Why I Don’t Hit ‘Reply’

I am notorious for being one of the worst people in existence when it comes to replying to texts. I am someone that will read the message and forget to reply for a few days, if at all. I understand how frustrating it can be, because I hate when people do it to me. Did I forget? Am I mad at you? Do I ignore you on purpose? The answer is most likely no. I’m probably distracted or in a headspace where I do not want to have conversations with people.

We live in a world where there are constant distractions and this compulsion to always be “connected” with everyone. I live in a world where being connected all the time causes me to have anxiety beyond what is necessary. My coworkers all have smart watches. While I can understand the ease of seeing an incoming email or a missed phone call during a meeting by simply rotating your wrist over, I find this technology to be in contradiction to my lifestyle. I appreciate a separation of life and work; it is called a life-work balance. Even if you do not have a mental illness, this is extremely important. Being able to shift my brain into different modes throughout my life is important for me to stay sane.

The same headspace issues come into play when I get messages from people. Whether this is through Facebook, Instagram, SMS, Snapchat, etc., I am not always in the right place of mind to hold a conversation. For example; if I am at Target shopping for essentials (lol) and I get a message from someone looking to make plans I instantly get anxious about the pressure to make a decision. My brain goes: “What is this about? I’ve messaged you 3 times prior and now you want to talk. Where are we going? What will parking be like? Who else will be there? Do I like them? Do I have something else going on that day? My planners are at home. Oh my god my shopping list. There are a lot of people here. Move your cart mom with 3 kids. Child stop screaming, it’s not always about you. I wonder what my dog is doing at home. Wow that blanket it cute I should buy it.” As you can see my brain is a busy, busy place to be. My constant changes in thought feel like a defense mechanism to calm my brain so my anxiety will stay in control. In the 6 seconds I have all of these thoughts I have put my phone back in my purse and have completely forgotten to respond.

For those who are not aware, I am also a fortune teller. I don’t use a crystal ball, I use my anxiety and overactive imagination to create and play through scenarios before they even happen (if they ever happen). These fake scenarios usually end with unrealistic conclusions, which in turn cause me to have anxiety over something that is not even real. Well depending on the contents of the message you have sent, it’s safe to reason that 95% of the time I don’t reply I have just ran through scenarios in my head until I reach an ending I deem to be the most reasonable. Don’t act like you’ve never done this in your head, because I know it’s more common. No Shame!

The final reason I don’t respond to your messages is that I most likely got distracted. I have a creative brain, which causes me to be a little eccentric when going through my everyday life. I like to have multiple tasks going at once (none of them completed) and work on them at my own pace, on my own terms. Where messaging fits into this category is that I could be doing laundry, talking to 3 other people, cooking dinner, watching a murder show on Investigation Discovery, AND trying to make a new playlist on Spotify. All. At. The. Same. Time. This is how my brain works, always. Distractions are a good way to keep my mind from spinning its wheels and getting too preoccupied with shit that doesn’t matter. It also prevents me from getting bored and depressed, because as I’ve stated previously I constantly feel alone in the world even if I am not.

It’s not personal. Very few times have I gotten a message and made the conscious decision not to respond. (If you are a person I do not want to talk to, I am sorry but I do not possess the ability to tell you to buzz off.) If you have ever been a victim of my lack of responses, I am sorry. I am doing my best to navigate this world and I will be more mindful in the future. I have been trying to make an effort to be more aware of how my actions impact the feeling of others (I know very elementary). Please, please, please do not make it personal.

Author: bbell27

I am a normal 28 year old Midwestern girl living with anxiety. I have suffered from anxiety since I was a child, but only sought out treatment a few years ago when I was unable to function in society. I may seem like I have my shit together most days, but everyday is an adventure and a struggle. This blog serves as a place to put my thoughts and experiences to let other sufferers know they are not alone.

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