Monday, October 5, 2015

That Anxious Feeling

Today was just one of those days.  If it could go wrong, it did. The system was down. I had to go into the office. My sleep study was canceled. My tablet stopped working.  My anxiety is cranked to a 10.  That last one is what got me to pull this entry up and work on it some more.

Self-doubt colors everything that I do.  Who I am when I’m just myself isn’t enough.  I need to be more, to do better, and to overachieve just to feel almost adequate. 

I push myself at work to go above the job description and do more, and when I fail at my own standards I feel like I let everyone down. I can’t stand the idea that I may let someone down. Even when I receive praise, I have a hard time believing that I’ve genuinely done a good job on something. Instead it feels like appeasement – like I did a good job trying at something, or like I got credit for participating.  Today was horrid with the system being down and having to go in. It didn't matter that the system was what was causing the issue - I still felt like I wasn't doing enough.  Like it was my fault that something was wrong with the system. The whole thing left me drained.

Hanging out with friends makes me much more anxious then it should. I have a hard time believing that anyone wants to hang out with me because they like me. In my mind, I have to bring something more than just myself for you to like me.  When you don’t show up, I assume that I’m the reason. When you do show up and you look bored, that’s my fault too. I may joke about it, but only to hide the fact that I believe what I’m saying. If someone's mood is off - it had to be something that I said. And more often than not I walk away feeling like I did something wrong.

History has taught me that people can be used under the guise of friendship and then thrown away once they aren’t needed anymore.  People can laugh at their jokes, and share secrets in the hopes of finding something out, or getting ahead. Then one day you wake up and those people are gone, taking the friendship that you thought you had away.  And even though you’re hurt from their betrayal, it’s even worse because there’s no one to tell your problems to. Because the person that you told your worries and pain to is now the one that caused it.

And maybe in the present it’s all in my head – maybe it’s all my anxiety getting the best of me.  But that doesn’t make it any better. Instead it just seems to remind me of another way that I’m failing. And it doesn’t make the self-doubt better.  If anything it eats away at it more – making it worse. Reminding me that I’m the one that’s faulty, and any pain that I experience is my own doing.  Because I wasn’t enough in the past, if I was then they wouldn’t have used me. Because I’m not enough today, and I need to be more in the hopes of not being left.

Friendships, relationships, and even work.  They're things that I struggle with all the time. I'm single because I'm not worth anyone's time. I do things on my own because no one wants to do them with me. I don't do enough at my job because I can't do it all.

And I'm exhausted by it all.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Desert of Singleness

People talk about their “season of singleness” like it’s a badge of achievement. They see it as something they went through on the way to a relationship, or something that they’re currently in that they enjoy regardless of how long the season lasts.

I hate the phrase.

To me it doesn’t feel like a season.  It feels like a trek through a desert that I’ll never cross.  I see mirages, but nothing that’s real.  Just shiny images between the sun and sand as I continue to drag my exhausted body through the emptiness. 

And at this point, I feel like I’ve been in the desert for so long, that I don’t know how to get out of it.  Maybe a mirage isn’t a mirage.  Maybe it’s real.  But I’ve lost the ability to tell real from fake.

Because all I see are mirages.  One false image after another.

The online dating thing – I just don’t get it.  I’ve tried it.  On various sites. Secular and religious.  And it starts ok – chatting/messaging/etc. Then after a couple of days, they don’t respond.  They’re bored.  Or they’ve decided that I’m not into a hook-up.  Or whatever.  Sometimes I stop responding because they make it clear what they want, and it’s now what I’m looking for.  Any time I try, it ends in disaster before we even meet face to face. I’ve gotten better at passing this mirage by.  It’s never been worth it, and an online algorithm can’t accurately find what I’m looking for.

Being hooked up with a friend of a friend? Potentially even worse.  Because inevitable what I’ve found is that the friend that has done the hooking up, doesn’t really know either of the people that they’ve hooked up.  And now you’re on an awkward first date with someone that you have nothing in common with except one person that you’re both friends with. Yet this is the mirage that I fall for the most – I guess I keep holding out hope that there’s a friend out that that gets what I’m looking for, and knows someone who’s looking for someone like me.

As for meeting someone in the real world all by myself.  That’s laughable. I’ve forgotten how to read signs. (Maybe because in the desert there aren’t any.) When you laugh are you humoring me, or do you actually think I’m funny.  Are you talking to be because you want to, or are you doing it I can be the butt of a joke later with your friends.  When you caught my eye across the room and smiled is it because you were interested, or were your eyes just drawn to the largest thing in the room. Real or not – I usually feel too insecure to try this one.

And so I’m stuck in the desert.  Sand all around me, but not much else.  Glimmers of things that make me an optimist, but nothing solid. It’s frustrating.  But I keep going in the hopes of finding something real.

In the meantime, I'm going to keep it alone.  Being in a desert is no reason to stop living.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Looking Forward

The past year was filled with potholes instead of milestones. Thyroid problems, sinus infections, weight, tiredness, anxiety, and finally surgery. It left me feeling defeated. Things that I wanted to do, I couldn’t do – I didn’t have the energy, and I was scared to try. After almost a year, I’ve finally reached a point that I don’t feel like that. The surgery cleared up a lot, and I think I finally have the thyroid problems under control. My weight is finally going down instead of up, and I feel less discouraged about everything.

Recently I started planning a trip. By myself. 600 miles away.

And the response I’ve gotten from people is that it’s a little bit crazy. And maybe it is.

But I feel like I spent the last year putting my life on hold because of my health. And I don’t want to continue to put it on hold because I don’t have anyone to go on vacation with, or because I’m single, or for any other reason. I’m tired of waiting on things that may never happen. I’m tired of dreaming of the future instead of living in the present.

And so I’m going.

And yes, there are things that I’d like to do that I won’t because I’ll be by myself. (Like a ghost tour, or the Walking Dead bus tour.) But at the same time, there are things that I’ll get to do that I wouldn’t do if I was traveling with others. (Like wander around Savannah with a camera to take artsy shots for a few hours with no destination in mind.) [Note to self – new (bigger) memory card for camera]

If something interests me, I have the freedom to do it, no matter how crazy it is. (Like maybe driving to a beach just to take pictures at sunset.)  The flip side is no one to enjoy it with. (Sunsets are beautiful, but better when shared.)  But right now – I’ll look at the positive. And the positive is that I can do this. I can go on vacation by myself, and I can have a good time. I can – that’s the take away. I can.  Because after almost a year of can’t – I can.

And maybe in the future, I won’t do it alone.