Time Stands Still – Literally

To be completely conscious of every second, of every minute, of every hour, is a nightmare.

I’m not sure when it started, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve always been conscious of the time. How quickly or slowly it moves, and how the numbers on the clock seem to jump around when I’m not fully paying attention. The other night, I swore I had curled up into bed around 8:30pm, and when I checked my phone again, it was 9:27pm, with the feeling of only a minute passing.

Time moves differently for me. Not like I’m some immortal with all the time in the world, but like I’m stuck on a broken clock. There are days where hours pass and it felt like I had literally just blinked. Other days, it’s like the clock as been stuck at 10:02am for two hours, and I’m going to rip out my hair. It’s like I’m a stove clock, where the power goes out, and when it comes back on, it’s the wrong time. Always.

When someone says to meet them at a certain time, I can guarantee you I’m there at that time, even if I don’t necessarily “show up” then. I’ll circle around the block a time or two, maybe drive down the road a little and turn back, so I’m not showing up at the exact time. And when someone says they’ll meet me at a certain time, every minute that passes after that, I get nervous, anxious. Did they get lost? Are they okay? Did I dream that we were meeting now? Are they ditching me? An endless cycle of worries enters my brain until I get a text or that person shows up.

It’s exhausting. It’s annoying. It gets me in trouble.

I’ll start all doing some of my nervous habits, or I’ll frequently check my phone, to make sure I’m on time or the person is on time. On more than one occasion, I’ve confronted whoever it is who’s late, and asked what took them so long. Almost no one ever understands; time stands still for me, or it moves too quickly for me to latch on to.

Like I’ve said, I don’t know when this all started, if it was the result of something or if I’ve always been obscenely conscious of the clock. It’s frustrating, because I can hear the thoughts bouncing around in my head, Just give them 5 more minutes. Just wait 2 more minutes. Count to 60 and then go.

Every minute counts. Every second is precious. I think the overall theme is, I’m afraid of wasting my time. And I don’t want to waste other people’s.

I haven’t come up with a game plan on how to approach this “time anxiety”, as I’ve been calling it. The only way I can think of is forcing myself to be late. Choosing not to make a phone call, or send a text, asking where someone is. Trying not to bounce in my seat when someone keeps me a minute longer than I expected.

It’s difficult not to do these things, since they’ve been so integrated in my normal routine. But that’s what being aware of your anxiety is all about, right? Trying to break the cycle. Trying to diminish the paranoia and fear. Just trying to be “normal”.


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