I am the type of person that reads four books simultaneously. Each book always gets its own loving attention and nurturing as I work my way through its pages. Each book gets its own place in my world, and its own role in my day. On the other hand, I am the type of person with commitment issues. My journal is a timeline of started projects with good intentions that never see the finish line. I am really good at planning for things, not so stellar at starting.
I am the type of person that has all of these ideas tumbling in my brain but I’m too afraid to start, knowing I’ll mostly certainly quit along the way, and it will just be “one more thing” I started in a fit of mania that stumbled to a halt when the fog clears. Anxiety brain tells me everyone is keeping a running log of my discarded projects and each one chips away at my credibility. Anxiety brain tells me that each new idea and venture will be met with “Well, remember that one time when you…”
I am the type of person who tries to radiate a casual sense of self confidence, the ol’ “fake it ’till you make it” aura while simultaneously over analyzing each action. Nothing feels natural anymore, anxiety brain has made sure the simplest of interactions must be something I critically review and ponder before making a move. It ensures I must rehash every action and reaction both given and taken. And my anxiety brain is quite good at making me feel like I have done everything wrong in the equation that is normal interaction with my fellow human pals.
I am the type of person who wants to feel connected and close, surrounded by friends with the group photos and the smiles and the “I love these girls!” while somehow keeping everyone at a safe distance. Anxiety tells me that my place in the world is dependent on perfect actions and reactions. That any slight I may do will send me tumbling from good graces, cut off, shunned, no longer welcome, thank you very much.
I am the type of person that never invites anyone to anything or initiates anything out of fear of rejection. Anxiety brain tells me that I am “that girl” that no one actually likes, no one really wants around, everyone secretly hates me. Anxiety brain notices each and every wedding that I don’t get invited to, each lunch date left out of, each adventure without me in the pictures. Anxiety brain conveniently discards and blocks out the list of experiences that doesn’t fit my brain’s narrow narrative.
I am the kind of person that wants to pour myself into my creative ventures paralyzed by each failure and each imperfection. I am the person that tries photography but only sees the ugliness in places, not the beauty and potential. It’s reminiscent of how I see myself as a person. I am the kind of person that hides behind self depreciating humor because somehow the idea of me laughing at my own faults and failures gives me some sense of power over them.
I am the type of person afraid to say a word out loud when I’ve only read it in books, too afraid to mispronounce it and look stupid.
I am the type of person that wants so dearly to feel normal and human but instead get stuck with this weird sense of anxiety that isn’t quite so debilitating but just inconvenient enough that it causes me to skip events because my anxiety brain has told me “You know what? No one wants to be friends with someone who has stupid looking eyebrows” (What?)
I am harder on myself now as an almost-26-year-old than I ever was at 16, 18, 20, 22. I’m not sure what’s happened to me. But the rational side of my brain knows it’s a complete waste of my mental energy. Rational brain knows life is far too short to dwell on stupid things. Rational side of my brain knows that no one thinks about me nearly as often as anxiety brain tells me they do. Anxiety brain tries to convince my that everyone’s intentions are bad. The rational side of my brain tells me that people are, generally, good people that don’t seek opportune moments to hurt others.
I just kind of feel off today. I’m stumbling around my house in a daze, not quite nonfunctional but still not functioning either. I feel like my body is electrified with pent up energy. I had all these grandiose ideas for how I wanted this Sunday to look and the reality was not so Instagramworthy. I became a couch barnacle. Covered in the pethair I told myself I’d clean but didn’t. I pace, back and forth, anxious for no tangible reason. Eating canned ravioli even though I told myself I was going to go to the grocery store and meal plan. Canceled plans. Did not follow through with my self imposed rituals that I define a day’s “success” by.
I just hate that I am the kind of person that can be thrown totally off kilter by my brain for no tangible reason at all.
I hate that I am a walking contradiction.
I want to be whole, inspiring, close, intimate, connected, loving, warm, in control, ambitious. I don’t want to be the type of person that spends their Sundays picking cat hair out of the succulent garden because anxiety brain tells me that it’s the ultimate failure to have anything imperfect in my presence.
I did not want mental illness to become a “theme” of my blog. I want it to be bright, cheerful, inspiring full of life giving words that encourage others to get out there and make what’s important to them happen. I want my fitness journey to encourage others to make positive changes in their life. I want to make people laugh. I want to be a good force in the lives of others. But some days, anxiety controls me. So I guess that means sometimes the part of me I try to shuffle away pours out into here.
It’s a harsh reality to greet: Am I not the sums of my parts?