Do so-called “normal” people have as many ups and downs as I do? What is normal, though? Like, pumpkin spice lattes and cute fall photos and long blonde hair and a terrier puppy and a small waist and a job in PR? Or, like, a big friend group and co-ed sports teams and tickets to concerts out in the desert and a boyfriend of 8 years that’s perfect and church on Sundays? Or, better yet, a comfortable job and financial security and good friends and a spouse and a house and a workout class every Wed/Fri and hosting themed parties and in bed by 10?
Instead, I have emotional roller coaster rides and confusion and judgment from my family and flaky friends and constant sadness and lots of cookies and evenings on the couch watching reruns and a job I tolerate that pays me next to nothing and a dream I haven’t accomplished yet and disappointing my parents and anxiety.
Am I doing it wrong?
Day 117 – Normal
YOU GUYS. If I’m not having an anxiety attack, I must be asleep. Actually, I have anxiety even when I’m sleeping so never mind. Constant anxiety.
I am missing him so much. I don’t know what to do with myself. WHAT IF HE STOPS LOVING ME WHILE HE’S AWAY? That would be weird, right? Right? I can’t tell. Is this why people take meds?
My parents’ dog is not doing well. My mom will be devastated. Too much tragedy for my family. We do not have the greatest coping mechanisms, but we do have the worst. Like usual, I am dealing with all my feelings by watching TV and eating. What do other people do? When will I have better coping skills? Help.
Day 109 – So many feelings.
I had a terrible dream. I was desperately begging someone not to do something and they kept doing it. I’ve never felt that desperate before. I was crying and begging and watching him ignore me. I felt powerless and hopeless simultaneously. It was the worst.
But then I woke up like: Oh, thank god, that was just a dream.
But no. The reality is so much worse. I woke my boyfriend up to comfort me because I was completely losing it.
To realize that your real life is worse than your worst nightmare??? Fuck me.
Day 106 – Waking Nightmare
We talked it out. Maybe I need to calm myself, but I don’t know how. Other people must be really good at life, because they seem to be succeeded and, even, flourishing.
I don’t get it. I just cycle through panic attacks and in between (and during them), eat a ton of food. So it goes like this: wake up, moan about being awake, start to panic (heart beating fast) so I check my phone to make sure no one has tried to get ahold of me, pee, eat, panic again about the time it took me to pee and eat because I have to get to work, start driving aka constantly panicking (heart beating fast, stomach roiling, sweaty palms, racing thoughts about how everyone is a terrible driver), get to work, panic about everything from parking to the parking attendant to getting inside to sitting down without my stomach popping over my pants to whether or not the coffee creamer I like will still be there, eat second breakfast, panic about work and whether or not I can do it and how much I want to run out the door and get on a plane and fly far away, then snack. It’s now 10 am. This will continue until I attempt to fall asleep.
Day 105 – Anxiety and Coffee
I always think I’ll have time to write when I go visit my family, but unless writing the words “stress” and “anxiety” over and over again constitutes writing, it never happens.
Day 86 – Family
Yes, I have life-invading anxiety. And no, I cannot always tell the difference between real anxiety (like, intuitive anxiety) and general anxiety (like, fuck you and your sense of well-being anxiety).
But I had a TON of anxiety this weekend. Some of it felt specific. All of it felt terrible. I swear, y’all, my stomach has been in knots all last week and this weekend.
I have decided it has to do with someone in particular. But I don’t know WHY. He hasn’t done anything to warrant it. Have we not been connecting as well? Am I just struggling because that’s life? Am I inventing things to worry about because life isn’t stressful enough? I DON’T KNOW!
Day 70 – Anxiety, That Fucker
Update: We talked and it felt normal. This didn’t 100% erase the anxiety, but it really helped a lot. Like 95% erased. I swear, there is a reason anti-anxiety meds were invented. I should probably take those…
I have my moments of realizing it’s a beautiful life and moments of thinking it’s hard and tonight I felt that combo very acutely. I am always trying to live my happiest, best, most beautiful life while feeling deeply sad in my very bones. And also while being the most cynical, pessimistic, anxious person on earth.
You can try to fight me on that, but you will not win.
The things we inflict on ourselves and our families and the ones we love with one choice or one action or even a series of choices or actions can haunt us and them for the rest of time. Why do we do these things? Why don’t we all make better choices? Why did I date ANY of the guys I’ve dated before? Why did I buy those flowery pants? Why did I see a dress I bought recently in People Magazine on the body of an 84-year-old? Why did I say that one thing that one time (this question can apply to almost anything I’ve ever said to anyone at any time)? Why why why?
Life can be so beautiful. I think it’s meant to be. But then we fuck it all up with moving away from our families and living alone and working long days and driving everywhere and long commute hours and short vacation time and limited financial resources and interacting with idiots.
