getting a “call me” or “where are you” text from my dad.