This was a very difficult post for me to write but is one I felt was important…
So much of my life is interior. My interior life is a funny thing. I wish to share a brief glimpse into it with you. To those around me I can be the very life and soul of the party and I can be a calming presence amidst the storms and uncertainty of life. I can be the ear which is ever open and ready to listen to anyone who brings a worry, concern or something they are joyful for my way. I think generally people enjoy being around me…at least I hope they do. They tell me they do. There’s nothing I love more than spending time with those that I care for, making new friends, and just enjoying being in the presence of wonderful people. For a brief space of time my gaze can be focussed solely on one person and my every effort, interest and care will be for them. This moment can last for a matter of minutes or perhaps a prolonged period of time.
But when the party is over and you and they are gone everything changes. When I am alone my gaze which previously had been directed at someone else will now turn inward and I cannot help but look at myself. While previously I had been able to see all the good things in another it’s now as though I can suddenly find it easier to identify many negative things about myself…or at least what I perceive to be negative things about myself. This way of internalizing and being anxious about things or people is actually quite pertinent to my faith and is something I can’t seem to stop myself from worrying about. Not to mention the absolutely exhausting feeling when I know I have to go somewhere where there’ll be a large crowd.
Suddenly I find myself worrying. So many times I’ve caught myself walking down the street and worrying about something and then in a moment I’ll stop and ask myself “What was it I was worrying about? I can’t remember…” so then I’ll find something new to worry about. I worry about things I’ve said to other people, things I have done or not done for others. Things I could have done and things I never will be able to. It’s as though my mind is constantly running and scanning the conversations and interfaces of the day and checking if I have made any colossal errors over the course of the day. It’s absolutely exhausting. When I climb into bed at the end of the day I just want to lay my head down and forget about everything I’ve worried about and yet and all something new will pop into my head…of course.
The really difficult thing is in those moments of seeming to really care about someone, when they are gone it is as though my life has lost a certain degree of purpose and meaning. I find myself missing them to an inordinate degree. What more could I have done to let them stay a while longer? What did I say to them that may have upset or offended them? I must have done something. The loneliness at times like this is absolutely excruciating as it feels like I’m being torn between a number of potential directions. In this time it feels as though my heart could actually skyrocket from my chest and go to the one it yearns for in that moment.
This mindset of mine is tricky enough at the best of times but it is particularly difficult now in the epoch of mass social media. Now at the touch of a button or tap of a screen I can view old posts about something I was doing this day x-number of years ago. For me this is incredibly painful because I am instantly brought back to those wonderful moments. I remember how people made me feel in that moment, I remember how grateful I felt to those who made me feel wonderful for a brief spell of time and needed (and then I worry that I didn’t express this to them…naturally!) and I think to myself…I’ll never have it that good again. How could I let that moment pass by? Why do I keep making the same mistakes over and over again? Not only this but I can now view pictures of what other people are up in their life now and see how they’re getting on…everyone else seems to be doing alright. It’s like that old song; everybody’s making it big but me. On top of all this if I send someone a message online or through text I can now archive them and read them back to myself…this can produce any number of feelings, ranging from mild interest, cringing, or absolute absolute pain. It’s so bizarre. I tell myself this is is unhelpful to think like this but it’s very difficult not to.
More often than not it feels as though my day is pieced together with various music scores, soundtracks, individual quotes from films which seem to sum up how I’m feeling. The reason why I write this now is simply to share this brief glimpse into the way my mind works to those that may be interested. Why should anyone be interested? Because it’s good to talk. Of course as soon as I post this I’ll begin to worry about whether or not I should have, or how people will react to it etc. It’s exhausting. I have never sought to hurt another person…seriously my heart quite simply would not allow me to. I think it is for this reason that when I do hurt someone then I feel it in an altogether different way and must do everything I can to try and make it right. It is exhausting. I guess my hope in writing this is that someone else who is struggling with a mindset that internalises and personalises absolutely everything and struggles with their own anxiety will read this and know that they are not alone in their struggle…and if I can listen to you I will. On top of all this I want to thank all my family, friends and indeed followers who have given meaning to my life and provided light in moments of darkness and uncertainty. Never underestimate the importance of your life, particularly in relation to another person’s. Be kind to each other…I know how much I blame myself for (it’s just the way I am) so I can’t imagine how much other people do.
It really is ok not to be ok…by my God it is exhausting. I don’t want to be lonely all the time…Please be good to yourself.