One of the reasons I took a small social media break was to deal with the whirlwind of necessity: New house, new school schedules, new car, new puppy, and a fresh set of tasks that needed attention. The other reason is I started feeling like punching the shit out of people. How could they be so stupid? So racist? So willfully shitty? I started trolling fools for fun, which I have to admit was satisfying for a minute, but that's not who I want to become. I was turning into another angry bully on the internet and had to take a step back.
During this time, I asked myself what are the parts of me that make me lash out, drink too much, give up, or self destruct? What are my natural enemies that have the ability lure me into dark places?
My anxiety disorder is the obvious answer to some of it. Anxiety keeps me on a heightened sense of alertness 24/7, even when I feel calm. My mind is always working out what is happening and all possible outcomes.
"Fight every battle everywhere, always in your mind. Everyone is your enemy, everyone is your friend. Every possible series of events is happening all at once. Live that way and nothing will surprise you. Everything that happens will be something that you’ve seen before."
Fuck you, Littlefinger. I know.
But that constant state of vigilance exhausts me and sometimes throws me into depression, numbness and despair. This causes me to cope by drinking too much in an attempt to relax to avoid being short-tempered because of my own feelings of failure.
So how do I attack my anxiety disorder? Through managing my diet and exercise, getting as much quality sleep as I can, and tuning out of extraneous stress that doesn't require my personal attention, or gym/social dramas that do not involve me personally. (Like my social media break to refocus on myself without the weight of the world derailing me.)
My next enemy is impatience. I love digging into politics and philosophy and art and science and current events, but I get really irritated when people aren't up to speed. Don't get it twisted: I don't mind disagreeing with people, in fact I like it. Dissecting things makes me grow as a person and ups my power levels each time. What I hate is when I feel like I have to hold people's hands because they are still reading at a remedial level and we're up here waist deep in War and Peace. And every time I painstakingly pull someone out of the darkness, the turnip truck comes careening around the corner and collapses, sending a new crop of rubes spilling out onto the street, saying things like, "Look into George Soros!" and "Broccoli has more protein than steak!" or "I've never experienced social injustice, so it doesn't exist!" And I want to snap necks. I want to put up a roadblock that gives a list of basic truths and world history and scientific laws. If you don't start at the knowledge humanity has accumulated thusfar, you must stay behind, with the rest of the swamp people and basic bitches.
Stay behind the wall, assholes.
But my anger does no service to me or the world around me. It only entices me to fight and insult people. That does not help me inspire anyone to soul search, it simply makes them dig deeper into their resentment, the divide becomes deeper and, in turn, I feel more antagonistic and violent.
In order to be the message I want to broadcast, and be a good role model for my kids, I cannot lose my patience. This means avoiding internet idiots and making sure open-minded people are met with love and respect, while those whose minds are closed (for now) are met with silence. My impatience cannot interfere with my message. My anger with internet people cannot ruin my real-life day or affect my real-life relationships.
Bathroom selfies are the key to introspection.
Lastly, I present the enemy self doubt. This one might surprise some of you, because I am very confident in general and have healthy levels of self esteem. But life has kicked me in the dick so many times that I've stopped feeling like I can succeed. When I was younger, my limits and dreams knew no bounds, but now... everything seems to be met with roadblock after roadblock. While rising to challenges is a great strengthening experience, too much challenge exhausts me and causes me to give up before I even try. Within the last year, quite a few people have said "don't sell yourself short" to me and I shrugged it off. Now, I'm listening.
To attack this part of my psyche, I will work towards some bigger goals and I will try new things. I will not make excuses about being a mom, or strapped for cash, or being too old to keep up. I will surround myself more with people who encourage me and have goals, themselves.
Guys, life is too short to be irritated, angry, apathetic or filled with despair. Although these emotions are a part of a healthy range of feelings you may have periodically, if your life is getting overshadowed or held back by them, you have to stop and re-evaluate the cause. Eliminate it so you can move forward.