I originally began writing this article as "Lies My Anxiety Tells Me," but when I asked a friend for input, I realized it might actually be more helpful to those who read this to hear from a variety of individuals, since all of our anxious thoughts come in different forms. This way, the impact our anxious thoughts has on every aspect of our lives is evident. It is so much more than just worrying, it is physical symptoms, emotional turmoil, mental exhaustion, and lies like these that consume our minds.
All of these quotes were provided by real individuals who were willing to open up about their anxiety. I'd like to thank these kind people for letting me into their world.
Thoughts on Relationships:
1. I'm not worthy of my partner and they're better in everything than I am.
2. I feel like my partner would be better off with someone who didn't have anxiety so he wouldn't have to deal with me and all the burdens my anxiety brings.
3. I frequently feel like no one will ever want to be with me.
4. I second guess if I can truly trust my partner. I always feel like I'll just get hurt in the end.
5. I often wonder if I was the cause of my last relationship ending, that maybe if I wasn't so crazy we could've had something great forever.
Thoughts on Friends and Family:
1. I'm not loved by my friends or family and that's why I don't have many friends anymore.
2. In high school I literally didn't try to make friends because I thought everyone hated me.
3. If I trust or have expectations of people, I'll always be let down so I shouldn't trust or believe in anyone or anything.
4. My anxiety makes me feel like my friends don't really care about me, when deep down I know they love me.
5. I feel like my friends talk shit about me behind my back, like they talk bad about me or make fun of me or judge me.
6. My anxiety tells me I don't spend enough time with my kids, when I know in my heart that I do.
7. I spend more time worrying about things that don't matter than being in the present moment.
8. My anxiety tells me I'm struggling to raise my two children, when deep down I know I'm doing a great job.
Thoughts On Self:
1. I'm not good enough, I've failed in the past and so I will continue to do so.
2. I'm way worse off than everyone else around me.
3. I'll never reach my goals.
4. I'm too intense and I'll never be normal.
5. I will never be as pretty as the other women I see around me, I will never be as put together or as confident as they are.
6. My anxiety makes me compare myself to those around me. I will always stress over my hair or outfit or makeup because I will never feel good enough.
7. Everyone is judging me and talking about me, and never in a positive way.
8. You are not safe in your thoughts, out in public, alone, when things are new and unfamiliar.
9. You are odd. And not low key odd, but spotlight-worthy odd. And my oddness is as noticeable as a giant zit. And everyone is staring at it.
Thoughts on Work:
1. I'm not good enough at work, I often worry that I'm going to get fired.
2. My anxiety makes me feel like whenever my boss wants to talk to me it's a bad thing, even when it turns out to be nothing big, or a "way to go!" kind of chat.
3. I'm not a good employee, I take too many days off to manage my anxiety, and it makes me feel like a failure.
4. I don't know how I'm going to get through this work event, there are so many people, I'm going to make a fool out of myself.
5. Your work (and by extension, you) are not good enough.
6. You are an impostor. In grad school and after, whenever at a professional conference or similar setting, I would be beset by an overwhelming feeling of my own impostor-hood. I didn't deserve to be there, I was merely coasting on a thin sheet of lies of my own smarts and it was bound to crack.
Thoughts On Life:
1. I feel like there is no future for me.
2. My anxiety always makes me feel like something will go wrong, even if my life is going really, really well.
3. The worst will be so much worse than you can imagine.
4. You are alone. No matter how many friends I have, I worry about that deep-seated alone-ness.
5. I just don't think there will come a day where I feel normal or even close to it. My anxiety will take over one way or another. I just don't think I'll ever feel 100% okay.