My Life

Own Worst Enemy

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You know when a question seems simple enough to answer, but then you start really thinking about it and you realise that the first answer that came to mind doesn’t even really scratch the surface of the answer, it is like a thin sheet of ice that settles precariously over the ocean and once it is cracked, even slightly, the depths that could be reached are revealed to you and then everything just seems overwhelming and you wish that the surface level answer was enough? That is what looking at this question felt like to me.

The first answer that came to mind? I really want cake and sweet potatoes fries. And a Shake Shack burger. And a milkshake. And a cocktail. And for my upper legs to not hurt when I stand up and sit down or just move in general (squats are the devil, curse the fact that they comprise a lot of circuit training workouts. Seriously fuck that).  On the surface I basically just want all the junk food. A cheat day as it were (for all the squats). Although the use of the phrase ‘cheat day’ suggests that I am clean eating or something when I am really not. I just eat and have learned that for the most part it is way more sensible to fall into the cravings then run away from them. Although some months, like this one, there are so many of them and they are so over the place that I am running away from them and just watching the list get worse. I mean I also want peanut M&Ms and salted Popchips and Half Baked ice cream and guacamole accompanied by a chicken burrito from Chipotle or Whitecross Street market. You get it, I basically want all the food possible.

But on a deeper level?

Well that’s an altogether more terrifying thing to get into.

I want to stop being my own worst enemy.

I have these moments where I really buckle down and try to think things through. You know like big things, like things about what the fuck I actually want to do with my life and the way in which I need to go about it in order to achieve those things. And I almost get somewhere. And then I stop for whatever reason (the main one being that I am a procrastinator let’s be honest here) and once I stop my brain just decides it’s going to turn against me. You know the very same brain that was working over time to try and sort shit out for myself? It just stutters to a stop in one direction and then veers off and starts chugging along in a different one and then it picks up speed and before I know it I have talked myself into never trying to plan anything again.

But then my brain betrays me yet again and decides that by giving up I am effectively a failure and this is why nothing I want is even happening in the first place. And then the panic sets in and everything ultimately goes to shit. I get stressy and my face starts breaking out. I stop sleeping all that much. I find that almost all music in the entire world is a potential trigger for some kind of tears to form. I can’t focus on anything. I get even more introverted and distant than I already am. I lost my appetite completely or just feel incredibly nauseous every time I even dare to eat a piece of toast. I have panic attacks in bathrooms. I’m stuck in this catch 22 where I am basically running on empty and need the caffeine that surrounds me on a daily basis and yet coffee also makes me shaky and just aggravates the situation. And then I get annoyed at myself using the very same brain because everything was under control for myself. I was good. It wasn’t that big a thing for me, still a thing yes, but a manageable thing. One that I had totally under control and one that I also then watched spiral into chaos around me that I am helpless to stop.

Everything around me just sort of freezes and I’m left looking at this horribly stark reflection of my life that I am creating and yet also cannot seem to change. I just sort of fall into this shell like version of myself. Going through the motions and just passing through the days and I hate myself for it, but for a while I can’t seem to stop it. I fall into this old habit of seeing myself as worthless and the kind of person that is 100% going to amount to nothing no matter how much people around me say that that isn’t the case. In my head I am always going to be that girl who worked herself to the bone and to the point of total and utter bone deep exhaustion her entire academic career and still couldn’t get a job for a year out of it (let’s not go into how getting the job that I do have makes me feel sometimes). That girl was going nowhere. That girl just sat around and received rejection after rejection to the point where it almost broke her. That person makes a return with a  vengeance and then legitimately has to excuse herself to cry when someone is just nice to her. Like the kind of nice where the only question asked is ‘are you okay?’, because answering that honestly opens the floodgates.

Which is sort of what answering this question has done today. And the ocean that was somewhat well protected by that thin layer of ice has revealed endless depths. I could honestly go on and on as to all the ways that I need to stop being my worst enemy because that part of me is very near the forefront of how I am as person. I’ve made the tiniest of baby steps in stopping it from being the case, but it remains the stronger force of the two.

And I don’t want it to be.

So what do I really want for myself right now?

To not be my own worst enemy and to not have this weird elusive thing we call anxiety rule my life in almost its entirety anymore. I mean I can accept that it is never going to really go anywhere for good, but I want to be in control of it. Right now and for forever.

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