I begin every day hesitant of how it’s going to play out. Maybe it’s my anxiety I don’t know. I’ve always been hesitant about the smallest things. I suppose it’s part and parcel of life to be hesitant because really how many of us really know where we’re headed? So sometimes you have to be hesitant. Once the doubts enter your mind it’s very hard to tune them out or turn them off, instead, you just go with it and hope everything goes well. Life is much like that for the overthinker, if their lives were a story it would be titled, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.
I am very hesitant of what is going to come of this year because two months in and I have written more than a hundred articles and 26 blogs. But when I look back it feels like I have done so little even though I know it’s not true. Half my day goes in overthinking, I have calculated this. The amount of time I spend working, the same amount of time goes into thinking about ‘what if’s and ‘what not’s. There is this weird game I play in my head I call it the ‘If’ game. I think of a situation, then I think if I do this what will happen, then if I do that what would happen and it’s a never-ending game that always ends at one point, one day I am going to die and nobody will be able to do anything.
It’s a high-octane game that requires a great amount of mind power. Sometimes I get so absorbed I start sweating. It’s a sure shot way to get yourself to a heart attack. A lot of us play this game, and we never stop playing it. There’s another game I play with myself called ‘check’, I am never convinced when I get into bed that I have turned out the lights in the bathroom and will check three times. I have a habit of switching off all the switches before I leave the house and when I go to sleep because I am terrified of a short circuit. I check the door at least seven times before I leave the house and I am never convinced I have locked it. Once I was on the bus headed to my destination, but I got off at the next stop and went back home to check the door, and cancelled my meeting making up some excuse.
So I live my life in hesitation, aligning everything straightening everything, opening and closing doors everywhere, cleaning one extra time just to be sure. It drives me mad. But my worst nightmare yet is filling out forms or my details on the exam answer sheet. Once during an exam in my undergrad days, I came out of the hall on the verge of a panic attack because I thought I’d forgotten to write my roll number and that my paper wouldn’t be marked. That day was horrifying. But long story short, my paper was marked and I scored well. Anxiety and hesitation can be crippling. I know first hand how difficult it is. On some days I was terrified to step out of my house just because of my hesitation.
People usually brush it off as nothing, they tell you, you’re overthinking things. But you already know that! That information is useless. Some people laugh because it is actually funny, but when you are hesitant it’s terrible. I have spent hours thinking that my text to a professor or anybody for that matter didn’t sound right and would think they would hate me for it. It affected my friendships, my life and my education. The worst part is waiting, for a text or a result. On a scale for stress from 1 to 100, 1 being the least stressed and 100 being a sure shot trip to the hospital, a reply to a text comes somewhere at 40 depending on how important the text is. Results and visas are a solid 90 for me.
Right now this gap year is going fine, I do my work and am slowly seeing progress but am I hesitant about what is to come? Yes. Do I know how to deal with it? Hell no! I decided to take it easy, but that is stress-inducing too because you see people everywhere going about their days with no stops and bumps. Somewhere you feel like your stuck. And it’s a scary feeling to see the world pass you while you stay rooted, it’s like running on a treadmill you’re not really moving but you’re sweating and your heart is pumping but you just can’t move. But I guess now I have stopped to smell the flowers but that’s still because I am hesitant not because I am confident. All the ‘what if’s and ‘what not’s keep me where I was. What if I had a little faith in myself? Then what?