I know I’ve made reference to it here & there and may have even let it slip out that I have it… but honestly it’s not an end point or even hugely pivotal on your whole personality.
I say this because lots of people I know didn’t know I had it and probably wouldn’t have until I “came out”. To me, it just means I’m a little more sensitive & internally process things for a bit longer than most. It does almost mean that I am susceptible to panic and stress, but who isn’t?
I put it out there, not as a buffer for my personality, because the two are entirely mutually exclusive, but as a pre-explanation for when I withdraw and take a minute to re-compose. I do sometimes just go silent and appear to have switched off, but I need to. If something’s been going on privately, I am more reserved than normal, talking to God about it, trying to mentally organise the experience.
At heart, I’m an introvert, and so after a while I’m done with people, done with conversation, done with interacting. In the past I have felt the pressure perform and feign confidence, be out-going and loud, as “that’s what it means to be black“. It’s taken me a while to realise I’m more comfortable not always being the loudest one in the room, & more importantly, I don’t need to be. My demeanour and the way I express myself has even been labelled “white” by other POCs, but what does that even mean? No really, what does that even mean?
I say this to say Anxiety is more common than you know, & it’s an adjustment rather than life changing. Everybody dips in and out of it, & it’s a natural feeling to have when unsettled. It manifests differently in everyone, so it is not glaringly obvious and doesn’t need to be.
Personally, I have probably had it since I was little; I don’t like change, I like to be in control of my life and try to keep on top of things so I don’t get taken unawares. I only got diagnosed with it this year, & honestly, it explained so much. I was then able to backdate it, & realise I have always been highly sensitive to changes/vibes/energies & so have been labelled dramatic.
I now find this description reductive. I’m not dramatic, I’m on high alert. Anxious people are just that, people. That is all.