A Bad Day

He has flaws, but his are manageable. The things that are wrong with you will never be fixed.

Everything about you is fucked up. You can’t do anything right. Your body is disgusting. You have no follow through. You are fat and ugly because you are lazy. You are stupid. You have no worth.

Your ex was right. You are hard to love. You are crazy.

The second he sees that, he’s going to leave. He’s going to realize that he deserves so much better than you. You deserve to be alone.

You’re never going to get anywhere.

Everyone hates you.

You deserve it.

You deserve it.

You deserve it.

Inhale.

It’s all true. Accept it. Let it be true.

Exhale.

Keep breathing.

-HH

Used Up and Hollowed Out

Sunday  morning I woke up knowing a Bad Day was on the horizon. I thought it was that day; I woke up already thinking about the seemingly never ending list of things I felt needed to be completed that day.

I think maybe my Bad Day was today, instead.

The constant low-grade state of anxiety I live in is manageable. And when it gets overwhelming, it usually feels like a freight train in my ears. I can deal with this in two ways: complete everything on the list that’s pushing buttons that’s sending the train into my head or turn the system off completely. In other words, I’m extremely productive, or I sleep.

Yesterday I was extremely productive, so I thought today I would wake up feeling ready to take on the world.

But today, instead, a Bad Day, feels exhaustive. I wrote out of my list of things To Do After Class:

  • oil change
  • read and respond to an assignment for Education Philosophy
  • read for History
  • attend an event for my frat at 7
  • attend an event for my frat at 8
  • kiss my boyfriend in front of the Bell Tower in order to start Valentine’s Day off right

And it doesn’t seem that awful. Half of those things even seem enjoyable. But my body, and brain, can barely get past the oil change. I’m sitting outside my last class of the day, now, and my brain doesn’t even feel ready for that.

I had three tests last week. I have two tests this week. I’m in a constant state of concern about…well, everything.

My brain is shutting down. Nothing about me feels capable anymore. I spent all weekend supposedly relaxing–playing video games, eating, doing no hard thinking. But somehow I still feel exhausted, used up, a hollow form of myself.

But I will complete my To Do list. I will go to bed when I am tired. I will go to class tomorrow.

I will Rinse and Repeat until my brain actually feels Clean.

-HH

Phase 10: 4 Sets of Finals and 1 Week-Long Panic

I knew I was going to write today–and, around 6 o’clock this evening, I thought I knew what I was going to write about.

I wanted to talk about dating someone who’s your polar opposite. About finding balance, if you can, or if you’re doomed. About when is too early to start talking about things if you know they’re going to be problematic later?

And then the rest of my night happened. And now I want to talk about dating while having anxiety. Actually–I kind of just want to talk about existing with anxiety.

The thing about anxiety is that once one thing sends you into a tizzy–once those cyclic, obsessive, negative thoughts start–it’s really hard to get out of it. Which is to say everything triggers those thoughts.

Last time I was in a relationship while having anxiety, I wasn’t fully immersed in it yet. I didn’t know what was going on, just that sometimes I needed to cry and hyperventilate and pick at my skin because I felt like I was going to crawl out of it anyway. I’ve spent the past year being single and discovering all of my anxiety on my own.

“My own” being operative words here. See, this semester I have people. I have more people than I know what to do with. People who snapchat me, who ask me to lunch, who invite me over, or to hangout, who call me, who walk me back to my dorm, who ask me (before they ask anyone else) to study with them. I didn’t have people before. I had me, my anxiety, Cameron, and my Roommate. And the only person who actually dealt with my anxiety was my anxiety.

I thought that having people would make me feel amazing, wanted, assured. And it does, to an extent.

But I’m discovering recently that there is such a thing as having Too Many People. Especially when you’re just getting into a relationship.

I’ll be honest, I don’t understand why ‘normal’ people date people like me. Why they find joy in being with someone who second guesses everything about the relationship, who misreads (and over analyzes) every conversation or glance, who goes down one road assuming they’re being followed–when, really, it turns out you’re not even in the same neighborhood. It’s exhausting, I’d imagine. I’m exhausting.

So I’m overwhelmed a lot, recently, because I’m trying to figure out what’s worth bringing up, what’s not crazy to analyze or question. It doesn’t help that my Boyfriend and I got together two weeks before Finals.

I will (probably) receive my first ever F in a class this semester. I’ve been secretly harboring a lot of feelings over it: shame, embarrassment, guilt, anger, disappointment, and anxiety.

On top of all that, because it was Finals Week, all my People wanted to study with me, or take lunch breaks to eat with me. And I love my People. I do. But even Not-Exhausting People get Exhausting when you stress the way I stress while having anxiety the way I have anxiety.

My Boyfriend doesn’t get my anxiety in that he doesn’t personally understand it. He listens, and does what I ask him to in order to help me calm down. He’s perspicacious, and attentive–he knows I’m tired before I know I’m tired, knows I’m hungry before I voice it, knows when I’m asleep or just pretending, knows why I’m giggling at nothing. He’s known since I arrived at his apartment that my anxiety levels were high.

