Mind Made Disasters….
Some days I feel like I put the “I” in anxiety. I can’t say I’m anxious about everything in life. It’s crazy really….tell me I’m facing a health scare and I’ll remain cool as a cucumber. I might stress about an exam or medical test, but not the actual results. I can even remain calm for weeks while waiting on the report. I’ve done it. It’s the little things I stress over the most. How might this affect other areas of my life or will people see me or feel differently about me. Things I have no control over because it’s something outside of myself….if that makes sense.
I tend to get anxious in uncertain situations. Things I shouldn’t stress about, and yet I do. Things I can’t control, but can’t help but wonder about.
Usually it concerns my interactions with other people….what are they thinking? Why? Should I have said something? Did I say something wrong? Should I have kept my mouth shut? Am I not enough of this? Am I too much of that? The list could go on forever because I’m an over thinker and overthinking leads to anxiety!
I know this about myself. I don’t like the way it makes me feel. I can control it at times, but it’s always there lurking, waiting to rear its ugly head. I try to do the things I should to refocus….work out, read, pray, talk to someone, work on a hobby or do something for someone else. I try to recognize what triggers my anxiety and avoid those situations, but that’s not always easy to do. I do know that in certain areas of my life, as time goes on, the anxiety subsides.
A lot of it stems from expectations. I expect certain things from people because that’s how I would respond in a situation. Mistake number one…not everyone thinks like I do. (If they did, my life would be so much easier).
You can’t control other people. You can’t control their actions, thoughts, or the way they interact with or respond to you. We are all complex human beings and no two people are alike. I’ve had to learn you can’t expect anything from anyone or you will always end up disappointed. You can’t count on others to have the same heart as you do. Yet at the same time, I know what I’d be willing to do for someone and it can be disappointing when they don’t react the way I think they should.
My thinking is, “That’s not what I would do”. “That’s not how I would react”. “That’s not how I would handle it”. Well guess what me, everyone is not like you!
Case in point….”Buzz” from a few posts back told me he felt that if he didn’t respond to one of my messages in the time frame I thought he should, I’d get mad. Hmmmm…I’ll give him that. I wouldn’t say I’d get angry, but I would get impatient because I text back fairly quickly unless I’m just super busy. He always did too, until the end and when his texting habits changed, I assumed, by overthinking that there was a problem. Even if there wasn’t, I convinced myself there was. Turns out, I may have been part of the problem.
For the record, I didn’t send him a hundred texts when he didn’t respond, and I usually waited a few days before trying again. To him however, it wasn’t what HE would do, so it freaked him out. I explained to him why it made me anxious. The reason is between me and him, but trust me, I had a good reason and I think he understood.
I will admit, in case he would ever see this, that towards the end I blew his phone up a little more than I should have…but what overthinking woman who’s dealing with a passive-aggressive man in an uncertain situation hasn’t done that! What happened to two negatives equaling a positive? I’ve seen the error of my ways and I’m working on it.
I don’t entirely understand the whole overthinking, anxiety thing. I just know it’s part of who I am, but not WHO I am. There’s more to me than that. I have a well meaning friend who tells me to just stop. Believe me, if it was that easy I’d have done it a long time ago. I may not be able to just stop, but I am learning some self control on the matter.
Overthinking confuses the situation, twists things around, forces you to worry, and makes things seem much worse than they actually are. Your worst enemy lives inside your head and you become a victim of your own mind. You know what you’re doing, but you don’t know how to turn it off.
I’ve always been an over thinker. It’s not always a bad thing depending on the situation. However, the need to figure everything out can make you anxious and drive you crazy. We can never truly know all the answers or control every situation, nor should we try. Once we realize that, the hard part is learning how to control our emotions and reactions.
I know overthinking ruins things and makes problems that weren’t even there to begin with. It’s robs a person of so many joys in life. If only those of us who overthink could learn to live and let go with ease.
I think over time, it’s possible. With each “disaster” in life, we learn a little more about ourselves and how to control it. I think that’s the key. Acknowledging and finding positive ways to cope when a mind made disaster strikes so that things don’t spiral out of control. One day at a time….
**For those who suffer with anxiety and depression, please know you are not alone. Never let anyone make you feel like it’s all in your head. If someone hasn’t been there they can never truly understand. Never be ashamed. It’s a medical condition just as any other disease. Everyone is affected in different ways. I was embarrassed to admit I could be an anxious, over thinker until I realized we all have something we’re dealing with and trying to control. Even those who seem to have perfect lives.
Like me, some people can deal with it on their own, while others just shut down and don’t know where to turn. Please seek help if you feel hopeless and devastated. There is no shame in asking for help. Sometimes that’s one of the strongest things you can do. You’re worth it and you deserve to be happy and live a full life. You’re stronger than you think, and you CAN do it! 😘