My entire life, I’ve always thought about the future. I planned conversations, replayed how I thought things were going to go over and over in my head. I thought about possible scenarios’, thinking about how I would respond when someone said something. And when they didn’t, I would play out new scenarios. Source: Prior Fat GirlI'm a planner. I talk about it here on my blog. I talk about how my once roommate/friend told me that I always think of all the bad things and I explained that I was problem solving ahead. But the truth hit me like the proverbial train yesterday. I am not a planner. I have anxiety. Even writing this down, my heart is beating fast. As though writing it down makes it somehow scary; as though it wasn't scary before.
That paragraph up there...it is me. To a capital T. I plan everything in my head. Whether it's a possibility of the situation arising or not. And to see this somewhere other than my brain is shocking. Shocking because the truth of it is that I thought this is how everyone's brain worked. But it's not. So when I tried to explain social anxiety to my husband and ended up all frustrated because he didn't understand, I know understand why. Shocking because I'm not just a planner as I thought. It's not normal to plan out scenarios in your head for something that may or may not happen.
So when I read it, my breath left me and then I slowly inhaled and resumed breathing. Then I thought about it. Jen talked about how her Mom's death lead her anxiety to become worse and the other stressful life events caused it to become even worse. This morning as I was drying off after my shower and thinking about how a conversation with my husband would go about putting the scale in the corner and what I'd say if he said no and what else I could say...I stopped again, breathless. I know exactly where my anxiety comes from, the exact period in my life when it started. It was a situation that I had little control over that occurred over and over. My only coping mechanism was to do the scenarios in my head to come up with a plan of how to gain control. Only none of them ever worked as I was little prepared for them and they never had any outcome that I could ever imagine.
So you know what I did? I walked into the bedroom where Pete was sitting and explained it all to him. How the blog post triggered this in me. How I understood why he didn't understand. How I knew where it came from. All of it. And he listened. And he didn't think I was crazy or nuts or off the wall. He listened. He asked me what I wanted to do about it and I told him I didn't know. Then he said the thing I most needed to hear - "I'll support you in whatever you need to do."
Ever since this morning I've been thinking about it. I don't quite know what to do. I don't know that I have the tools to retrain my brain not to strategize every move, conversation, social setting, work day, home day, motorcycle ride....ahead of time. I don't know if there is a way for me to gain the tools on my own or if I need outside help. But I do know that I understand myself a little bit better tonight than I did 48 hours ago. I do know that losing weight isn't going to solve all my problems. This is very clear to me now.