Sunday, May 21, 2017

Anxiety

What happens when things don't go the way you want them to?



That's what Anxiety is.

I used to say my biggest fear was the unknown. I had to be prepared. For everything. I wasn't the kid at the pool with a life vest, inflatable ring, goggles, flippers, and snorkel, but I did study so I was ready for the test, pack extra socks and undies when I went camping, and never ran out of shampoo before market day.

I still have to be prepared.

Now that I'm grown up and wading through the streams of life, I know that sometimes I'm going to hit deeper water and the current may sweep me along beyond my planned destination.

My over-planning cannot save me when life throws me a curveball. But I still try to control what I can control. I overthink things. Sometimes this is great, as preparatory, so I can change gears on the fly. Sometimes this causes me depression.

Image result for best friends apart

Case in point: when my best friend stops talking to me, stops responding to anything. Not one like on a post on Facebook, not one snapchat message, not one text - for several days.  What if the little snippet I sent them, some little outpouring of love, was misinterpreted? What if they think I'm smothering them? What if they don't want to tell me, so they stop talking?

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It's happened before. Misinterpretations happen.

You know what else has happened before? They were having a really rough time.

So do I keep sending little encouraging notes, or do I back off and say a bunch of neutral apologetic things? If they don't talk to me, I'll never know.

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Meanwhile, I cry. I cry big ugly sobs and huge tears. They are GONE. I mourn them like they left me. I FEEL abandoned.

And most likely, they are just swamped with work.

Then I crash. I feel like an idiot. They never really left me. I'm so stupid.

I'm already depressed from the extremes my anxiety has taken, so feeling like an idiot can add to this depression. It's not an extreme depression, but it is a low place.

Abandonment makes me angry. Facing the fact that I am making myself look like an idiot for listening to these feelings makes me angry. I want to retaliate. Do something extreme. I want to treat myself to show the world that I don't need them. I want to eat rich, live rich, and soothe myself in illogical ways.

I need to stop myself and redirect myself to something positive, something I won't regret later.

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Unless my friend talks to me. THEN I know things are all okay. Only they can cheer me up.

I know that once we talk again, it will be like we never parted. This time of emptiness is a bump in the road. This isn't the first bump. It won't be the last. Yet, every time this happens I experience the same pain anew.

This time I did not sink so far into mourning. I guess that's progress?

This time I tried really hard to remember that it's probably their job, it's probably okay if I send small notes once a day, and that the time will come when they will talk to me again. And the hope is that it will be like we never parted.

Image result for best friends like they never parted

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