“If you don’t want to go, tell me now,” he said as he pulled on a hoodie. We were going to play a card game at a friend’s. I knew everyone that would be there, but I was already dreading walking into the house. He’s the type that can go all night, though. He loves people. And we’ve both been so stressed with Finals. I wanted him to have fun.

So we went. And I did have fun! We played Phase 10, and I lost (terribly) but it was okay.

My Big texted (and Snapchatted) me while I was there. She kept asking if I was okay (because of my F) and how I was feeling (because I was socializing) and what was I going to do about the fraternity camping trip this weekend and she loved me and was I sure I was okay? And I felt bombarded. Too cared for. I thought I wanted to be coddled, but I really wanted to be left alone.

Then we arrived back at his apartment, and as I started doing a coconut oil treatment in my hair, my Boyfriend offered Taco Bell. We bickered as we discussed what I wanted.

“You’re really complicated,” he grumbled as he sat down. “Has anyone ever told you that?”

And, no, they hadn’t. But I have. Plenty of times.

I worry that my complicated will be too much. That he thinks the anxiety is endearing now, but will get sick of it soon. That he can leave the anxiety and me without thought–which, he can. It’s just frustrating because I can’t.

I don’t like being anxious like this. I wish I could stop apologizing every time I think I’ve done something wrong. I wish I stopped thinking everything I did was bothersome. I wish I didn’t feel like the world is ending because of an F. I wish I wasn’t thinking about skipping out on something I have been buzzing for because the thought of three days of socializing with no breaks is absolutely terrifying.

I wish I wasn’t like this.

I wish I knew what I wanted. From my Big I wanted Space. From my Mom I wanted Space. From my Friends I wanted Space. From my Boyfriend I wanted to be reassured. There is no consistency.

No method to the madness.

But Finals Week is over. I just took a hot shower. I don’t have to decide to go camping until noon tomorrow, and I had nachos for dinner.

I’m hiding in the back room while he watches a movie with friends. The bed is warm, and the outside is cold. It’s almost Christmas.

There is still good. I still have good left.

-HH

Not What You Got, It’s What You Give

I am not the girl who gets–not the boy, the joke, the invite, the crown. If there are three things in my life I know to be true, that’s one of them.

The other two?

Karma and Soulmates.

Karma’s a pretty easy one for me: you receive from the universe what you put out into it. My life may not better or worse than it was when I was sixteen, but I’m a lot happier now because I’m a lot less angsty–and, so, it feels a lot better.

Soulmates is a little harder, because my views on it have changed. I used to think you only had one soulmate. That they were your Forever. But I think it’s probably (a lot) more complicated than that.

There’s Binta. She’s my Soulmate. She’s been my best friend since sixth grade and she gets me so well I usually introduce her as my sister, or my soulmate–not my friend. She and I have suffered through enough similar traumas that we have always inherently understood each other.

Then there’s Kayla. She’s my Soulmate. She’s also my polar opposite. She grew up in a progressive, religious, lower upper class household with two parents who’ve been married since college. She has always known privilege in ways I never will, and she is my best friend. On an intellectual level, we’ve always understood each other.

Then there’s N.A.U.L. Or–Mark. He’s my Soulmate. I used to think I was gonna spend my life with him. But over the past two months I’ve realized why we have built and maintained our friendship.

He reminds me of my dad. He has a lot of the same addiction problems. He ignores his feelings the way my dad did. He’s what my dad would’ve been like if my dad had had me in his life.

Which is to say–better.

I love him because he needs me. Because if I was not there to be his Panic Attack Battle Buddy, to talk him down from suicidal thoughts, to listen when he wants to talk about his problems–he would be dead. And so I do the only thing I know how to do in response to a situation like that. I open my heart and I love. I love him. But–and this had taken me awhile to understand–I am not in love with him.

I am not the girl who gets. I give. Unconditionally and to a fault.

I have so many pieces of me that I’m willing to give that it doesn’t even make sense that I would have only one Soulmate. There are so many parts of me to give. It’s hard to do that, to want that One Soulmate Forever Meant to Be, when you feel like you don’t get anything in return.

Recently I’ve been getting. I’ve been feeling valued. I’ve been finding value in myself. And having it reinforced from others.

It’s been amazing. And weird. I spend time with people I care about because I want to, and because I feel like they want to be around me. But when I leave them, my anxiety spikes. Should I have said what I did? Should I have done that? Do they think I’m annoying now? Should I just stop participating?

But I don’t. I’ll keep trying. Because I think I might be getting.

And it feels pretty damn good.

-HH

P.S. Thank you Tesla (the band) for my koala-tea blog-post-title.

Exhaustion and Therapy and Anxiety

I (probably) should go to therapy. (No shit, says anyone who’s read all my posts.)

There’s only so much introspection one person can do before they realize that their thoughts aren’t normal.

I realized, when I was a Junior in high school, that it wasn’t normal to daydream about dying. That was a pretty life changing moment. I was on the bus. It was morning. I realized that not everyone had those thoughts, that they were probably intrusive and unhealthy.

