The Self Doubt Spiral

See, I read that title and it seems like I know what I’m talking about, like it’s a ‘thing’ and I’m just quoting the peer-reviewed hypothesis about people with generalised anxiety and the self doubt that comes with that.

But honestly, I’m just a person stating their own experiences and wondering about how they fit in in the world. True, there is evidence that people with Generalised Anxiety Disorder do have big issues with self-doubt. This just comes with it, and can even get worse once you start to deal with the anxiety.

Your coping mechanisms for anxiety can be based around a lot of double checks:

– Do I really feel validly stressed or am I OVER stressing a small problem?

– Should this situation make me feel this bad or am I over analysing it?

– Was that conversation good or bad or hell, just neutral, and I’m overthinking it for no reason?

So even realising you’re becoming anxious when not necessary involves you doubting your own thoughts and feelings and checking whether they’re valid or not. This adds up to a lot of self-doubt, and sometimes self-doubting your own self-doubt.

Hence the word ‘spiral’.

This can be tricky to get yourself out of and if someone’s come up with a foolproof way of doing so, please, let me know. The only thing that can help me when I’m deep in one of these spirals is lots of happy TV, comfort food, and just letting myself feel whatever I’m feeling. It could be really strong or worrying or angry but if I feel it completely for even a short period of time, it lets me work it through and allows me to let it go just that little bit.

I think it also helps for others to be understanding about how much you can doubt yourself, and try not to pile on when they can and help you deal with it when it happens.

Even coping mechanisms can get you down, even if they are helping you cope at the same time. Dealing with Mental health issues is often a double edged sword, and I’ve never been great with swordplay.

I guess in the end you have to find coping mechanisms to deal with your coping mechanisms and hopefully find a way back to wherever you need to be to feel like yourself again. Good luck.

The minefield of being social

I’ve never been amazing at being social, just ask my very small number of friends, very few of which originate from before University.

But recently I’ve been noticing it more and more. I almost dread being invited on a night out when I feel socially drained (but possibly dread not being invited even more) and try to come up with some plausible excuse when I just can’t handle it on a particular day. You know some people can take the ‘I’m just not up for it’ tonight as a valid reason, but those people who are more extroverted almost see that as an invite to convince you that your reason isn’t good enough and “come on, it’ll be fun!” in its various forms always seems to come out.

It’s not like I don’t understand that it’s said from a good place, and they genuinely are looking out for your best interests and do want you to have fun. It’s not a mean thing, it’s just another thing to combat without having to explain the difference between introverts and extroverts from a chemical level or the psychological ‘spoons’ theory each time. (Look it up)

The again, I’m used to that, and it’s a thing a lot of people have to go through so that’s fine.

The really annoying thing is when you say something that gets an explosive reaction, and have absolutely no clue why it did so. The introverts of the world will probably empathise with this more than most.

Example:

Person A: *says something they think is innocuous*

Person B: Whoa, that’s harsh/gross/what the hell??

Person A: *confused* sorry, what did I say?

Person B (usually): *remains shocked but doesn’t explain what A actually did to get that reaction*

Therefore: Person A doesn’t understand what She/He did wrong and doesn’t learn and cannot avoid doing so again. This causes a lot of stress.

 

Personally, I’ve had this happen to me a few times. Once I even made someone genuinely upset and to this day I have no idea how or why what I said did this. I felt terrible about it yes, but couldn’t say honestly ‘It’ll never happen again’ or even apologise genuinely, since I only count an apology genuine when the person understands what they did that was wrong and I wasn’t able to.

This can be very scary for younger people, my dad for example has had this happen at school once and was extremely unnerved by the experience and still brings it up even now.

I don’t know if this is a side effect of introversion or anxiety and so not understanding the social cues enough or if it’s something that lies more on the sliding scale of Aspergers, but it’s always been something that has annoyed me, namely the lack of explanation on the other person’s part.

How is anyone meant to learn how to act socially if everyone is assumed to know everything instinctively and nothing is explained? I get learning from your mistakes, but part of that is understanding what the actual mistake was, right?

 

Of course there are nice social aspects, from all sides. I may not enjoy being around lots of people or ‘going out’ in any large dose, but I absolutely love chatting for hours and hours with a close friend, or watching a film with people I feel comfortable around, and even the small things like someone remembering something I enjoy without me having to remind them. (This for some reason affects me hugely, it’s a happy day when a colleague or friend/acquaintance says something like ‘oh, but Rebecca likes fantasy books’ and just genuinely cared enough to remember something about me. It’s the little things that matter the most.)

I just wish sometimes that more people would accommodate the people of the world who find this tricky, and make an effort to include rather than exclude. In the end, won’t this make the world a much nicer place to live in?

Moral of the day: Be kind, be inclusive, be helpful, and hopefully you’ll make someone’s day that little bit brighter.

P.s. It’s always a diary entry style rant that gets me back on this blog isn’t it? *sigh*

Why does everyone regret not appreciating the past?

