My friends and family will know that I am a HUGE worrier. I worry about stupid things and this is largely due to my Anxiety issues; however I’ve found that I tend to worry about the small more than the big. For example when we were buying the house and my Fiancé lost his job half way through the process and it could have all gone to hell.. I wasn’t worried, didn’t bat an eyelid. But going to meet my friends in a pub and having to walk in by myself not knowing where they are sends me into a fucking meltdown.
I was actually asked a question by a friend that I don’t think I’ve ever been asked before, “Why do you think you’re like that?”. And it really made me stop and think, because I never used to be that way. I used to be pretty outgoing, social, borderline fearless. So I tried to sit down with myself later the next day and really think about why my brain works that way; why I’m not bothered about stuff that REALLY impacts you life and that the small stuff that would be forgotten in 15 minutes does.
I guess when I think about it, I tried to plan my life out. I wanted kids by ‘x’ age, I wanted to be married by ‘x’ age, I wanted to live in my own home by ‘x’ etc etc. But as I got older and when I thought things were going well and were on the right track and I was happy, as most people do, you get roundhouse kicked in the face by life. Something changes.. whether that is a breakup, a job loss, an illness etc and you get completely derailed. But who cares right? Shit happens.. and for some people it’s easy just to pick yourself back up, brush it off and carry on; but for me, the loss of control on my life threw me and I questioned what went wrong, what did I do, why did this happen, could I have prevented it? It just consumed me and I became so unsure of myself and spiralled into this huge depression which I’m still struggling with to this day.
When it comes to the smaller stuff, I CAN control that and that seems to be were the seams come apart. Because there’s so much “big” life stuff going on in my life that the small is all I have to manage. And it gives me a sense of calm when I can control that.
So for me, I need to know who, what, where, when, why at all times. Might be a little anal, I like to call it organised. But if I don’t know those things I end up with this sense of panic and talk myself out of very normal, unimportant, standard situations because I just unravel. But trying to explain that to people can be hard.. because even as I write this, trying to explain it, it makes absolutely no sense and I can’t articulate it properly.
But then when I think about it.. because of how bad it got with me personally, and how hard it was for me to recover I feel like it taught me to forget about the big stuff; and I developed a knack for blocking it out. A blessing in disguise maybe? and I realised a lot of time we worry about things in the future and more often than not, it’s a complete waste of time. Because you can’t control it. So what’s the use in worrying? You can’t plan life and if there’s stuff you CAN’T fix, CAN’T solve, CAN’T do anything about.. why worry about it? What needs to happen will happen whether that’s good or bad, and it may be a very black and white way of thinking but it’s how I cope. You have to trust whatever it is that might be guiding you/us.
Very slowly I’m starting to work this into my “ordinary” situations. I’ve adopted a Chandler approach (yes, that’s a FRIENDS reference) and I take it step by step. I get dressed, get in the car, drive to location ‘x’, get out of the car, etc etc. Yes I’ll probably freak out on the way there, but I’m trying and that’s the main thing.
The same person who asked me that question before also said to me, after I tried to explain my crazy, “if you’re struggling, just tell us. Text us, we’ll come meet you, we don’t care!”. So simple, so stupid, yet it was something I felt was completely unreasonable to ask. Why? because I’m not wired right.
But this process seems to be working for me and lately I’ve seen the people I care about more in the last few weeks than I have in the last 2 years. I’m being asked if I want to go places, do things, welcomed back into the fold. I’m starting to feel like myself again. Of course Karne can take a huge amount of credit for this, he’s my safety blanket and has helped me in more ways he’s aware of.. as well as my best friend whose loving life on the other side of the world, but I also have to learn to cope on my own, and I am, even if it is still with a little bit of help from others.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t be like me. Don’t limit yourself when you don’t have to. Focus instead on the present. What’s going on in your life that has you worried? The stuff that’s going on RIGHT NOW, that’s really all you have control over anyway. And if you can’t.. throw your hands in the air and say fuck it. C’est la vie. Why waste energy and time on it when it will eventually come to it’s own conclusion. Ride the wave as best as you can until then, focus on the here and now and cross that burning bridge when you come to it.
Trust me, it’ll make your life a lot less stressful.