I’ve realized recently that most people probably don’t have obsessive and intrusive thoughts about the bridge they’re driving over collapsing beneath them.

Tonight I realized my approach to starting new (romantic) relationships is probably not healthy. It is probably obsessive.

I don’t think that knowing the source of my problems will solve things. I’m sure it has something to do with my Daddy Issues and fear of being abandoned. I’m sure my self esteem problems, unhealthy relationship with food, general self hate, and overall anxiety about social situations all stem from traumatic childhood bullshit.

I don’t care about why I’m broken. I care about fixing it.

I realize this is probably a part of the problem.

I really like this guy in my frat. I also don’t know how to approach romantic things. It’s been almost two years since I tried to be romantically involved with someone. Several people have told me I’ve been reading too much into everything and that it’s “Chill. Just chill.” I don’t know how to explain to them that chilling or non-analysis is not how I function.

I don’t understand people. I think that’s why I’m so honest all the time. It’s my motto that if I’m honest with people, people will be honest with me. If they’re honest with me and I know I can trust them, then I don’t have to worry about understanding social cues or reading body language or overanalyzing one interaction or statement or facial expression. I notice everything. I have to.

Learning that not everyone will be as honest with me as I am with them has been difficult. It hasn’t stopped me from being honest, though. Do I start keeping things to myself? Is that the solution?

Mostly I just want to give up on this thing before it even starts. I’m physically exhausted from thinking about it. Not because he exhausts me, but rather because I am exhausting myself.

I am exhausting.

I’ve been thinking that maybe therapy would help me understand what a healthy relationship is. All healthy relationships. With myself, my friends, my family, my prospective partners. I don’t know how they work. I don’t understand how to achieve them.

Explaining that to my mother will be hard. She’s never been very understanding. Or good at listening. We usually just end up yelling at each other.

This is not a well written post. Tonight I’ve done everything I could think of to deal with my anxiety. I’ve colored, cleaned, done a face mask. I drank water, took my vitamins, I danced to Eminem. Nothing has helped. I thought writing would. My shoulders still feel tense, my heart still thumping, my skin still tingly, my body still thrumming for something to make me feel less like I need to scream.

Maybe I should make the appointment soon.

-HH

Anxiety Sucks. Period.

Today started off bad.

Last night was great! I spent time with a lot of different people, but I didn’t feel overwhelmed by them. I cuddled a puppy, ate a cake ball, and I got to ride around and see new places. For several hours I got to escape the anxiety which has been overwhelming me all week. I got back to my dorm, ignored the mess I’ve let overcome my room, and got into bed.

Then I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I got up at 10, which is the norm for me on weekends, and I had breakfast. I came back to  my dorm, once again overwhelmed by the mess I’ve accumulated, and crawled into bed. I didn’t crawl out of bed until 3:30.

Saturdays have been great this year. I have breakfast, I get ready, and I tailgate. I don’t drink, but I get to hangout with people that I, usually, know don’t hate me and I can leave whenever I please and overall it’s a positive experience.

Today I didn’t tailgate. It took me two hours to de-clutter my desk and organize my groceries–and not because there was a lot to clean, but because every time I touched something I felt overwhelmed by its existence.

Anxiety isn’t fun. I decided to YouTube some self care videos, because they always help me calm down and make me feel less alone. I stumbled upon one which called anxiety “something that keeps me safe.” I don’t know why, exactly, but it made me angry.

I understand silver linings, I do. I’m at a point in my life where I work to find them in every situation. But there is no silver lining to anxiety.

There is no enjoying the constant feeling like every person I’ve met thinks I’m awful. There is no enjoying hating myself every time I open my mouth because I’m convinced that whatever I’ve said has made the people I’m with hate me. There is no enjoying being unable to leave my dorm room.

Last night I tried to explain it to a friend of mine–that I’m not joking when I say I think people hate me. That I say it as a joke because I can’t control it coming out of my mouth but I don’t want people to feel bad for me or, worse, think I’m weird or, worst, actually grow to hate me because of it. And he didn’t have much to say in response. He was distracted. I don’t fault him for that. We’re not that close.

I used to think I was feeling anxious for attention. That I wanted people to look at me so I pretended to feel overwhelmed. Which, in turn, made me hate myself more.

Why couldn’t I have just come out normal?

I think my anxiety confuses people with whom I try to discuss it. I’m introverted. I have social anxiety. But I’m also loud, and talkative. In the right settings, with the right people I seem completely normal. So when I try to say, “Hey, you know, I have to leave because there are more than ten people here now and it’s making me want to cry.” All I can actually say is, “I’m going to go, I got a headache.”

Because nobody says anything against a headache.

“It’s just us that’s there,” people in my frat say.

My anxiety doesn’t care about who you are to me, I want to scream.

My social anxiety has been almost impossible to talk about. I’m angry that I developed it in such a social and evolutionary part of my life. There is no positive spin on it. It sucks. Clean and simple.

It took me two hours but I cleaned up my room. Tonight I will recharge, because tomorrow I have to spend hours around people again.

Maybe tomorrow will be better.

-HH