I’m sure everyone’s heard this at least once in their lives: “Appreciate what you’ve got, you’ll miss it when it’s gone.” It’s usually said when referring to appreciating your youth or free time before you move into this dreaded ‘real life’ and ‘adulthood’. *Shudders*

I do get the reasoning behind it, don’t get me wrong. If you don’t enjoy life where you are now, then you’ll never really be happy. But why is there such a focus on forcing yourself to be appreciative?

My main issue is that it seems to create this air of guilt around younger people, that they’re not appreciating their lives enough for adults to be happy about it.

If you force people to be appreciative and act like they’ve missed out on their only chance to be truly happy before things go downhill then all you’re doing is creating a no-won situation. It’s impossible to not fail at it. How do you know how good you had it until you have a lower point in the future to compare your happiness to?

Happiness is all relative anyway. If we weren’t sad then we wouldn’t see being happy as the great thing that it is. If you’re happy all the time then you’re really being the ‘neutral’ according to you.

If anything, this pressure on ‘appreciating’ your time, however you’re supposed to do that (seriously, just go around saying ‘I appreciate being young and carefree!’ all the time?), just causes us to not be able to appreciate the time we’re in because we’re too worried about not appreciating it enough. And that’s just complicated enough to make sense I’m sure.

I know from personal experience that, even though Christmas is a fantastic day and I love it, I always end up feeling guilty: guilty that I wasn’t as appreciative of my gifts at the time, or of how much work people put in to the day to make it so special. And that just puts a dampener on things really.

I worried all through University that I wasn’t appreciating my time there enough, or that I would regret not going to every club available at the time.

But really, if you just do what makes you happiest in the present, then how could you possibly regret it in the future? Were you the wrong kind of happy? It just wouldn’t make sense.

I think if we shift our focus from being ‘appreciative’ and just be nice people and try as hard as we can to keep on doing things that make us happy then we can’t go wrong.

Just maybe mention your appreciation of your family every now and again, it makes them happy. And we all want to be happy right?

p.s. I know the last post I did in months was a new years resolution to post more, it’s kind of hilariously ironic. But I do mean it. *pinky swear*

My New Years resolution is to post more.

I’m sitting here feeling very sorry for myself right now.

I am sick. Like cough your brains out, aching all over sort of sick. Not fun.

But I have been quite busy this past month that I haven’t posted in. I finished an assignment for my online degree and I got a new job.

What job is this I hear you ask? (Or you may not care, but I’ll tell you anyway.)

I am now an Editorial Assistant at Macmillan Science and Scholarly. I am super excited and also super scared.

It’s the job that I think I’ve been waiting to get for quite a while now, but, like most people when they finally get their dream job, I am now panicking.

What if I start it and somehow stop liking it?
What if I’m really bad at it and they all hate me there so I get fired?
London is big and scary, what if I get mugged?
What if I get attacked?
What if the bosses only seemed lovely when I met them and they actually turn out to be mean and scary?

That’s just a smidge of what my brain is throwing at me right now.
I know a lot of it is irrational and can be logically argued away, but it doesn’t stop the thoughts from going around.

But for now I’ll keep on saying to myself: it’s the job you wanted, it’s the job that could get you on the road to becoming an editor, it’s the job that could help you discover what job is the job that will make you truly happy in your life. Besides, it’s a full time job, and that’s better than any part time one anyway.

So wish me luck as I step into this ‘real world’ I’ve been hearing so much about.

It should be interesting at least.

Is it a fad or just more accepted?

Let’s start with a revelation shall we?

I realised about a year ago that I fancied women. I’m still not sure if that means that I’m gay or bi, but that’s my thing to figure out.

Also, an ex boyfriend of way back of mine has told me that he figured out that he was bi and another friend is now gay.

Now, out of all of my friends, that isn’t really a huge number, (I’m talking facebook friends here, so not my close real life friends) but it’s still much more than I thought I’d have in my friends.

Anyway, I had a conversation with my parents a while back about how being gay has almost become a ‘fad’ thing that everyone feels they should be. Like all women are saying they’re bi to be trendy or something.

But I’m not so sure.

I think it’s just that people are feeling more accepted nowadays and so they’re much more likely to be open about who and what they are.

And I think that’s great.

I mean, there still are a few people out there who aren’t so happy about it, but there are always some residuals from something like this that’s been going on for so long.

My mum is still not too happy about it, though more because she’s worried about how much harder this could make my life and she doesn’t want anything bad to happen to me, which I suppose is fair.

But we’ve come a long way in such a short period of time and honestly, I think maybe it just seems like a lot of people are coming out nowadays because we don’t realise just how many people 1 in 10 (on average) really is. And the fact that celebrities are coming out also makes it a much bigger thing.

