Tuesday, February 4, 2014


I have always been a person who struggles with anxiety. It's just part of my personality, I suppose. When I was a child, I wondered sometimes what it was that made me different from my peers. Nobody else seemed as nervous as I was about doing normal, everyday things. Like, you know, playing volley ball in gym class. Or having to talk to...anybody. I just always wished that I could change this about myself. Like if I concentrated enough, I wouldn't worry about these things so much.

As an adult, I have come, via necessity, to accept this about myself. I cannot change it. That is a fact. Therefore, I have developed coping mechanisms. And I allow myself to see the humor in the situation.

But, for example, the following things make me unbelievably, "Please God, let this be over soon!!" anxious:

(1) Talking on the telephone to people I do not know. Just the facts, ma'am, or else direct me straight to voicemail please!
(2) Speaking in a meeting. *sweats*
(3) Answering the door to someone I do not know. In fact, I actually don't do this, unless it is the summer, the door is propped open, and I have no choice or else I would look incredibly rude.
(4) Doing anything that I am not confident in my abilities to excel at, and feel out of my element.
(5) Playing sports, see #4 above. I avoid this at all costs, even "oh, it's just for fun!!" work softball teams. I'd rather die.

There are other things that I do feel (somewhat) confident in my ability to at least not suck at, but it still makes me super nervous to do them. These things would be:

(1) Dancing in public.
(2) Teaching.
(3) Having conversations with people I genuinely like.
(4) Blogging.

Essentially, things I really care about. This is not a pleasant cross to bear, let me tell you, gentle reader. :0 I have never taken medication to deal with anxiety, nor do I plan to. So I do what I can to mitigate my worrying.

In thinking about my New Years resolutions, one of them is actually to worry less. The instant I start to worry about something, I tell myself to put it right out of my mind. There I go, talking to myself again, but there you have it. It helps. I picked one word to embody my 2014, and I chose:


Just so you know what you're dealing with here. I need to relax more. It is my one word for what I need to do more this year.

So. The fact that I logged into my dental insurance online system yesterday to check on my periodontal surgery claim (because, you know, I didn't want to *call* ;-)), and saw the following:

Claim status: Processed

Innocent, Halo Perched Insurance Company Pays: $0.00

Tiffany Pays: $1900

...and didn't have an immediate heart attack? Well, I think this means that I'm making progress.

The first thing that popped into my mind was: "I'M NOT GOING TO PANIC!!!!" See what a good girl I was? I was panicking as I told myself that, but no matter. My intentions were pure.

I clicked on the claim explanation, and it appears to be a technicality on the end of the dentist's office that can be easily remedied and resubmitted. That's what I'm hoping. Because I still have to call the dentist's office to ask them about this. And you know how I feel about THAT.

I do what I can. But I do feel like my anxiety has gotten a bit more pronounced in recent years. There is more to worry about in life as you acquire more responsibility, sure. There could also be physical and hormonal reasons as a person naturally ages (mew!). Other than that, I'm not sure. I'm just doing my best to navigate it.

St. Dymphna, pray for us!

Are there any other Nervous Nellies out there like me? :) Leave me a comment!


  1. I have such an anxiety about talking on the phone to people I don't know...so much anxiety that I will procrastinate until the last POSSIBLE moment to make the call. You can just forget about interviewing doctors, vendors, etc. I was filling out a job application the other day and decided not to submit it rather than calling or texting my former boss to see if I could use her as a reference. Yes to the rest of your list as well. Speaking in front of groups make me shake and then I forget what I was going to say in the first place. Awkward.

    1. Totally relate to the job application thing. Totally.Sometimes I think I should have been a hermit.

  2. I feel like I could have written this! I have learned in the past year to take the nerves and turn it into enthusiasm, but it's a work in progress.

  3. *Raises hand* I tend toward anxiety and panic too. I have been working on it for what seems like forever, but have definitely made some progress. I can now call my children's pediatrician without feeling like I am going to have a heart attack.

    1. It helps if I have a specific task to recite, yes. :) But ordering food over the phone still makes me crazy.

  4. Tiffany, Gary Zimak had a great post on this very topic the other day that I just had to share: http://www.followingthetruth.com/i-finally-stopped-worrying-heres-how-i-did-it/. Hope it helps!

  5. I have anxiety, especially social anxiety. (I hate being the first one to walk into a room, not that crazy about going new places by myself, etc.) I do "talk to someone" about it occasionally, and I do wonder if it interferes with making friends, dating, etc. The irony is, I am a cantor at church and have sung at hundreds of Masses, weddings, and funerals!

    1. Hi Kate! Oh my gosh, me too! I used to worry about that people would think I was unfriendly because of my shyness. And dating, well. I could write a dissertation on THAT topic for shy and anxious people, lol.

  6. Right there with you. People don't think I'm anxious because I talk a lot. I guess they don't realize that the constant babble doesn't mean I'm comfortable with them, it means the opposite! When I am nervous, I simply can't shut myself up, even as I hear dumber and dumber things coming out of my mouth.

    I'm not scared of speaking in public, though I used to be. I was a teacher for three years and that pretty much cured me .... I just imagine my audience is seven years old. Works fine. But I can't sing in public. All my life I have longed to be a soloist in a choir, but every time I audition to do a solo, my voice vanishes. I did one once in a children's choir -- just an alleluia -- and it was soooo awful. I can't even sing in front of friends, or most of the time even in front of my husband. And that is after years and years of choirs and voice training.

    And phone calls! I hate them worse than anything! I wonder sometimes if it's because my mom wouldn't let us answer the phone, and then when we were finally old enough she'd stand next to us hissing, "Don't say 'what'! Say 'excuse me'!" Whatever it is, there are a lot of things I pass up because I can't make a call. If I get voicemail I just hang up.

    Last of all, meeting new people. I have resigned myself to having this number of friends forever. I never want any more friends because it is too much work to meet them.


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