The post I did earlier about not knowing what date it is got me thinking about my brain. Thinking about my brain with my brain: mind blown.
I've noticed a lot of Groupthink posters seem to have mental health issues, and I'm glad to be in an environment where such things can be spoken of openly and candidly. When I hear other crazy people describe what they are going through, it gives me a sense of relief. Not in the sense of "Oh, there are others out there like me, I must not be that strange" so much as "Oh, so it's not normal worry to constantly worry about one thing to the point that it paralyzes you from acting." My problem has always been establishing a baseline: I don't know how seriously messed up I am, because my sense of normal is all messed up. It's only by hearing other people explain what they're going through that I at least get a sense of what normal is not.
This post, for instance. I start to think, am I coming across as a jerk? A mansplainer? A pompous ass? One of those jerkasses who is constantly acknowledging his own jerkassedness so that his audience will say, oh PhDad, you're not a jerkass, but deep inside, I know that I really am a jerkass? What if I really offend someone? What if I get kicked off the site? Or someone doxxes me and my employers find out that I like to say "fuck" on the internet a lot and no college will ever hire me and I'll lose my insurance and Ted Cruz will defund Obamacare and... I could go on.
I mean that literally: I. Could. Go. On. All. Fucking. Night.
If there is nothing to be anxious about, I will come up with something. My anxiety can be summed up with one line of dialogue from Star Wars: "I can imagine a lot." It's awesome to have an overactive imagination; it makes daydreaming a lot more interesting. But it sucks when all I can imagine is what bad thing is going to happen next.
This anxiety really limits my ability to get stuff done. The more anxious I am about something, the more I try to avoid it. Like calling my mom. I'll go a few days without calling her, and then a few days more, and by that point, I don't want to call her because I know that the conversation will be about how I don't call her.
Sometimes, it feels like my depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety are teaming up to beat up my motivation. I wish I could draw; that would make a pretty cool caricature.
The good news is, I'm working on it. I'm getting help, and I will probably be doing an outpatient therapy program in December (I would do it now, but there is just too much going on. I don't think I can tackle my stress problems by adding new stress to my life).
And every day I get through is another day I've gotten through. I have a family that loves me, and that counts for a lot. Maybe I'll figure out that normal thing at some point.