This is the third article on High Function Anxiety I’ve authored, and as with the others it’s been penned after an incident / flare-up whilst the experience is still fresh. It’s almost like watching a dream, then recording what happened afterwards, so here goes:
Hollywood has, I would imagine several hundred times over history, made productions around super-powers – it’s in the start of almost every super-hero movie or program that the hero discovers a power by accident, however it’s never smooth sailing – there is always some degree of fuckery surrounding the newly discovered power. The fuckery in question generally has a light and a dark side, so the hero might be able to make a drink insta-chill in their hands, or might accidently freeze a loved one to death – either way the super power is doing it’s own thing and the hero has no control over it – this is the phase High Functioning Anxiety is permanently stuck in.
The difference between High Functioning and plain Anxiety is the ability to function and come up with the goods when the situation demands, and sometimes be better than the average individual (that’s the super part of the power).
I’m going to use the analogy of a ship going into the warzone – So the alert is sounded, all crew are ripped from their usual duties and assigned Battle Stations – the ship is nowhere near normal operation when this happens, there are Physical Changes, so:
- The galley is closed, personnel are assigned elsewhere
- Waste is evacuated for efficiency and preparedness
- Weapons systems are hot
- Scanners are on overtime and hyper-sensitive
- Bridge Crew are hyper-focused equally on the goal and the prize
In essence, normal operations are suspended, there is one mission, incoming threats are blatted out of existence in the space between heartbeats – the ship and crew are functioning at a holistic heroic level. After the battle when able to withdraw to calmer waters, personnel return to their regular stations, the galley reopens, everyone is still on-edge but starting to relax, talking among themselves of what just happened. It will be days before everything is back to normal.
The part of all the above which is the jape from Loki is that the person with High Functioning Anxiety has no fucking control over this most of the time. Drugs and Coping Mechanisms help, the general hyper-preparedness helps, in normal situations that person can cope, they aren’t at Battle Stations, all systems are nominal.
Then the fuckening happens. There is an actual upcoming threat, an event where the coping mechanisms are completely bypassed and told to fuck-off by a hyper-sonic missile of doom. What happens when the person knows of the event is that Battle Stations are enforced when they find out about it, and 24 fucking 7, they’re then on one (it’s fucking exhausting). The Drugs and Coping Mechanisms are still there, however the other systems are diverted, ultra awareness, ultra focus are to the front and centre.
The closer the event in perception, either in time or distance, or both, the higher the level of Battle Stations – that person is entering the heart of the war, the battle is real, around them – they’re in the arena – anything and anyone in their way will be blatted into non-existence – That’s the High Functioning part – the other part wants to run the fuck away and hide until everything returns to normal.
Again, the general Anxiety bit, the jape from Loki is that the person has no fucking control over this – some malfunction bit of software in their mind has thrown the switch. Others will perceive this as “nerves” or the person “getting het up”, “winding themselves up”. Those others are completely lacking clues, have no fucking understanding of what change is happening before their eyes, no idea of the extreme Battle Stations response behind the scenes, no idea of the fucking danger they and the person are in!
They’ll say things like “calm down”, “don’t get worked up”, “you’ll be fine”, “you know what you’re doing” – all of which might be absolutely true, and said to a ‘normal person’ might help. Those things said to a person in the death-grip of High Functioning Anxiety will be treated as threats to be removed – they might snap at well-meaning friends and colleagues, and it takes a super-human effort for them not to, for that person at Fucking Battle Stations to hang on to any shred of normal behaviour, when all they want to do is fight, and a little bit of run the fuck away.
If said friends / colleagues don’t leave us to it, and the bits of us which actually fight back are (uncontrollably) launched… well that’s covered in another article: Further notes on High Functioning Anxiety and surviving abuse.
The physical changes when the person reaches the height of Fucking Battle Stations, and is ready to counter threats in the space between heart beats, those are spectacular and quite frankly fucking scary. To quote colleagues who observed this recently “I looked like a ghost / went white as a sheet / had a distant yet focused look”… my digestive system had stopped, I was hyper-focused, blood flow had been diverted to the essentials, I was at Fucking Battle Stations.
The historic evolutionary process has brought humanity through the most extreme ends of the spectrum of existence – we are the ultimate product of all those experiences, and we all forget that – our distant ancestors didn’t know of normal day to day running. Our ancestors didn’t experience status nominal – they were always at Battle Stations, until such times as they got their shit together when the world changed, their situations changed, and they would relax and get on with the business of making babies.
The human mind and body somehow remembers those conditions in times of battle, in times of stress, and reverts into that state – this allows humans to becoming shining stars, the best of the best of our existence, the pinnacle of our evolution comes to the forefront – we fucking survive the battle, and win the war.
For the normal of you out there, just think what a great thing that is, but keep in mind, those with High Functioning Anxiety don’t have a fucking choice, we can’t “calm the fuck down”, as we’re already at Fucking Battle Stations. Best thing is just leave us to it, stay out of the fucking way, don’t become a threat – we will deal with the situation, let us take the drugs and use the mechanisms, perform at peak when required. Do be there afterwards, as we’ll all be fucking broken in ways you can’t imagine, be good humans, be good friends, have some clues 🙂
See the other Anxiety related articles: