Anxiety in the Zombie Apocalypse
I've mentioned before (in fact, see me talk about it in THIS YouTube video), that anxiety as a "feeling" or "emotion" is a totally normal part of life, that you'll all have experienced. It's a side effect of the alert system that kicks our body into action when faced with danger. A lot of the symptoms of anxiety - the heart racing, nausea and breathlessness is caused by adrenaline - which is a hormone that is released to prepare our bodies for physical exertion (i.e. "fight" or "flight").
You are a product of generations upon generations of survival - and every person who has come before you has experienced anxiety and used that natural alarm system to help them stay alive.
Every person that you encounter will have experienced anxiety in some way, shape or form - but of course excessive anxiety is not productive, not normal and can cause problems in your day to day life. This is where anxiety stops being helpful and could be classed as a condition or disorder.
I live with an anxiety disorder (a couple actually) - and I imagine they would have been very useful in a time gone by, but when the only real threat I face as a privileged western woman is running out of coffee or an insulting tweet, my mind has started to betray me and see danger where there is none. This has been exacerbated by the violence I endured during the abusive relationship I was in, and now it's all too easy for me to recreate that dangerous situation in my head.
My alarm system is betraying me - the alert is being triggered by stuff that is not threatening at all, and even the few things that are have a minimal impact when they come to fruition.
But it did get me thinking, would this excessive anxiety have come in handy in our "cave(wo)man" days? Would I be just as crippled by my anxiety, or would I be more suited to getting out of danger than somebody with a "normal" relationship with anxiety?
Obviously (in 2018) there's only one way to find out. CUE THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.
5 Reasons I'd Last Longer in the Zombie Apocalypse Than You: Anxiety Edition.
1. I am scared of EVERYTHING
You know what's really useful in a zombie apocalypse? Fear. And yeah, fear might not be what helps me charge into a hoard of oncoming walkers to rescue that cat or whatever, but it would be what makes me think twice before I fire a gun or leave the house or trust that strange pirate guy. In fact, even just staying in the house is probably going to give me a good week over you guys. I'll just chill and eat my OWN canned tomatoes while y'all kill each other over matches at the supermarket.
2. I have acute social anxiety
Social anxiety is something that I fight every single day. I wouldn't say that I'm against socialising, but it does certainly take up a lot of my mental energy to go out an meet friends, or make a phone call or even answer the phone, but I do it because I don't want to be a weird recluse and also because I love the people in my life. You know when I'd probably give up that particular struggle though? In a ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! I think I'd probably knock it on the head. You know how to not make friends with someone who's been bitten or who's going to wind up putting your life in danger by shouting "WOOOO SPRING BREAK" at the top of their lungs? Just don't make friends at all.
3. I always imagine the worst case scenario
When I walk into a room - any room; a coffee shop, theatre, doctor's surgery, a friend's living room - I assess the room for danger (open fireplace, sharp objects, exposed electrical cables) and map out the escape routes (fire exits, smashable windows, well timed text from a friend saying "HELP, the WASHING MACHINE is on FIRE. LOL") - which means that I'm rarely unprepared for the zombie apocalypse anyway. Sure, I don't carry around any weapons or walkie talkies or flare guns, but I do always know my route out and my nearest hiding spot and, in the first few moments after a virus breaks out, that's what's going to keep me safe until I can get home to my dog. It's also the reason I bought a solar powered phone charger, because YEAH signal probably will go off within a couple days but ALSO I can use it as a torch and calculator and note taker and most importantly A CAMERA (because I WILL be taking selfies with coconut lattes and the undead in the background - #ModelGoals) so while you're all fighting over batteries and shouting about North American school holidays, I'll be chillin' with an insta feed that I can't update but I know would be growing.
4. I'm naturally nervous
I have a jumpy disposition - I've mentioned before how sad I find it that an unexpected hug from my best friend can make me shit my pants - and this means that I'm incredibly sensitive to slight shifts in noise levels, temperature and movement. On a bus into town? Really fucking annoying. In a zombie apocalypse? Bring it on. My life is like a 24 hour hazard perception test - and I'm pretty sure this one would make me last a bit longer than you lot - if only for the basic reason that if I hear a feral dead person growling up my lawn, I'm at least going to close my patio doors.
5. I got those adrenaline VIBES
So my body is PUMPING full of the stuff. Seriously, if you could sell it I'd be Forbes level rich. I got some for you, some for you, some for you - know someone who needs hooking up? I'm like the Walter White of adrenaline, man, I can SORT. YOU. OUT. But all jokes aside I am kind of accustomed to being drowned in adrenaline - and while it's worth fuck all while I'm sat in front of my laptop, soaked in wagon wheels and coffee, trying to hit a deadline - in an apocalyptic situation I could probably put it to good use.
Soooo... there you have it - my totally useless and fictional "silver lining" to having an anxiety disorder - I hope you enjoyed it - if you did, please leave a comment below, if you want more regular ramblings from me, follow me on twitter AND don't forget to head over and subscribe to my YouTube channel I LOVE to sit in front of the camera worrying about ZOMBIES.
ALSO WHILE YOU'RE AT IT
You can head over to hear me interview some AWESOME people over on the Pigletish Talks Anxiety Podcast along with my co-host and BFF Sarah. We talk to some incredible guests about their successes and struggles while dealing with mental illness and the importance of mental health AND we share our own stories with you while we're at it. It is THE only way to find out what really happened with Anneli's exploding underwear so head on over NOW and click subscribe. We post new episodes every Tuesday. Love you.