It feels rather narcissistic to start by apologising for not posting anything lately, who do I think I am, the Queen of England? Nevertheless, it seems rather rude not to explain my absence, so for the couple of people that might read this, I’m still alive in body if not in spirit!
I try not to write anything too personal here: I’d much rather post a few badly written puns and a speech about my love for Taylor Swift than something that might expose too much of myself. Also, I find it hard to imagine anyone caring about my troubles when they undoubtedly have much bigger ones of their own to deal with: this isn’t therapy.
I might delete this yet, whilst typing I feel slightly foolish: I’ve been struggling with my anxiety lately. There, I said it. It reminds me of the time I tried to tell a guy I liked him but couldn’t get the words out, so I typed it on my phone and showed it to him instead. I’m not sure which situation was more painful. Anyway, as I’ve been feeling pretty low I decided to take a break from blogging to spend time with friends and family to get out of my own head for a while.
In all honesty, not much has changed. I still love cheese and wine and have a deep, inner hatred for queue jumpers and public transport: it’s like I’ve never been away.
From a young age I’ve been a worrier: for months leading up to my first day at secondary school I would quiz my older friends about the prevalence of bullying and exactly how I should act in order to prevent it happening. I became so fixated on the idea of high school and how terrible an experience it was going to be that I tried to mentally prepare myself for every possible disaster that could occur on my first day, no matter how unrealistic my theories happened to be. I have to tell you, that’s a lot for a 10 year old to deal with.
14 years later and everyday tasks such introducing myself to people I don’t know or having to confront someone who has wronged me still fill me with the same dread I felt on the first day of high school. When I’m feeling anxious I can’t recognise the difference between rational and irrational worries, so I assume that every small issue will result in worldwide disaster, which manifests in the form of panic attacks.
Whilst it’s something I’d rather not have to deal with, what’s even worse is people who make assumptions about my issues with anxiety. Just today someone asked whether I’d tried to to “calm down” in situations where I feel anxious – I wish I’d thought of that! If only I’d grabbed a pina colada and chilled out with the latest issue of Marie Claire – all of my problems would be solved!
I understand that anxiety isn’t something you can see and perhaps it is all in my head, but pointing that out really doesn’t help. As it happens, instructing me to stop exaggerating and being so dramatic isn’t what I’d like to hear either. As my mother always tells me: if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
It’s that time of year again, temperatures rise a couple of degrees for just a weekend and all of a sudden we’re in the bloody Bahamas. Every time Spring rolls around I tell myself that I’ll try not to behave like Wednesday Addams on crack but unfortunately the sudden spike in sunny weather has once again left me feeling like an anxiety-ridden, social pariah.
It all began with the wasp stinging incident of 1995, the day I lost my dignity and ability to act normally in social situations involving beer gardens, barbecues or ice-cream: the day Pollyanna replaced herself with Blair Waldorf’s less-nice sister. I can be sat having lunch, enjoying a large G&T with my friends until a wasp lands on my large order of fries and my palms start to sweat, my entire body is ridden with fear and I’m out of the door faster than Usain Bolt.
It’s probably for the best anyway: why would I want to be sat at the local park, surrounded by screaming children and half-price sausage rolls when I can be at home alone complaining? I miss Christmas, bobble hats, mulled wine and the sheer misery of everyone else in the UK.
I’ve never been a believer: cynic and proud, my strongest belief is in the power of a cup of coffee or glass of wine. God, luck, ghosts, destiny and Harry Potter are all things our mind holds onto in order to quell the pain of everyday life; a belief that something out of our control has the possibility to change things for the better when we’re at our lowest point. Life’s a bitch and it happens to everyone, no amount of hope or wishing will change a damn thing, only you can. I’d make a great motivational speaker, right?!
However, as of late Karma has begun to play a larger part in my life than I ever thought possible: perhaps to a worrying degree. It all started out simply enough: tipping at the bar, putting money in the charity box in the supermarket and refraining from tutting at the woman on the phone at far too high a volume on the bus. No real issues, I’m just trying to be a better person: no harm, no foul. More recently though my issues with worry and anxiety have started to creep into my karmic activities.
Whereas before I’d attempt to do the washing up as soon as I got in from work, now if I don’t do it I get a terrible feeling that potential disaster will occur and I’ll lose all of my limbs in a fatal accident or wake up to find I’m the only human on earth. It’s the same with putting my clothes away, not taking my make-up off before bed or forgetting to turn the TV off at the wall. They’re all things I should be doing anyway but if I don’t do them at the exact time I feel I should my anxiety levels go off the charts and I think something terrible will happen to one or multiple people I love or tolerate.
It’s not even fun karma, I don’t believe that doing a good deed will cause something good to happen to me in return. Rather I feel doing good deeds stops terrible things from happening like in ‘Final Destination.’ I’m either slowly going completely mad or I’m simply just as sane as everybody else.
Posted in General
Tagged amusing, anxiety, destiny, funny, humor, humour, karma, luck, ocd, opinion, religion, worry
What is normal? I’m having an internal debate on whether I’m going slightly crazy a-la Hannah from Girls, or if I’m just a regular person with a couple of normal issues that every human being has.
I’ll explain, I’ve always been a slight worrier: when I was a child I accidentally stole a bag of sweets and was so convinced that there were CCTV cameras around and that I’d get locked up until the day I died so I went back, apologised and paid my 50p. I also have a slight wasp phobia (when I say slight I mean that even typing the word wasp terrifies me.) One night I was so convinced that I was going to wake up with a swarm of wasps flying around my bedroom that I spent hours sellotaping every crack or small hole in my wall. So I sort of have a couple of issues in that I worry a lot, normal right?
Well I think my issues with worrying have started to expand a tad. I can’t sleep without a small, dim, light on in my room, not too bright so I can’t sleep but bright enough so I can see potential burglars/serial killers lurking in the shadows. After switching my light on, I set my alarms for the morning: all ten of them, each assigned their own ring tone so my brain doesn’t get used to the sound of the alarm and sleep straight through it. Once I’ve set these ten alarms I make sure that each one is on around three/four times, just in case. After doing that I check under my bed and in my wardrobe for monsters/serial killers and the like. Finally I inspect my bed covers at least three times over just in case there are any spiders in there in order to avoid a Home Alone moment. If I then get into bed and question whether any one of these activities isn’t thoroughly completed I have to start the process again. It’s starting to get out of hand, not only does it take me hours to get to sleep but any small issue that arises I worry will result in my death, the death of a friend or family member or the end of the world as we know it.
So, I’m wondering whether this is normal, does everyone else worry this much, or am I spiralling? It’s hard to tell whether people keep these issues to themselves for fear that people will think they’re abnormal or if it’s just you feeling something, alone. I share some of my idiosyncrasies with my friends, but only the ones that they might find quirky and interesting, and that’s probably part of the problem. If everyone was more open with the people they actually know maybe they wouldn’t feel compelled to turn to the internet for help instead. Google must be one popular mother fucker.