For the final 118 minutes of today, Saturday, the 27th of December, year of our Lord 2008, I am going to not care about what anyone thinks of me. I have spent far too much time today consumed by it. I am also not going to worry about that which I cannot change, which I spend hour upon hour obsessing about, on a daily basis.
I have never been diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder. Have I, at times, often even, felt unbearably-crawling-out-of-my-skin anxious? Hell yes. I’m trying not to work myself up to that point right at this very moment. It has been explained to me that these feelings of anxiety are merely a symptom of PTSD, that the racing thoughts and obsessive thinking are only signs of my bipolar disorder. That’s fine. I don’t want another label. Spare me.
I have been given tools through DBT that enable me to work through my anxiety, to live with lower levels of it. I distract myself with music, blogging, reading, talking on the phone, cleaning. I self-soothe by taking a shower, painting my toenails, eating something I don’t eat often, playing with my hair, petting my dog.
When I can’t distract or self-soothe my way out of it, I problem-solve. What can I do to remedy the situation that has me obsessively thinking thinking THINKING? In general, I end up calling the source of my anxiety (if the source is a person) and apologizing or clarifying something I had said earlier. I spend entirely too much time thinking that I have said something wrong, done something wrong, made someone mad.
The funny thing is that I behave as if I don’t care what anyone thinks. I say what I’m thinking, always. To a fault. I put this blog address up on Facebook and invite every soul I went to high school with into my brain. At work, I don’t feel the need to really censor myself, although I generally tone down my personality a bit. People at work think I’m “bubbly.” That word was actually said. By more than one person. Oh, and “friendly.” People at my old job thought I was a hardass bitch. As QoB points out, funny that when I hated my job, people disliked me and now that I like my job, people seem to really like me.
But I would like to think that something at my core has changed. That I have become a friendlier, less crazy-ex-girlfriend, more mellow person. I know that I feel like a friendlier, less crazy person.
Something that I have discovered about myself recently is that I am bitterly judgemental. Mostly of myself, sometimes of other people. Sometimes I shock myself by the thoughts I have when I say them out loud. Then, I look around to make sure nobody heard. Kind of like when Grandma calls the waitstaff at the nursing home “colored” and you glance around to make sure nobody noticed.
All of this poison, mostly self-directed, in my head can’t be good for me. For awhile, I was doing a pretty good job at releasing it, but now it’s as if my aura is blocked and I am turning purple. That may sound stupid to some people, sometimes it sounds stupid to me, but it’s something I believe. So here I am, on my blog, releasing my poison, so that I can go back to that pleasant fuzzy peach color that hints at sunshine or even the cool, calm seafoam green that I painted all over my bathroom walls.
This is what I have been missing. The dumping grounds for my mind. This post may not make much sense, but it sure made me feel better. It’s good to be home.
I don’t blog about it much, or ever, but I feel a spiritual connection with someone higher through music. The YouTube for today makes me feel clean again, after I have rolled around in the grime of my mind all day.
Alison Krauss, Down to the River to Pray