Worry, Worry, Worry

July 24, 2017

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this here, but fairly recently, a friend of mine, who is an atheist/agnostic, depending on the day, called me out on something. She said, “Listen. You believe in this God who takes care of you. You believe in a God who created you and loved you. That should make a difference in your life.” She went on to explain that this was something she (and a to of people) didn’t have. She doesn’t believe there’s any higher power or anything past humans, and she thinks that if I believe that, my life should reflect it. I should have more hope than people without this.

She explained it better, but you get the idea. If I believe in a loving God, who I can even TALK to, why doesn’t this make a difference?

I need it to make a difference. Either I believe this or I don’t. If I do, then I should, well, not give up worry entirely, because I’m human, but I should have a basic confidence that God is with me. Who can be against me? What can “man” do to me? I shouldn’t be afraid of housing prices or illness or anything else, but have a “peace that transcends all understanding.”

I know that a lot of people who read this are not necessarily people of faith, but many of you are. Do you have any ways to remember this, really deep down? As someone very very prone to anxiety and depression, this is essential for me to not go down.


Beauty and Loneliness

July 15, 2017

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It was an extraordinarily beautiful day today. I had little work to do (summer is my lowest time, which is stressful with money but good for mental health if I don’t worry about the money) and a friend called to see if I could have lunch. I had already eaten but asked if she wanted to go to the beach at the edge of town instead.

I forget about this beach. It’s slightly over a mile from my house and is the bay, not the ocean, perfect for kids, because there are no big waves. It’s not exciting: there are no snack shops, no souvenir places, no surfing, no snorkeling. But it is the beginning of the ocean, with sand and all the ocean smells.

I brought some camping chairs and we sat for over two hours, watching kids fly kites and play in the really cold water. I was absolutely covered in greasy sunscreen but it was perfect. The temperature was not too hot but warm enough and I felt so incredibly relaxed and content. I even kept saying, “This is just perfect,” sort of feeling like saying it aloud would keep the feeling.

The friend suggested we go for ice cream after which felt like a perfect little luxury at the end of this.

Then my brain kicked in, with all of its insecurities. I started worrying that I’d never have this experience again and that somehow I “wasted” it by not appreciating it more. I worried that I’d get depressed again when summer leaves because this weather is so wonderful that it’s going to be a huge loss. I worried that I’d never have friends to travel with again, that I’d be alone forever, that nobody would remember me, that tomorrow (I have no concrete plans) will be incredibly lonely, that my dog will die, and all of a sudden, I’m at the bottom again.

By this time I was home. In my ideal world, or what I think would be normal for a lot of people, I would have been glad for a beautiful day relaxing with a friend and savored that. Instead, I’m questioning if anyone would notice if I died or disappeared and convincing myself that I’ll be lonely forever and depressed and cold once summer ends.

I feel like I’ve thrown away the gift of a wonderful day.┬áThis is NOT how I want to be. I just don’t know how to change it.

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A Partial List of Reasons I’m Anxious

June 15, 2017

I thought I’d write it down so I had a better idea and maybe less “free-floating” anxiety, so, here is a partial list of reasons I’m anxious:

  1. I’m packing for vacation and might forget something
  2. The airline might lose my suitcase
  3. I had a blood vessel burst in my eye and it looks gross although it’s benign
  4. The doorknob on the bedroom that my new housemate will move into doesn’t work and the landlord isn’t answering me
  5. Something I sent priority mail got lost and the post office is not answering me
  6. My dog is 7 years old and won’t live forever
  7. What if my housing costs go up and I have to move out of the area?
  8. What if I have to move and can’t find a place that will take dogs?
  9. I have to figure out how to market the book I wrote
  10. I have to drive on the wrong side of the road in a couple of days
  11. I have to remember what I said I’d get people for souvenirs
  12. My nephew and nieces will grow up in a world that is not safe
  13. I might need to buy disability insurance because I’m self-employed
  14. I don’t know how to buy disability insurance
  15. Do I need long-term care insurance?
  16. I might not be able to sleep on the plane
  17. I’m spending money on therapy and it might not be helping me so I might be wasting my money
  18. I might get into a car accident one day
  19. I will miss my dog when I’m gone
  20. I might write another book
  21. I might never write another book
  22. I might have way too much work
  23. I might not have enough work

Clearly I could keep going and going. And this is not a particularly stressful time, this is just my head ALL THE TIME.

Anyone else end up like this? Any great coping mechanisms? Today I lay on my bed for about an hour holding my dog’s paw (she has this new thing where she loves holding hands) which helped. Temporarily.

The interesting thing is that I don’t think anyone who doesn’t know me well can tell! I hide it pretty well.