The Ripple Effect
|Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash|
I’m going through one of the most anxiety-riddled times of my life right now. The stress of purchasing a house on my own (and constantly being terrified of something ruining the whole thing) and the stress of being poor during the holidays (and being terrified of disappointing my children on Christmas) is rippling out and making my everyday normal anxieties ten times bigger.
Anxiety is always telling me that people don’t really like me. They’re just being nice and pretending so they don’t hurt my feelings. Why would anyone like me? I’m boring, antisocial, needy, and riddled with anxiety. We call these brain weasels. Usually we can fight off brain weasels with logic, and they’re not a huge deal. But with all this additional stress and anxiety, my brain weasels have been running amok. So much so, that I decided everyone I’m closest to – friends, family, and significant others, would all be better off without me.
I honestly didn’t realize what I’d been doing. This is a brain weasel I’ve had most of my life, so I’m used to it. But this time the weasels burrowed deep. I started pushing everyone away. I’d taken little things from perfectly normal interactions, convinced myself that these little things meant they didn’t want me around, and I started distancing myself from them. Being colder in my responses when talking to them, not interacting with them as much, and being more antisocial than normal. Who knew it could get worse?!
Of course actions like these are self-fulfilling prophesies. One of my partners was convinced I was mad at him and my two best friends were convinced I didn’t want to be around them, so I’m sure none of them were all too happy with me.
In the end, a movie date with my besties fixed everything. We saw The Crimes of Grindelwald (excellent, by the way) and chatted for an hour after the movie, and suddenly everything was right as rain. Take that, brain weasels!
Of course USPS is not helping. They have a new Informed Delivery system where they email photocopies of the mail that’s been delivered to you. I’m waiting on important house-buying-related documents, and today Informed Delivery informed me that I have a letter that wasn’t scanned. OH MY GOD, I NEED TO KNOW WHAT IT IS. Damn you, (un)Informed Delivery!
So my stress is still there, but I’m leaning on my loved ones instead of pushing them away. And they’re all being really, really great. The best thing you can have when anxiety-stricken is a good support network, and I think I have the best one there is.