There are some cases, however, where girls are saying that they’re bi-curious, just to get some guys attention. Now, I’m sure it’s not many cases at all, but it can marr it for the rest. Just like one false rape claim can cause people to be much more sceptical about real rape cases which just makes it harder for them to be processes properly.
So basically, that should stop.

But I think overall the mass coming-outs are just because we’re all being much more accepting of people’s freedom to find out their sexuality.

And I think that’s an amazing thing.

Finding a new way

So these past few months out of University have at least taught me one thing: There are many ways to get what you want out of life.

And that’s without actually getting there myself yet.

My goals were this:
1. Write. It doesn’t matter if it’s books, articles, this blog, whatever, just write.
2. Be happy in whatever job I end up in.

I thought to get those things that I’d have to be a professional writer, or editor or something. But what if I can be a data analyst and freelance article writer? Or work in finance within a publishing company whilst writing as a hobby?

There are are so many possibilities to do what you want in life. Even if it seems like there’s only one path.

Hell, my mum thought she was going to be a doctor, failed her A-levels, did a zoology degree that she hated, then went into computer programming and now works in finance. And she’s very happy with how her life turned out.

I mean, there will be people like my dad who knew what they wanted and went down the straight path to it. But others will take more of a spaghetti junction kind of route. Yes, we might take a bit longer, but we still get there, and the journey might be super stressful, but it also might be far more fun.

Right now I work part time in a shop. Is it what I want to do for the rest of my life? No.
Is it a good job that helps me earn my keep at home and stops me from going stir crazy? Yes.
And besides, I knew the first job I got out of university wasn’t going to be my lifelong career.

I just hope that the route to that will be a hell of a lot of fun, and I’ll love it when I get there.

(Apparently I’m also a novice motivational speaker on the side, who knew?)

My Three Favourite posts of the week.

I’ve been wanting to start one of these for a while now, so here I go. Here are my three favourite posts of the week:

Number 1:
Why Sexualising young Female actors is less weird than Sexualising young Male actors.

This post was fantastic. Really opened my eyes whilst at the same time made me want to read Harry Potter again.

Number 2:
What does a PhD in Creative Writing entail?

I just started following this person but she writes very professionally, for obvious reasons I suppose since she’s doing a PhD in Creative Writing. Love this post.

Number 3:
You can call me Spatula for short.

I love this blog, The Bloggess is absolutely hilarious. She can make me laugh about literally anything.

A great week overall.

A No-Win Situation.

As you’ve probably read, there’s been a story going round about a girl walking down a street in New York and being hassled and heckled a countless number of times.

Here’s the story if you want to read it.

But we’re all used to that right? Women get cat called all the time, it’s nothing special, so we shouldn’t care about it. At least, that’s what we’re told we should think.

But it’s the comments on the video that really bother me, and really show how much work needs to be done.

“Most of those were compliments!”
“…Had those guys known how conceited that bitch was I’m sure they wouldn’t give her two fucks!”
(Apologies for the language)

As another reporter pointed out, the men in these comments seem to be taking the perception of these catcalls as a threat, as a threat in itself.

It’s like the saying: the comments on any feminism post justify the need for feminism.

I noticed the woman in the video kept on being told to ‘smile’ but even when she did it didn’t stop the harassment.

And it is harassment. If women bothered men half as much, then I’m sure they’d get used to staring at the ground and politely nodding when someone cat called them.

You’re never quite sure what to do in that situation. If you ignore them and keep walking then you’re told that you’re rude and a bitch. If you say thank you or acknowledge them in any way then they take that as an invitation to talk more or follow you and it can get quite scary.

But we get it from both sides too. If you are even slightly flattered by a whistle when you walk past someone then you feel guilty on behalf of all girls who would just like to walk somewhere without being bothered and harassed a lot of the time. It’s a no win situation.

To me it really just shows how much further we have to go to help women feel safe and equal in the daily lives. We’ve made some absolutely huge leaps in the past few decades, but that doesn’t mean we can stop now.

And it doesn’t mean that men have it super easy all the time, of course they have their issues too, but right now it does seem like women have more pressing issues that make us feel scared in our daily lives. Is that not worth trying to fix?

I probably won’t see a time when women are properly safe and equal in my lifetime, but hopefully we’ll get much closer.

That’s the goal anyway.

#feelingnuts gave me an idea

I watched a comedy show with the message: Learn how to and check your testicles for cancer frequently.

But even with all the shows and websites telling you how to check your nuts and boobs, how do we know what to look for?

I mean, no one’s ever felt Cancer until they have it. And the number of fat deposits or just natural bumps you could have that could be mistaken for cancer is silly.

So I had an idea. It’s probably not a novel idea, but it’s one that I haven’t seen being done before.

What if, in a doctor’s surgery, they had a fake testicle and a fake boob with fake cancer in it. Just a few lumps and just so we can get used to what a cancerous lump would actually feel like. Then we might catch many more cases before they become a real issue.

It’s just a small thought, but it’s one that could potentially save lives.

And it’d be pretty fun too.

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