If I Get It All Down on Paper It’s No Longer Inside of Me Threatening the Life It Belongs To

I started back in counseling in April.  At my last session my counselor told me my homework was to “process my shame.”  Of course she didn’t tell me how exactly to go about doing that. :/  My shame isn’t really about anything I have done.  It’s about who I am.  I broke down when talking about my daughter because even though I am not the best mom, I suck at everything else.  At least that’s my core belief at times.  Or more accurately I believe that everyone else believes that I suck.  And if everyone else believe I suck, then two other things must be true: 1) I really do suck and 2) I am worthless and have no love.

So I spent the afternoon writing all the ways I suck in order to “process my shame.”  Here it is.  Maybe you can relate.  There’s really no words of wisdom that accompany this or happily ever after epiphany of self-confidence, but I am somewhat calmer than when I started writing.  And tired.

I suck at being a girl.  I should care more about appearance and take the time each day to shower, do my hair, makeup, shave, wear jewelry, and make sure everything coordinates.  I should plan my meals and only eat clean healthy foods and exercise everyday so that I am trim.  I should be able to drink a socially acceptable amount of alcohol without having it affect my weight.  My nails should always be perfectly manicured and pedicured.

But I am none of those things because I like to sleep.  I like to spend time on Facebook.  I am too lazy to be a proper girl.  Not proper like Emily Post.  Proper like socially acceptable, accepted, liked, popular.  The kind of girl my husband wishes I was.  I am a consolation prize.  I am what people settle for when they can’t do any better.  I am always trying to make up to people that I am what they ended up with.  I spend too much effort and money on trying to make my husband happy.

This leads to the belief that I suck at being a confident, empowered female.I should have left him when I found out he had cheated on me.  A stronger, better woman would have realized her worth and left.  But I didn’t, and now I’m stuck.  Because I suck.  Because I suck at being a friend.  If I had more friends or more accessible friends I would have the support I had needed to leave.  I would have had somewhere to go.  But I suck.  I’m not fun enough.  I don’t go out as much as I should.  I don’t find joy in the right activities.  Standing too long at concerts hurts my back so I want to leave early.  I’m not doing enough.  I like to eat and talk too much.  I care too much what others think but at the same time I don’t care enough.

I don’t have a real identity.  Even my handwriting is inconsistent.  It sucks.  I can never be 100% real.  The “overseer” in my brain is constantly reviewing, judging.  Even while I write this I wonder if it’s poignant enough, visceral enough, relevant enough.

I half-ass everything.  I get so tired from my brain that I stop caring.  I care so much that I am too tired to care.  And I just want to go to sleep.  Or watch The Simpsons.  Or The Cat in the Hat on PBS.  I pretend to watch it for my daughter, but in reality I find it comforting.  And these days I will do anything that makes me feel comfortable.  I just want to be comfortable, warm, accepted.  I don’t want to plan or rehearse everything I say and do.  That’s why I like tequila.  I don’t care about what I say and do when I’ve had a margarita.  I understand now how people become alcohol dependent.  When you are so full of anxiety and intrusive thoughts that you will do anything to quiet your mind.

And now I need a nap, or just a chance to lay down and stare at the sky, or lay down next to my daughter.  I am comforted laying next to her while she’s sleeping.  Listening to her baby noises.  She is still perfect.  She doesn’t know how messed up mommy is yet, and my hope is that she never does.  I know the husband doesn’t want my issues to affect her, and he judges me because I still have anxiety attacks and lose my temper.  He has told me that I don’t have that luxury anymore.

 

Hmm.  Maybe I’m not the one who sucks.

So You Found a Girl Who Thinks Really Deep Thoughts

WARNING: This post is random and disjointed.

I feel I should write more, but I get bogged down with the details, wanting my words to be linear, profound.  Instead my thoughts get disjointed.  I have scraps of paper with questions, phrases, small paragraphs.  Instead of trying to write anything cohesive, I am sharing my randomness.

Questions I ask myself:

Do most people with anxiety also have low self esteem or lack confidence?

I sometimes wonder if I have an antisocial personality.

I wonder if because I know I overreact if I give people more leeway than I should.

Paragraphs:

When things aren’t going my way, and I feel like I have no control, I feel this constant uneasiness. Discomfort.  Tension.  I need to compartmentalize and make things better. I can’t stand uncontrollable (in my mind) chaos.  Everything needs to be tied with a bow.  No loose ends.  I need to have the answer or the path to the answer at all times.

