For the people in my life who help me stay strong. Whether they’ve allowed me a shoulder to cry on; helped me move in a time of need; poured me another one when I need to keep talking; offered me strength and advice during times of transition; patiently listened to my delusioned/emotional ranting and waited until I finished before smacking me around a bit; allowed me the chance to make mistakes and not judged me for them; helped fuel my fire by tagging along on random adventures; ridden through moonlit fields with me in 30* weather; read through my late night texts that make little to no sense; reciprocated my hopeless romanticism even when the tunnel appears to be closing. I am thankful for the people in my life who have been a part of my life and am thankful for what they’ve allowed me to witness, build, create, and listen to.
I hate it. Every ounce of my being cries out against being sad and this only adds to the depth of my depression. I become more depressed thinking about the fact that I’m feeling depressed. The fact that I have so little control over certain aspects of my life, the ones that I feel truly matter, and an unspeakable amount of control over the aspects that I don’t want to touch with a ten foot pole (see: planning my future, etc), leaves me spiraling.
I talk myself in and out of sadness. Being a very intense, feeling, person, I’ve discovered that I am so incredibly talented at either completely numbing myself to intense emotions to the point that I’ve forgotten that I am even capable of feeling, or extremely good at going so overboard in expressing myself that all my burners are running at FULL STEAM. It’s everything in the middle that I struggle with. I’m never able to find the in between, that place in which I am able to rationally, logically, think about my situation while allowing my feelings to creep in and share their thoughts on the subject. Instead, I think long and hard, attempting to process and dissect my life and the people I’ve chosen to keep in it, without feeling anything at all. Once I’ve decided that I’ve worked something out, or my brain, exhausted from repressing my inner romantic-child-lover-wino—adhd-intensity, gives up, I allow myself to feel things about whatever I’ve been processing. And then: I explode.
And by explode, I mean, generally, I begin to cry. Or to scream. Or to sing LOUDLY to whatever song comes on the radio. Or to go for long, painfully productive runs. Or to clean, rearrange, and organize. Or to ride every horse in the barn.
At which point, I go back to numb.
There’s a reason I drive to Portland to get my hair cut. I’ve had the same person styling my hair for close to a decade and she’s one of my favorite people. Ever. When I showed up last night, we caught up, I explained my recent, depressingly confusing and hopeful situation with Z and she helped me make some more sense of how I am feeling.
Then, we talked about anxiety, and how over the last year or so especially, I’ve become so caught up in my anxieties about everything that 10 minutes rarely pass without a “what if…?” statement that leaves my mind reeling and my concentration mangled. She emphasized and explained how she used to feel the same way; every situation lead to a de-powering, crippling internal rant that took at least some of the enjoyment out of every situation. I’ve spent the last couple of months in therapy learning how to turn off my anxieties about everything from, whether my bed is made, where the remotes were put away, whether a text message will come off wrong, to whether a bridge will collapse as I drive/run over it and exactly how I will react to each and every situation with 50 different variables calculated in. All of these feelings cycle in and out of my mind and body within a few seconds of each other.
So, she told me that rather than continue to allow these feeling to take over and to continually empower the “what if?”s, she replaced the question with “why not?”. I started thinking about the powerful feeling that comes with simply uttering that question to myself and as soon as I did, my body responded, my heart slowed back down, I was able to bring myself back to the NOW and begin to realize that there are so many different things in every day life that are so far out of my control that wondering about each and every one of them is not helpful; it detracts from the beauty of life and the simplicity of simply experiencing life and enjoying each and every moment in its purest, most uninhibited and unadulterated form.
So, here’s to living a life defined by “Why Not?”
I was thinking about this a lot earlier today when talking to a friend about her husband and the relationship she has with her husband’s family. I spend a measurable amount of time with my bf’s family and immensely enjoy the time I share with them. When considering “forever,” your future family definitely impacts your decisions about commitment. It’s like, not only are you subjecting yourself to the meet and greet and round of 20 questions, but you’re also measuring your relationship with a whole other group of people ON TOP of the measurements you’re taking regarding your SO. And how do these families feel when their child ends a long term relationship with someone? Is there a sense of loss and abandonment that comes like losing a child? Also, when you are a part of the broken relationship, is it like losing your family? I’ve never been close to the family of someone I’ve dated before but the concept of not having the relationships and interactions that I currently have with these wonderful people adds a new dimension to my relationship. How does one cope with the loss of an entire family? And why am I suddenly realizing how my family may be affected by my dating habits? Seriously?
I was scheduled for a nasty little procedure with my doc on Friday and because it was my second time through and I was terrified, I asked them to give me a little something something to help me through the process.
My GOD. It was the little pill that could. I was prescribed 5mg of diazepam, the generic equivalent of Valium, and for the entire 6 hours it was in my system, a new world opened up for me. I am a naturally, uh, “high strung” person. I stress and pour over minute details of my daily life, get upset with my wonderful boyfriend for random, inconsequential things, and lose many, many hours of sleep at night because I’m so caught up in a life without a relax function.
I’m at avid yogi, a professional equestrienne, a student, and a voracious reader so my life is full of many activities that should insight relaxation. However, it’s the little things that burrow deep into my overactive imagination and make me want to pull my hair out. My brief stint with the little pill showed me how peaceful my life could be, and should be.
So, today, as I sit amid a stack of boxes that refuse to unpack themselves into my summer house, I think back on how much nicer life is when worrying isn’t an option.