date: not today
journal: trying to understand anxiety
I don't know if I'm actually overwhelmed or just shy. Everyone is chatting, or dancing and I am not doing much of either. Some great one on one conversations, but mainly only when someone approaches me. Maybe I'm not wanting to dance because I just don't want to, or I am trying to be proactive in preventing a possible trigger, or maybe I am afraid of being embarrassed. I'm not sure.
Part of me feels fine, then part of me wants to just space out to block out the noise and lights. I wish Alejandro was here, but he was too tired, which I understand. A car alarm is going off, cars driving behind me, a live band. people dancing. A lot is happening.
I know I am feeling like this right now and I will not feel like this later. I will probably try to retract all these statements because there are certain things I don’t like to remember. I lie compulsively about stupid shit. The kind of stupid shit no one would ever remember I told them one way or another. Saying I ate breakfast when I didn't. A lot of the time it's an attempt to appease people and make them feel more comfortable with who they imagine me to be. I don’t even mean to do it, it just happens. Maybe I don’t believe that my truth is valuable.
I second guess everything that I choose to do. No matter what it is. If I want to watch a movie, what do I watch? If I want to write an article, I can’t because I second guess my efforts and ideas. Everything.
When I paint my nails, I can hardly pick a color. I want to use them all. It’s the same when I’m deciding what to eat or draw or edit or write or watch. With too many choices, I can’t make one. I don’t think I’ve always been so indecisive, but I certainly am now. I think so much about my options that I give myself a headache. It is overwhelming and ridiculous. I don’t stress this much over big decisions like moving to another country on another continent. Why can’t I chill out and just do something? I'm just trying to understand anxiety.
I’ve always sought extreme change and even when I did research and figured out the pros and cons, I still chose extreme paths that no one seemed to understand let alone approve of. I sought constant change, afraid of getting comfortable and having it all ripped out from under me. That comes from a place of fear. So much fear and ego. A lot of ego. I wanted to sculpt my life in a certain way. I still do. I’ve always felt a need to resolve conflict immediately. The anxiety of an unresolved conflict is too much to handle. And since that isn’t possible most of the time, I run away. I hide from the people and places that bore witness to the conflict.
I know one of the many reasons I used to drink, because it loosened my decision-making inhibitions and I didn’t obsess over my choices. Until I drank too much. Even though it’s hard to feel these feelings, the truth of my experience is that it is much less than painful now than when I was only masking the sorrow and self-hate.
20 August 2018
By Kristance Harlow