I had another reasonably sleepless night last night. I fell asleep pretty quickly, but woke up a few hours later, unable to get back to sleep because my mind was racing. It’d been racing for a while, I was told something that set my anxiety off into the world on it’s own. I’d gone from being happy and seemingly care free to stressed and upset in a short space of time. I even cried a little.
A large portion of my anxiety seems to be reserved for the unknown. If I don’t know what’s going on, or why something happened, I am a wreck. To say it’s all I can think about is an understatement. During the day I’ll operate as a distracted but functional human. Day to day tasks will be completed, but they’ll take longer and I’ll often have to go back and fix up mistakes, because half my focus is on dissecting the issue causing my anxiety. At night my sleep is interrupted by the need to wake up and look at the unknown from a new angle. But it’s never a new angle, because I’ve explored them all a hundred times.
I had a situation a few years back where I didn’t know why something happened, and I agonized over it for months. I spent all my time thinking about it. In the shower, at work, while driving, when having fun with friends… It didn’t matter what I was doing, it would pop into my brain, pull up a chair and settle in for a few hours. I spent countless near sleepless nights having arguements in my head over what might have happened. It wasnt until I found out what actually had happened, a few months later that I stopped thinking about it. The reason? Because it was ridiculous. If only I hadn’t wasted all that time on something so ridiculous.
Another huge trigger for me is what people think of me. I know I shouldn’t care what people think, but it’s really not that easy. Especially when it’s not justified. People thinking badly of me, for something that I haven’t done, or am not, is something that really upsets me. I like to think I am a good person. I’m not perfect, I can be bitchy and make mistakes, like all of us, but I’m overall a decent, kind hearted person. And I struggle with people who have the wrong impression of me.
People think I’m weird. I am. But we all are, so it bugs me.
I am getting better at dealing with these feelings. It doesn’t bother me as much as it used to that people think I’m unusual. Because I realized it’s not as wide spread as I thought it was and also because it doesn’t actually matter. I like being a little quirky, it’s part of what makes me me. I’m also less awkward with new people. It’s not as important to me as it used to be to have everyone like me. Because I don’t like everyone. No one does. And for a while I would befriend people I wasn’t a big fan of, just because I’d managed to make them think I was worth knowing.
But when someone thinks badly of me, because they’ve misunderstood something I’ve done or haven’t done, or said, it hurts. It hurts a lot. I’ll do my best to keep my composure around that person and others, but when no ones watching, I’ll often cry when it’s fresh. My calming techniques don’t seem to work when I’m upset enough to sob but in a hidden fashion.
Usually after a few hours, once I have managed to calm myself down is when the over analyzing sets in. This can last for days. It usually does.
Night time is the worst. When I’m lying in bed, tired from the days activities and ready to sleep, that’s when I have more time to think. There’s no distractions, nothing that needs doing. I mean, I do need to sleep, but falling asleep isn’t something I actually know how to do, it’s something that just happens. I can lie motionless for hours, eyes closed, possibly drifting in and out of a light sleep, but mostly just looking at every possible reason for why the person feels this way and what I can do to fix it. I usually come up with several different ways to fix it, but none that I have the guts to actually go through with and most that would likely make things worse anyway.
Overall, I am better than I used to be. Yoga and healthy eating have calmed me and I have learned to not take things so seriously. And on the days that I do get agitated by the unknown or someone’s opinion of me, I can usually reason myself out of it. I also have Zombie and a lovely modern day penpal in the states who I can offload to which is often all I need.
But sometimes it still causes me sleepless nights. And that just makes it worse, because anxiety and tiredness are not a good mix. I am at a point now where these events are less common, which I am okay with. I’m hoping that one day, they will be non events, because as they say, what others think of me is none of my business.
Smiles and Sunshine