The more I explore issues of my addiction, the more I circle back to the strangle-hold that anxiety has on my life. I never stopped to think that my behavior and thinking patterns were a result of something that was not 100% in my control. I never stopped to think that other people don’t think the same way that I do.
I have been in a bit of a downward spiral mentally for several weeks. Exhaustive over-analysis of pretty much everything has left me sleep-deprived, short-fused and in a general baseline state of panic.
Enter this morning.
I made a phone call to a family member after finding out that they had traveled to our city the week prior and hadn’t reached out to us. I was angry. My children adore this person as a grandparent figure in lieu of having no other living grandparents. Apparently I had been left a voicemail several weeks prior that I missed. My fault. I hate the phone and I am beyond terrible at checking voicemail.
I expressed my disappointment that they had not tried to reach us again AT ALL while in the area for five days. They assumed because I hadn’t called back that I was being a passive-aggressive brat, which is totally not my character at all, but that is another story.
Phone call ends.
I immediately went in to a deep panic. Why does everyone leave me? Why am I so hard to love? What am I doing wrong? I think I am a giving, loving person, but everyone seems to pull away from me… Why?
On top of that, I had been mean on that phone call. I am never mean. Oh God. Why didn’t I just bit my tongue?
I started to cry. I called my significant other for a soft landing spot for my heart because I needed someone to talk me off the ledge. Instead I got rationale. Questions such as “what have you done to nurture the relationship lately?” and “You just stated last week how much you hate talking on the phone. If you want this relationship, you need to put in the effort.” And then the tough love question “Why do you keep trying to hang on to relationships that are one-way streets. You need to learn to let go.”
My response to this was to go quiet. To thank him for listening and to quickly excuse myself from the phone call.
While my head begins to spin wildly out of control with all sorts of thoughts and my veins pump with stress hormones and sweat starts to pour out of every possible opening, I almost feel paralyzed.
I quickly shift to my professional mask as I walk in the door to work and in to a meeting at 7:30 am. As I start to come down and steady my thoughts, I send a text to my significant other thanking him for listening and letting me vent.
Did he get my text? He always replies… Hmmmm.
9:30. I try to call.
My heart starts to race. I start to lose all ability to focus on anything other than my phone screen.
Think. Be rational. He is probably in a meeting or on the phone. But… even when he is busy he texts me to let me know that he is busy…
Fuck!!! He must be upset with me. Am I too needy? Am I too emotional all the time? Am I too much work? Is he falling out of love with me? Why can’t I just let things roll off my back? Why can’t I keep things to myself? Why? Why? Why???
I am physically shaking now. My veins are pulsing at a level that I worry I might actually stroke out or have a heart attack. My brain is log jammed. I want to snap out of this but I have no idea how.
10:32. Text. “Sorry I wasn’t more comforting”
10:33. My reply. “You’re fine. Sorry I am so needy. I don’t know what my problem is. I keep looking for things that aren’t there. You are right.”
That is what I do. Take responsibility for my crazy even when it still hurts. Even when I still don’t understand entirely because I can’t bear the weight of conflict and more hurt on top of my already fragile nervous system.
10:43. No reply.
He must be sick of me. He must be sick of all of this. He is going to leave me. I am sure of it.
I will stop here to put in context that my significant other is the love of my love. He is my compliment; my soul mate. He has never shown me anything but unconditional love. He reminds me often that he loves me and that he isn’t going anywhere. And, yet, I
still doubt and go to my “dark place” at the slightest hint of disconcert. What a pain in the ass it must be to love someone like me.
Thus begins the cycle of talking myself off the ledge until I can move on to the next thing. Staring at my phone as if it is my lifeline. Planning how to “play” things the rest of the day to avoid any further wrinkles in my relationship fabric. Pretending to be strong, aloof and unfazed when I am anything but.
10:46. Still no reply. It may only be minutes, but it may as well be hours.
Anxiety. My brain is my biggest enemy at times.
And people wonder why I drink.