I have so much going on in my life that I’ve wanted to share with you. So many recipes I want to write up, and even start making videos for. I still need to finish blogging about our trip to San Francisco, but I have half finished posts sitting in my drafts pile for weeks and weeks that I can’t get motivated to get to.
I came across a blog post just yesterday that just hit the nail on the head for how I’ve been feeling with my anxiety. I’d been managing well with my anxiety, but it really exacerbated in December leading up to Christmas. The author of the blog post writes:
Anticipation makes it worse. It gives me more time to analyze. Find fault. Create conclusions. Believe things that haven’t even happened. Or may not even occur. Time generates false truths. What does that mean? It means in my head, I have decided how it will all conclude. It means in my head, I have already decided what someone else is thinking or feeling. Because in my head, the disease turns it around so I am at fault. I am less. I am not enough. I am not worthy.
I can relate to her words so much, and it helps to know that what I am feeling really is anxiety and it’s not all made up and fake.
We had a major change in our life this year at Christmas. All of December I worried about it. I over-analyzed. I assumed what people were thinking. I literally woke up with nausea from worrying every.single.morning for weeks. I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t eating. I assumed that if someone did ‘this’ then they would feel ‘that’ about me. It is my fault this is happening. I must have said or done something. What did I say? What did I do? I need to apologize. I need to make it right. There’s got to be something I can do to fix it. I concluded with no evidence that they must feel a certain way or this wouldn’t be happening. FIX IT, Sarah! FIX IT!
That’s how my brain was functioning all of December leading up to Christmas, and it was exhausting. I’ve felt a huge amount of satisfaction with the pressure of my anxiety releasing since Christmas has come and gone. My rational, healthy brain came back once that big expectation of the holidays passed, and I promised myself that it wasn’t my fault. I promised myself that there was nothing more that I could do, and that it’s not realistic or expected of me to fix or change things.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from living through the trauma of having a very sick father die from alcoholism, it’s that you cannot force people to change any more than you can force a flower to bloom. Flowers only bloom when they are ready and people only change when they are ready. Some people in your life may stay flower buds for eternity. I can try to provide an ideal environment and care for those buds to bloom, but ideally it’s up to them and not me. Sometimes you need to nip relationships in the bud for self-preservation.
This is my biggest “thing” to accept and realize going into this new year: I cannot force people or situations to change, and I have to let go and let it be. It’s a really, REALLY hard thing for me to do, and an even harder concept for me to accept, but I am doing my best and it feels very good to let it go. It almost feels like giving up, but when you have no expectations of people or situations, they can’t hurt you anymore. Even if hurting you wasn’t their intention in the first place, but that’s what my anxiety does to me and my thought processes.