I had a really shit morning this morning. But for now, I’m going to talk about something else.
I’ve been trying cognitive behavioral therapy stuff over the past week or two. Getting myself to be nicer to myself and stuff. This is hard for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, it makes me feel crazy. I already knew I was generally the sort to be hard on myself, but holy shit, itemizing the ways in which I am makes me feel absolutely insane. There are so many. Fucking everywhere. WHO DOES THIS?! WHO IS THIS UNREASONABLE WITH THEMSELVES ALL THE TIME?! Perhaps this is a good thing, though. It’s harder to justify being a dick to yourself when really looking at how often you are a dick to yourself makes you feel insane.
Second, paradoxically, I think I’m afraid of not being anxious. Anxiety is a natural state for me. Obsessive “You must always know and do exactly the right thing at all times”-ism is a natural state for me. Peeking out from that is scary. You think there must be some *reason* you’re always anxious about everything, so if you’re not anxious, something must be *wrong*. I’ve had the conversation more than once in my life where I talk about being obsessed to the point of unhealthiness with being a good person, and someone else says “But you obviously are a good person, you don’t need to worry about it so much”, and I respond, “What if I only am because I worry about it so much? What if without that worrying keeping me in line, I’m really a total dick?”
Third, I think I am afraid of that sometimes. It’s not just the reflexive “Anxiety is home, you are leaving home, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!” It’s that I genuinely get nervous about who I would be if I weren’t obsessively hard on myself all of the time. If I weren’t always asking if I’d done the right thing, how would I know if I’d done the right thing? I honestly don’t know how people do it, because this is the only way I’ve ever done it.
Also, I think this whole experience is forcing me to realize how much I define my worth as a friend by my ability to be supportive of others. Asking for help and support from people is something I find utterly terrifying. Piling on top of that my having to communicate the manner of support that is the most helpful to me (which my brain helpfully interprets as roughly equivalent to “Oh, you’re doing me a favor? WELL YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG, YOU FUCKNUT, HOW DARE YOU?!”), and I’m…having some challenges in that department. Everyone keeps insisting that they want to help and I keep being afraid that I’m just a drain on everyone and that people will get tired of helping me before I get better, and then what was the point of asking for help in the first place?
That is a hard fear to beat. AFGO.