I needed help, and last week I had my first appointment with a psychologist.
It has been a long few months. A hard few months.
I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and it’s glorious.
I’m exhausted, it has been actual work getting to this point but I’m proud of myself.
I’m proud of my ability to ask for help.
It’s something I’ve not always had the strength to do.
It’s not something I’ve always thought of as a strength either. It’s hard not to feel like a burden when things get stormy.
Before I can say things are better, I need to work out how to let go of my need for control. Or at least, the illusion of it.
When Alex was born I was let down. By my mind, by my body, but also by someone who I thought was in this scary journey with me.
It’s ok – we all deal with our own struggles and his demons were his to deal with, his to work through, and he did.
But for a very long time I felt alone.
Being let down hurt.
And so I began planning for the worst case scenario in every situation where I had to rely on someone else. It started with just that someone else, and somewhere along the way became something that happened with everyone.
In every situation that meant relying on someone else, I had a back up plan on how I would deal if something didn’t go the way I was hoping it would go.
And at the time, it helped.
I think it helped me feel a little more in control of the spiralling mess I felt like my life was.
I felt like if I had a plan for when I was inevitably let down again, it would hurt a little less because at least I was prepared.
Back then I needed those back up plans – I needed those worst scenario go to’s more often than I didn’t.
When I met Brent, he was wonderful but his ex put us through a new sort of hell – our first couple of years were both the best years of my life and some of the worst.
Suddenly I found myself needing those plans again – I found myself needing to be braced for the next thing to be thrown our way so as to not be caught off guard. To manage the hurt, the fallout, just so that we could move on to the next thing.
Life isn’t like that now and yet somehow, that planning for disaster in every situation never went away.
It doesn’t make me feel better anymore and it’s not under control anymore either.
It’s a learnt response I can’t shake.
How I’ll deal with the worst possible outcome plays on my mind in an incredibly unhealthy way until the situation is resolved.
While it’s happening, no matter how hard I try, it’s difficult to focus on anything else going on around me.
I’m an anxious mess and it’s such a waste of such a short life, at a time in my life that I should be happiest.
It’s not limited to my personal life anymore either, I have been finding it happening at work too.
I’m good at my job.
My decisions are sound. Backed by logic and are generally the right ones.
The people around me trust me to make them.
My client trusts me based on the success history of these very types of decisions.
So why the unnecessary agony I’m causing myself planning for the moment someone may question my choices??
I don’t know anymore.
Logically, I know that you can’t avoid pain in life.
I understand that you won’t always understand people’s why’s and I understand that you can’t stop people letting you down by planning for it. It doesn’t hurt any less with a back up plan either.
There is so much in life that we can’t control – being prepared for the worst isn’t a good defence mechanism. It’s a good way to drive yourself mad.
I know that.
I’m not really sure how to go about getting past this. It’s something that’ll take time.
Work to retrain my brain.
For now, I am dealing the best way I know how. With motivational posters I’ve found on Pinterest, of course.On desktops, as screen savers, on post it notes all over my desk.
Life being a mystery is part of it’s charm.
I have to find a way of letting it be.
Letting what will happen, happen without a plan. Without always trying to understand other peoples motivations in order to feel like I can maybe control it happening, or not happening again.
Planning for the worst doesn’t make the bad thing any less likely to happen.
All it does is ruin the time in between that could have been spent singing too loudly and little off key to some new country love song while driving to get delicious coffee with your cute as heck husband and two year old who thinks fluffys are just about the best thing in the world…. Or you know, whatever else people do when they’re feeling joyful and not plagued by wild anxiety over something that’s likely to not even play out. 💁
It’s an illusion.