Being sad is almost comforting. It’s where I’ve been most of my life. I hate it but it’s like I can’t leave it. I’ll drop it in moments I think are worthwhile and pick it back up on my way out. I can’t seem to fill the hole with enough joyful memories to get rid of it. In fact, it ferments the good memories into nostalgia and then it’s simply nothing more than even more sadness.
I’ve only had one moment in my life where I actually said to myself, “wow, I’m actually not sad for once” and at that moment I knew I was in love. Which, is quite an extreme statement for me. Since, I am very much against love most of the time. (I’ll admit, I’m pretty cynical and I, to no surprise, hate it.) But that moment was undeniably true. And yet I still deny it to myself only because it is no longer around. I woke up and and was genuinely as happy as I could be. And I savored it. But not enough to hold on to it. Somehow my mind convinced itself that I was in some sort of trap by believing I was in love and so being myself, I scrambled out of the relationship in terrible fashion. As a matter of fact, I destroyed it.
I will say, that I’ve destroyed many relationships along with the people in it in the process of running away from who knows what. Looking back, I think I was running away from the chance of something mundane, or dull. A lot of times I would wake up and realize how much time I may have wasted doing not as many things as I wish I did. And these days I think those times I may have just woken up into a panic attack that convinced me that everything I felt was because of whatever was on my mind the most at that very moment. I regret realizing that those dull moments surely pass and things can be brought back to life. Usually quite quickly. But nothing could convince my frantic mind at those times.
I know, it sounds crazy. I probably sound crazy. Like many other people, I’m a slave to my mind, to my anxiety. Not all the time, but when I am, it is very overpowering to everything else going on. So much, that it redirects my path of direction in life altogether sometimes. I’m sorry if you relate.
The only thing I’ve done to cope is to cover it up with good feelings. I remember to be grateful and to do something that I usually like. But sometimes it doesn’t work. A lot of the time actually. But I do it anyway.
I was explaining to someone about my substance abuse the other day and why I no longer drink. When I would drink I wouldn’t stop which would lead to me getting into some fight blacked out or hooking up with someone. Or, I would take other things to distract from one or both of those things happening. But in that case it never ends and I just keep wanting more and more in order to keep it at bay. Until finally I crash emotionally and burst into tears because everything inside me is overwhelming.
Sometimes I wish the happiness lasted longer. Or even better, was my actual natural state. Instead of something I was always chasing after.
Lately, I’ve “remembered” how to be happy without substances replacing real happiness. They aren’t hard things to do but they are hard to remember when my emotions and anxiety is so deep and overpowering.
The first thing is breathe. Literally. I take like four slow, deep breathes holding it at the top for a bit and then breathe out slowly. Then that allows for my brain to unclog quite a lot actually. It is so simple but sometimes I wish I had it tattoo’d on my hand to look at when I’m so drowned in pain to remember. Or ya know, just someone to understand when I needed to breathe and tell me to breathe. But that’s a lot to ask for someone to understand the anxious human experience when they haven’t had a relationship with anxiety like I have. As in anxiety ALL the time but controlled so well I seem fine. There’s lots of people like me out there. We are all good at blending in. But believe someone when they say they have anxiety even if it surprises you. They are probably having it rougher than they would ever let you know.
My reasons for hiding my anxiety from the world is: One, I don’t wish for people to worry about me. Two, there’s nothing most people could do even if they did know. Three, in my experience of sharing it with the few people I have, I haven’t actually gotten very friendly or understanding responses back. People seem to deny that I am unhappy when I am smiling. Or that I am anxious when I have certain “good” things happening in my life. But its not like two positives cancel out a negative. That’s not how things work. Things aren’t connected quite like that all the time. But there’s enough anxious people to relate to at this point. I’m sure we can help heal each other in bits and pieces over time.