Yesterday I had a downward spiral that I watched happen every step. And I need your help figuring it out.
It started because I’m exhausted. That’s the first step these days. Then I found out that O.J. Simpson is getting parole. And I felt sick. Because not only was he free to roam, but he is moving to my town. Then Chester Bennington hung himself.
My chest tightened and a bowling ball found its usual place in my stomach.
I react to current events more than I should. During the election, I had to retreat from social media because I couldn’t handle it. It was making me sick to the point I could vomit if I had any food in my stomach to being with. Even if it doesn’t affect me directly, things make me sick. I hate it.
I arrived to my second job’s office after working 8 hours at the café. I had to drop off my invoice for the house I cleaned last week, as well as a check.
You see, I’m thoughtless and careless. I make mistakes and poor choices constantly. The ammunition towards my confidence is infinite.
I deposit my checks through my phone. I took my pictures like always, and while it was processing I decided to get ahead of the game and write void all over it. And as you have probably already guessed, one of the pictures was too blurry. So I had to get in touch with my boss for a new check.
When it happened, I was totally cool about it. I knew what the solution was immediately, and we didn’t need the money right away.
But as I sat in my car at the office holding the check and invoice in my hand, I noticed how crumpled and dirty the check was. I tried straightening it out, but I wasn’t successful. There were shoe prints and unknown markings from being in the floor of my car. I was already ashamed that I was such an idiot the week prior, now people can really tell how much of a literal mess I am.
I turn the check in and get home and can’t stop thinking about it. While this is happening I’m intermittently making social media posts about my feelings, and quickly deleting them after.
Are they laughing?
The people in the office, the world at my thoughts? Are they laughing?
I tried to analyze my thoughts and feelings. I tried to isolate and demolish them. I was unsuccessful. So I road it out.
O.J getting parole elicited some type of fear in me. Not for myself, I don’t think I am in any danger. I don’t think O.J is going to come into my house and murder me and my fiancé. But the idea that injustice was so publicly served and someone who has all but admitted murder is comfortably moving to my town unsettled me.
I mean, murders happen all the time around me. Four last year in a five mile radius from my home that I heard about. But something is different about this one.
He has always been this idea of a charismatic monster. Something that has always been terrifying to me. And it became more real. Just long enough to spark something.
Then there was the suicide which was so real to me. It broke my heart because I wondered ,”did no one listen?” “Did anyone care?” How depression and addiction can latch on to anyone. I keep telling myself it will get better when my circumstances changed. But it doesn’t seem like that is the case. And that scares me.
This fear that was sparked in my brain ignited all of the paranoia embers that glow in the base of my mind. Like a fiery snowball effect, every fear that crossed my mind was magnified and turned real.
The thing that is so tricky is my real fear is identical to my delusional fear. So when they happen at the same time, I automatically compare them and recognize it all as reality. It also just reaffirms my delusional fear in isolated situations, because I am recalling to real fear for comparison and it all feels the same.
So my mind doesn’t stop, I worry and fret over everything. I’m sure I’m correct. My anxiety is my protection, right? Better safe than sorry?
I scrambled to research how to tell the difference between paranoia and fear. Of course I did. Instead of looking inward, I reached for research. And the advice that I saw the most was “paranoia isn’t based on reality, while fear is.”
Seriously? Has anyone ever talked to someone with a mental illness? We live in a reality that is just like everyone else’s but a little different. Those differences are our weaknesses and the similarities are what confuse us. I don’t know what’s reality. I know what my reality is, and I know it is incorrect. And that’s as far as I have gotten.
I’m glad this happened, and I was able to be in a state of reflection throughout. I now recognize that my paranoia and fear are identical, and I need to figure out how to differentiate the two. Because I am sure that much of my anxiety stems from fear. It actually was used for protection in caveman days. It just makes sense.
So if anyone has any insight on dealing with fear, I’d greatly appreciate it.