Wednesday, May 10, 2017

I'm doing "The Thing" again

There are days where I'm just going along - feeling pretty good, getting stuff done, thinking about nothing in particular, or, at least nothing majorly negative - and then something, some little, tiny, itty bitty thing happens and suddenly I'm in a funk.

Then, I start to do "The Thing."

Those of you with anxiety issues will understand completely.

The Thing: "I'm a terrible person. No one likes me. I can't do anything right. I might as well just not even try..." and on and on and on. The whirlwind of negative self-thoughts and suddenly I'm spiraling downward; out of control.

OK - so a non-anxiety sufferer might say, "You shouldn't feel that way!" or some other well-intended, meant-to-be-bolstering statement. But it's not like I can turn it off; it's not as simple as that. Especially when coupled with depression! It's a self-hate, self-loathing thing that goes far beyond just feeling bad. I'm not a Gloomy Gus.

I try very hard not to take unintended slights, negative comments, or "constructive" criticism personally. But when you feel as I do, those things - casually tossed about - can create havoc within me.

Another thing, I am not an angry person by nature. When I lash out, it's usually because I've used up every ounce of my energy "faking it" to get through my day. My poor family tends to get the brunt of my Evil Alter Ego. I guess it's true that sometimes you hurt the ones you love the most. But after making sure I am a solid professional during the day, and kind and caring, and giving to others, I really don't have too much left to give. And home is my Safe Zone. Or, it's supposed to be. So when I get home and I'm surrounded by NEED (kids need me, hubby needs me, laundry needs to be done, animals need whatever they need in their needy way,) and I'm just done. I've literally got nothing left to give; I'm empty.

I feel awful when my kids want me - need me - and I love them dearly but sometimes it's all I can do to respond in a normal voice. Mostly, I want to screech, "JUST LEAVE ME ALONE FOR 5 MINUTES, WILL YA?!" - and have been known to do just that. I've calmly asked for 10 minutes of time when I get home just to settle; to arrange my mood and transform from Work Jen to Mom & Wife Jen. It's a definite transition. 10 minutes NEVER happens.

So, when I'm sharp with my words, or short with my responses, or snappish - it's probably not you, it's probably me. Granted, sometimes it legitimately might be you, but probably not.

Still one other thing to consider. I once took that Five Love Languages quiz and discovered that my Love Language is - STRONGLY - "Acts of Service." I don't need physical touch or contact, I don't need gifts, I don't need words of affirmation. But if you do something for me - unselfishly - I will respond to that. Do the dishes? Oh, be still my heart! (Seriously!) Clean your room? I could KISS you! (And probably will!) Bring me a hot tea when I'm not feeling great and haven't asked for one? So freaking awesome! Run me a hot bath and make me sit there for 20 minutes after a tough day. You know, nothing major. Just little things. But that, above nearly anything else in this world, will make me feel loved; feel better.

Yeah - the minor slight that set me on my downward spiral earlier has eased off a bit. It was stupid anyway and I know it.


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