On the surface, you appear to have it all together but underneath, you're in panic mode.
On the surface, you may appear to have it all together as you calmly get things done. You don’t shy away from social functions nor do you lose it when things don’t go your way.
But underneath that competent veneer, you’re anxious. No one can see that you’re chastising yourself for saying or doing that thing, for making a mistake and for appearing, in your mind, ridiculous.
The truth is that you, like so many others, have high-functioning anxiety. You don’t appear to be a mess but that’s how you feel: as if you’re failing at almost everything and that no matter what you do, it’s never enough or even halfway good enough.
You want to be perfect at everything: the perfect employee, friend, partner, parent, and child and you can’t accept that you’re not. You’re failing every challenge and if you stop for one moment from constantly pushing yourself to achieve, you’re going to crumble. However, you’re the only one who thinks that you’re a fraud.
Your anxiety attacks are quiet and you hide behind your smiles. You worry, fret, and you’re constantly coming up with worst-case scenarios because you’re convinced the worst case is what will most likely happen.
You need a plan, an exit strategy, and maps to be able to maneuver your way through your day. You know things will happen that will force you to adjust your plan, but that’s still better than improvising or going with the flow.
When things go right, you still can’t relax because you’re waiting for something to go wrong or you already start worrying about the problems that tomorrow will bring. You know that you need to relax and chill but your thoughts of doom make that impossible.
Here’s how you live with high-functioning anxiety, per your zodiac sign.
You're all about doing things and keeping active, but simple things like answering emails or messaging other people seem too taxing. You don't want to say something wrong that will come back and bite you in the ass.
It just feels as if there's all this pressure to respond. You want to respond but by the time you've overthought your response, it feels as if it's too late and it's just easier to let it go. You weren't trying to be a jerk — it's that you responded in your head, just not in any way concrete. Electronic interaction can feel like an energy-suck to you.
To anyone looking at you, you look calm and stoic, but there's a buzzing bee in your head and your heart is racing. Looks can be deceiving, and though you may have everyone convinced that you're capable and reliable, you feel that you could make a misstep at any second. You don't want to embarrass yourself which can make you scared to take action.
You're successful in your career and in your life but a part of you doesn't believe that you deserve any praise. You think you should be doing better and have huge expectations of yourself. No one knows how you secretly put yourself down and how you undermine yourself at crucial times. You're extremely self-effacing, not so much out of modesty, but you feel if you put yourself down first, others won't have to.
You try to pass it off that you're not anxious but you have some small habits and quirks that belay that. You might tap your feet whenever you're seated, you bite your nails or pick at the cuticles, or you might clear your throat too often. There are tons of these mannerisms that give away that you're dealing with some nervous energy and are not as calm and collected as you may appear.
People look up to you and admire you but secretly you feel like a fraud. No matter how much knowledge you may have on a subject, you don't feel that you're an expert in any way and you think you have no business advising other people. You're woefully unqualified to do anything and you hope no one ever finds out.
Perfectionism meet anxiety — you two are going to get along just fine. You were born predisposed to perfectionism so you do your best at whatever you do, but it's never good enough. People of importance like your boss or co-worker may praise you, but you think they can't see where you've made a mistake or they're just being nice. You must be 100 percent perfect or it just doesn't count and since that's impossible, you feel as if you're always failing.
You are a people-pleaser to the extreme because you're so scared that if people realize that you don't measure up, they won't want anything to do with you. You practically kill yourself trying to make everyone happy and your parents proud of you, but you never feel as if you're doing enough.
You keep yourself occupied so you don't have time to wallow in your perceived inadequacies. You're always doing something so that by the end of the day you're too exhausted to think about anything; if you allow yourself to go to your anxiety-ridden dark place, you may never get out.
It doesn't matter where you are or what you're doing, your anxiety can strike you at any time and it tends to express itself in headaches, stomach cramps, dizziness, and the feeling that you might throw up. It almost feels as if your body is turning on you and attacking you. It's just because you don't want to deal with your feelings of anxiety but it doesn't matter because they're going to come out anyway.
For the most part, you're great at social situations, but sometimes a feeling of panic or awkwardness will come over you and you'll need to leave immediately. You want to tell the host goodbye but the longer you stay the more crushing the feeling of doom becomes. If you don't get out of there stat, you're not sure you won't have a seizure or something.
To someone looking at you, you appear to have it all together; however, on the inside you're terrified. You're convinced that at any moment something bad might happen and that everything you've built will come crashing down.
You have a meltdown over the smallest of things. You're the worst to yourself when it comes to screwing up and you're constantly beating yourself up for the mistakes you make. You need to give the same compassion and love that you have for other people to yourself.
If someone else screwed up in the way that you did, you wouldn't want them to torture themselves about it, would you? No, you'd remind them that it's not the end of the world and that you still loved them and had their back. Be your own advocate, not your own bully.