These thoughts run through my head a lot. When I eat all the foods, the anxiety gets full and bloated and needs a nap, so I get a short break from them but they always return. Today they reappeared like an angry pimple on a 16-year-old’s face the day before Prom. Go. The Fuck. Away.
Day 67 – Choices Choices Choices
Update: One of the friends mentioned in yesterday’s post actually did respond to me finally via Facebook simply to alert me to the fact that he’s busy and having a great life and will let me know if he’s ever not busy. So I basically just got rejected/breadcrumbed by a FRIEND, but I still got all needy and was like, “just let me know if you ever have time.” I guess I deserved the breadcrumbing…
I don’t even like him that much. I mean, we’re friends, but we’re not that close. Stupid anxiety blowing things out of proportion again.
I had to blink back the tears all day today. I really miss…everything. I miss talking to him. I miss laughing with him and hanging out and hearing his voice. I miss it all. I feel crushed by this almost every day. I went out with a friend. We got dinner. I laughed. It felt like a hollow laugh, though. I was there, but I wasn’t there, you know? I wanted to be alone on my couch to cry and grieve and get out all the pain that was inside but I couldn’t. It’s still inside. It aches.
Day 61 – Everything Hurts
So if people I consider to be friends completely ignore me, should I assume I did something or assume the problem lies with them? This is one of the Great Struggles of my life – aside from living itself – that brings my anxiety to a boiling point and then causes me to do weird things like SIMULTANEOUSLY call and text and Facebook message them (I just did this as I typed this sentence) and then get rejected on three fronts all at once which then causes me to IMPLODE DUE TO ANXIETY.
So now my dog lives alone. Please come rescue her.
I highly value my friendships. They have saved me time and time again. I’m sure I pulled the 16-year-old-idiot move where I ignored my friends in favor of the gentleman caller of the day way back when, but learned my lesson quickly and figured out that friends are the ones who stick around. They have literally pulled me away from the edge of a cliff (thanks, Natalie); they have comforted me when I cried or ranted or complained or grieved (thank you, Emily, Eric, Kathleen, Jessica, Harrison, Allie, and myriad others); they have given their time, their advice, their hugs, their love to me when I probably deserved it least. But I appreciate every single one of those moments, every single one of those people. They have laughed at my jokes, and even though I’m clearly hilarious, they do laugh louder and longer than anyone else. They’re supportive and kind and have my back. I picked my friends very carefully. Because I am loyal forever. That’s why, when I get ghosted by a friend or they don’t respond/answer for a few days, I have an ABSOLUTE BREAKDOWN AND LOSE ALL SENSE OF NORMALCY. I contact mutual friends for information. I call them relentlessly like a psycho ex. I alternate between thinking it’s all fine and I didn’t do anything to full-on hating myself for most likely having done something terrible to this person who isn’t talking to me.
There are currently TWO of these friends in my life. WHAT DID I DO? I can’t know unless they tell me and they won’t talk to me so I don’t know so I try to talk to them and then they don’t answer and around and around we go. Honestly, having anxiety and insomnia and depression is like the triple threat of mental instability and daily dysfunction, but that aside, WHAT DO OTHER PEOPLE DO? Do they just… not care? Do they care but it doesn’t bog their mind? Do other people NOT EVEN NOTICE?
Oh god, there goes any chance I had at sleep tonight.
Day 60 – Ghosted By Friends and Anxiety-Ridden
Today I learned THAT lesson. The one where you never know what someone else is going through. I made a mistake by not asking/checking in with them before we started down a snarky, fighting, annoyed-at-each-other path. We mostly recovered from it, but not before I discovered what had happened.
He’s always there for me. He sits with me as I cry and complain and talk about my family. He listens to me grieve and holds me when I feel like I won’t survive. He stands by my side no matter what. I had a really rough, very grief-laden day – I don’t even know WHY, some days are just like that – but he had a rough day, too. And he doesn’t lean on me nearly as often as I need to lean on him and instead of being there for him in a clear way from the beginning, I jumped into the fight.
I guess we all live and learn, but I appreciate how often he’s there for me and I appreciate the fact that I can’t always do it alone. I can’t always get through the day by myself anymore. I don’t really remember what I did before him, but I can’t imagine how I would have survived the last 2 years without him. This grief… it’s like drowning. When I come up for air, sometimes the waters are calm, and sometimes the waves crash right back down on me. And even though his day wasn’t full of grief – in NO WAY do I want it to be, trust me – it was a no good, very bad day in its own way and I should have been there for him.
I know what it’s like to be heartbroken, but I also know what it’s like to just have a regular old bad day where you just need to go to sleep and wake up the next day and feel like it’s a new day and the mistakes of yesterday can be left behind. I can never and will never be able to leave anything behind because I HAVE ANXIETY THAT’S ALWAYS TRYING TO KILL ME AND REMIND ME OF EVERY DUMB THING I’VE EVER SAID OR DONE OR ALMOST SAID OR DONE. But still… grief is selfish sometimes.
Day 59 – Lessons Learned