Move Over Bridget Jones

I’ve been staring at my screen for a really long time. I know that I want to say something, but I really don’t know what it is I’m trying to articulate. Whilst I try to gather my thoughts and reach some rationality, I think I’ll write down my perceptions. 

So I’m sitting on my bed, surrounded by folders, the book I am currently reading, an empty diet coke bottle, a bike lock and my house keys. I realise now that for the past half an hour it has been really bothering me that the cover of my book is bent, yet I haven’t done anything about it. There is an irritating banging outside of which I can’t identify the source. My calendar is still on March, I keep meaning to change that. My record player is open, but no record is currently playing. The window is a-jar because I was too hot. Closing it would mute the mysterious banging, but cause the feeling of ‘hot’ to increase. I know that sentence is hideously ungrammatical, but it sort of makes sense I think. Closing the window would shut out one sensory frustration, but enhance another. I think that sums up how I’ve been feeling recently. I manage to keep one aspect of my life under control, but in doing so another aspect falls drastically to pieces. In fact I feel like that is a line from Bridget Jones. I am essentially Bridget Jones. Anyway, back to being hot. So I suppose in the English language, my previous sentence should read “Closing it would mute the mysterious banging, but intensify the heat of the room”, or something to that effect. Syntax aside, I mean what I initially said. The “hot” feeling that I am describing isn’t a feeling of uncomfortable temperature per se, but rather an uncomfortable state of being which physically manifests itself through my body temperature. I am too warm, yes, but it’s not just external factors that are causing my body temperature to rise. When I begin to get anxious, my thoughts begin to muddle and jumble. I wonder if this happens to other people too? I imagine it does. The process of untangling these thoughts is mentally quite draining and more often than not I am unsuccessful in the task anyway. Then I start to panic about what I should be doing, what I’m not doing, if I should be doing something that I don’t know I should be doing. Heat rises and rises within me until I am far too “hot” and I open the window. 

Imagine you are watching this happen to me. I’ve just opened the window. The only reason you know that I am uncomfortable in my current state is because I’ve opened the window. If you were to touch my skin it wouldn’t be alarmingly warm, take my temperature and it would probably remain normal and chances are I wouldn’t be sweating. This is what I mean. I am hot for a long time before I am physically too hot. From observing me open the window you can infer that I was feeling uncomfortably warm and so have opened the window to counteract this discomfort. What you cannot observe is the inner turmoil, the reason that I have become too hot, and finally that in opening that window I have lessened one discomfort and welcomed another (the noise, the germs). Unless you are one of very few individuals, I would then smile and moan about how hot and stuffy the room is. 

Good so all i’ve established is that the reason I open windows is because I’m too hot. Insightful. What I’m trying to get at is that depression is relentless. Anxiety is more so. As soon as one ‘worry’, ‘anxiety’, ‘toxic thought’, ‘reason for hopelessness’ is put to bed, another one immediately takes its place. 

There are a mixture of ‘sections’ that make up my mind. Sometimes one part is ok, and the other isn’t. Sometimes a different part is ok but another isn’t. Sometimes all the parts feel sort of ok. Sometimes all the parts feel very not ok.

My Mind: 08/04/16

Things that are ok in my mind:

  1. The ‘University work’ section 
  2. The ‘Part time job’ section
  3. The ‘Family’ section
  4. The ‘Friend’ section

Things that are less ok:

  1. The ‘Volunteering’ section
  2. The ‘Future’ section
  3. The ‘What-if’ section
  4. The ‘Away from York’ section

Good. So that is how my mind looks today, at this exact moment in time. I feel on top of my university work, I love my job, my friends and my family. I feel particularly anxious about aspects of the voluntary work I do. I am phenomenally anxious about the future (this is not actually something that tends to make its way over to the ‘less ok’ part of my mind – I like to think everything happens for a reason so I tend not to worry about the future, but today at this moment its not ok). I suppose that the ‘what if’ section of my mind has fallen into the ‘less ok’ section in conjunction with the future section. Sometimes I can answer my anxiety’s relentless ‘what if’ questions with rational answers. Today, right now, not so much. The fourth one is pretty much exclusive to the ‘less ok’ category. York has become my safe place. The connections I have, the familiarity, the atmosphere, the routine. That one will never enter the ‘ok’ part of my mind. 

I think what I wanted to say in this post was this:

I am frustrated. There is always an element of life that is ‘less ok’ than others, and at the time it feels like that is the worst possible element to be subpar. Having said that, I can still acknowledge that there are other parts of my life/my mind that are ok and I appreciate that. I suppose its important to acknowledge the ‘less ok’ things, as long as that acknowledgment is accompanied by a plan of action. A plan of how to make those things ok. So, here we go, I’m going to make a plan so that those things will be ok. Then I will look back on this when I feel phenomenally low to remind myself that anything that is ‘less than ok’ can be made ok with a good plan and a bit of time. Currently the things in my ‘not ok’ list are relatively valid anxieties. That doesn’t mean I’m going to let them rule me. In this instance, I think the most appropriate thing to do is to just stop. Stop fretting about the future, what happens if xyz, what if I have to leave York. Right now, that doesn’t matter, that is not happening and worrying about it isn’t going to change anything. I am addressing my future as much as I am able to currently, and I am striving to stay in York, that is all I can do for now and I should accept that. As for volunteering, I am going to pick up the phone right now and sort that. 

So before I chicken out of this phone call, I’ll end this post. I needed to establish what felt wrong, and I think I’ve made a good start. Now I can start establishing what needs to be done to make things feel right. 

Whilst I do that, I’d love it if you could watch this video. This man is an inspiration, and his message is an important one. 

Thank you X

Oh and ps – don’t worry, i’ve flattened out the bend in my book.