I vacillate between wanting to be more open and stand up for myself and then never speak and isolate in my cube.  I was probably initially diagnosed with depression because of this isolation and helplessness.

Are there really people that don’t think all the time?  Is that possible?  Is it possible to have just one moment of complete peace?  I can’t fathom that at all. (Apparently I’ve been spelling ‘fathom’ wrong my entire life.  Thanks, spellcheck).  Adult me is always analyzing every thought, every action, even in meditation.  “Am I doing this right?  I know there is no ‘right’, but am I on the right path?”  “Stop thinking.  Just listen.”  “Ok.  Am I appropriately listening now?”

Do I do anything solely for myself?  I think I do everything either to make others happy or in defiance of others.  Either way, everything I do is solely to elicit a response from someone.  I will never stop caring what others think of me.

I need to stop pulling out my hair.  Will more meditation help that?  I don’t have bald spots, but it’s definitely shorter in places.

What would happen if I deactivated my Facebook?  Would my anxiety and paranoia decrease?  Do all people with anxiety also have some level of paranoia?  My husband tells me that people don’t care enough about me to think about me as much as I worry they do.  He says this is how I am like Sheldon, that I think people are thinking about me, that they do things because of me.  He also has stated that he doesn’t believe I actually have a disorder.  I have to accept that he will never really understand.

My Pandora is on a Ryan Adams kick again.

 

 

Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Let go of your shoulders.  Let go of the space between your eyebrows.  Let your jaw drop open.  Let yourself be fully supported by your chair.  Feel all points where you make contact with the chair.  Notice any thoughts and label them as thoughts.  Let them float by without attaching to them. They are like clouds in the sky.  Let go of all that doesn’t serve you.  All we have is this moment.  Breathe it in.  Notice sounds, smells without attachment, without judgment.  Breathe in.  Let it go.

 

 

Namaste

 

Take no more. She practices her speech as he opens the door.

*I use “her” and “she” because I’m a girl.

How many of you feel like your partner doesn’t understand you?  How often do you and your partner argue because your partner tells you that you’re overreacting or that you need to “chill?”  How many of you feel hurt much of the time?  Worry that you’re paranoid?  Analyze every situation for fear of being caught off-guard by something unpleasant?

When a person has anxiety and her brain never stops thinking, she can never decide if the hurt she feels is warranted.  If she has been actually wronged or if it’s just her anxiety catastrophizing the situation.  She wants to be able to “just chill,” but for some reason she was specially picked by genetics or some higher power to have a brain that is in constant go mode.  Her brain MUST consider every option before making a decision for fear of missing something.  And even on that rare occasion that she can make a decision, she will still worry that she missed something and not be able to stop perseverating (I love that word) over “what if…”

I wonder if women that stay in abusive relationships have pre-existing anxiety or depressive disorders.  If one of the reasons they don’t leave is the consuming fear that they’re overreacting and will regret the decision because they’ve been told over and over that they make no sense, that they’re irrational.  I often find myself in situations (in various aspects of my life) that I think I should leave, but I don’t because I’m waiting for that one clear sign that is objectively, definitively wrong.  That no one could deny is wrong.  I rarely find anything objectively and definitively wrong.  Do we with anxiety put up with more assholish behavior because we worry that we’re overreacting?  Do some of the people in our lives know we’ll put up with it and act more like assholes because of it?  Do they know they’re hurting us?  Do they mean to hurt us?  I hope not.

I have no great wisdom. I have no answers.  So right now I do nothing, make no decisions, feel weak and worthless.  I re-post other, more inspiring blogs and listen to a lot of late 90’s/early 2000’s angsty female rock.

Another blog about mental illness? Really? How self-indulgent!

Yup.  That’s me.  In my lifelong quest to seek understanding from others and from myself, my OCD brain up and started a blog.  But I don’t care if you read it.  I don’t care if you hate it.  I don’t care if you even understand it.  Because most likely this blog isn’t for you.  This blog is for the people like me, the 2-3% of the US population that deal with the formal diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and the millions of others without the official diagnosis that cope with intrusive thoughts every minute of every day.  This is not an educational blog.  This is not a persuasive blog.  This is my daily (weekly, biweekly) experience of my brain and how it functions in this world.  This is my attempt to let others that struggle know that they are not alone, and if in that attempt one person not struggling comes to a slightly better understanding of those of us that do, maybe even develop a glimmer of compassion, maybe begin to stop before reflexively saying, “Why can’t you relax?”, then I’ve accomplished something.  And that’s all I can ask for.

*It’s driving me “nuts” that I left a dangling participle.