What is a thought? It’s nothing, and it’s everything. It’s intangible, you can’t hold it in your hand, you can’t touch it, you can’t see it, you can’t show it to anyone. But, your thoughts are the entire system you operate on. Every single thing you have, every situation you find yourself in, every action, behaviour or emotion is triggered by the way you think. So, where do our thoughts come from? We spend the longest stint of time dependant on our parents, more than any other species. Human babies are entirely unable to care for themselves. We are not born with the same level of instincts available to us that other living beings are. Our thoughts are sold to us as beliefs from other peoples thinking. The thoughts of our parents, siblings, extended family, friends, teachers etc
We were in for a big Christmas this year, 13 people in total. Some of whom I hadn't yet met. I was given months worth of warning to prepare myself and I did all of the regular things to avoid an overwhelming rush of anxiety come D Day. The plan was that we were headed to a Xmas Eve party with family, which is an hours drive from our house, then to stay in a hotel the night, then to arrive back in the morning for present opening and Xmas lunch.
Knowing all of the answers is easy. I remember being younger and having an answer for anyone about everything. I knew a LOT back then, according to myself anyway. As the old adage goes; the more I learn, the less I know. I have always scrambled around looking for answers, looking for the right answer, more specifically. Believing that there is only one right and one wrong for every situation. I lived in a very black and white world. Now, I see grey. A lot of grey. Now I see the hurt that everyone wears and I realise that it's not just me that feels this way, it's not just me that doesn't have it all figured out. All of us are damaged in some way and no one is perfect. My dream of attaining some level of perfection shattered into a billion pieces, why? because It doesn't exist.
Do I even care if people like me or not? In theory, the answer should be no. In reality, the answer is definitely yes, I do care if you like me, I care even more if you don't like me. I have no idea what type of conditioning causes these feelings but I place the opinions others have of me in a very high place. When I think about it logically, it's bizarre. Allowing people, even people who don't know me to somehow make a judgement call on my worthiness. Yet it has been something I have always felt deeply.
An extroverted introvert. Am I one? Are you one? Confused? Me too. Ever made plans with all the enthusiasm in the world only to change your mind the minute you leave the social situation you are in and wish you hadn't? I often get caught up in a moment and agree to things that I actually would rather not do. Then I have to pain myself to find ways to get out of it.
I’ve always needed a lot of time alone. Maybe this comes from being an only child. Maybe it comes from being an introvert. Sharing a home office this year for a few weeks reminded me how much I need my own space. I realised this very quickly and set about creating a space, just for me.
When my anxiety got worse, it would affect my sleep terribly. I would get into bed early, 8.30-9 pm ready for a great nights sleep, and then the thoughts would start. They were racing through my mind faster than a kid filling up a bag at the lolly pick n mix.
I have been speeding through life, my whole life. Hitting milestones feel as vital to me as oxygen. Chasing the approval of other people was the primary motivator. Often, and ridiculously, I have found myself chasing the approval of people I don't even aspire to be.
I have suffered from anxiety all my life. I had no idea what it was for the first 27-ish years. I thought it was just the way everyone felt all the time. I think it started as social anxiety when I was younger and grew to higher-level anxiety with age and different life experiences—steadily growing with each perceived danger that cropped up. I notice the pattern now, and it seems to come and go, sometimes from triggers but often appearing for no good reason at all. Like a giant zit on your face; it appears all of a sudden, causes havoc and then goes away again.