Snapshots of the conversations that are had between anxiety and I: the things we fight over, the discussions and debates we take part in and the struggle to reason with irrationality. Some of these are based on past events or reoccurring battles, some on more recent occasions, and some are simply extrapolations of experiences I’ve had.
Anxiety: It looks empty in there, I don’t think we should go in.
Me: That’s a good thing, it means we’ll get served faster.
Anxiety: Hmm, actually it just means more attention on us.
Me: Not really, the staff are all busy doing their own thing.
Anxiety: You think? You sure they’re not all just standing around waiting for us to come in? So they can stare and listen to every word we say?
Me: They probably have better things to do.
Anxiety: I don’t think so, look, they’re already watching us through the window.
Me: Let’s just go in then.
Anxiety: We’ve been standing outside too long now, let’s just come back another day.
Me: It’s been like 5 seconds.
Anxiety: Yeah, 5 seconds too long.
Me: Stop being so dramatic, we’re going in.
Anxiety: No no no –
Me: See? We’re inside, walking to the counter and no one has even looked up.
Anxiety: We’re walking strangely. Are our legs made of jelly?
Me: …I don’t think so.
Anxiety: Can you stop swinging our arms that much. It’s too much.
Me: Okay… Is that better?
Anxiety: No. We look too rigid.
Me: It doesn’t matter now, we’re in the queue.
Anxiety: Uh oh, I hope we don’t have to stand here too long, we look weird standing still. Too stiff. And where should we look? We don’t want to look like we’re listening to other people’s bank information.
Me: Nah, I think it’s fine if we just have a look at the posters and stuff on the walls.
Anxiety: Nope, now we look like we’re scanning for exits. They’re gonna think we’re plotting to rob the bank. Stop acting suspicious!
Me: I’m not! You are!
Anxiety: Oh god, I’m too hot, are you? The sweat is starting.
Me: It does feel a bit warm in here… I was hoping we’d be out before this.
Anxiety: Argh, they’re not going to put the coins we’ve got into the bank if we look this nervous, PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER.
Me: It’s you who needs to pull yourself together, stop shouting at me!
Anxiety: That’s because you’re not listening. We have to get out of here.
Me: Too late, they’re calling us up.
Anxiety: Okay, okay, try not to look like a robber, or like we’ve got a gun, or like we’re threatening, or like we’re sweating profusely. Maintain eye contact, confident movements, try not to show we’re shaking, breathe SLOWER, and just –
Me: Stop! Let me speak before it’s too late –
Anxiety: Just listen to –
Me: “Hi, I’d like to put this money into my account?”
Anxiety: Remember to smile!
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