happiness is finding the place where being yourself is exactly what's needed

Saturday, June 30, 2012

chemicals don't change your personality, they just change which parts people are seeing

i'm posting this here for my own personal reference, more than anything. i'm not actually going to say anything useful, i'm just going to be talking about my feelings. i usually don't keep posts like this around for very long. that's why i gave this one a good title. to trick myself into not deleting it. because i may need it for perspective later.

how i feel when i have anxiety vs. when i don't:

at work

with anxiety:  everyone here hates me because i'm such a spazz, and i screw up everything i do, so i'm probably going to get fired. and then when i get fired i won't be able to get unemployment to pay the rent because i'll either just keep falling through the cracks or just be too stupid to figure it out. and even if i get unemployment, i probably won't find another job on time, cause we all know how easy that is to do these days.
this means i'll have to move away from california and never see anyone i know here or in arizona ever again, because plane tickets are too expensive from there and i probably won't be able to find a job and i might not even wind up with a place to live anyway, because other people all have lives, and no matter how much they think they'd like to have me around, i'd eventually just be a burden like i was on everyone for the whole first year i was in california. 
even if i could get a job and a place to stay in michigan, everyone would think of me as a miserable failure, and they'd know it's because i had such an easy childhood that i never grew the strength to survive in the real world like a normal person. they'd be like "ooh, look at the little spoiled girl, i bet she even got money from her parents for a plane ticket back here when she fell on her spoiled little ass."

the middle ground (having anxiety and trying my best to ignore it): i probably won't get fired. there's usually steps between a perfectly normal work day and getting fired. i'm probably an okay worker. maybe i screw up a lot, but other people screw up sometimes, too, right?
it'll be okay. it'll be okay. i just gotta get through the day without doing anything too stupid, like spazzing out again. the fewer signs of emotion i show, the better. the less i talk, the better. it's like being a kid and getting into trouble. just keep your mouth shut and don't react to anything. 
i'll be home again soon enough where no-one can see me and judge me. i can sit in my room and shut out everyone, if i want to. i just gotta make it through the day like a normal person. like a strong person. that's it, just pretend you're strong like everyone else, and maybe they won't know the difference.

without anxiety: i don't really care if i get fired. it doesn't really matter who does and doesn't like me. my job is just a thing i do to pay the bills, and if i lose it, i'll find some other way to pay the bills. if i end up with no place to stay anymore in california, i'll guess i'll have to go back to michigan. but there's some cool people there. maybe some of them will want to hear my stories about living here and think they're cool.
i won't really never see anyone i know out here again. plane tickets cost a lot, but i'm sure i could find a way to save up and visit some time in the winter when not a lot is going on in michigan. it wouldn't be like here, where if i took ten minutes off from work i'd never be able to pay the rent again.
i'd be sad, yes, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. i'd probably be easier to go back to school at the college i already graduated from, anyway. i'm pretty sure at least a portion of out of state fees are waived for alumni. i'd go for a Bachelor's in Psychology during the school year, try to get my summer job back (though it's iffy whether this would be possible), and connect with some of the people i used to know (none of which probably hate me as much as i'm assuming some of them do).

with friends

anxiety: everyone i know thinks i'm neurotic, because they only see the anxious and depressed sides of me. i talk too much, and everyone hears me complain about everything and thinks i'm just an ungrateful little bitch that can't handle the things that everyone else can.
either that or they think i'm pathetic. innocent. naive. something to be coddled. 
they say "oh, poor little stupid Amber. there she goes hating herself again cause she's just so gosh-darn stupid. she's lucky she had the family she did, because otherwise she wouldn't have survived childhood. in fact, do you remember how in gradeschool she was the kid who cried all the time over everything? no, she never could've possibly learned any of these useful life skills she's developed herself. she's far too stupid for that. someone else must have held her hand and walked her through anything she claims she knows. because she's obviously useless and pathetic. but, oh, just be nice to her. she's sensitive."

the middle ground (having anxiety and trying my best to ignore it): i wish my friend would stop asking me questions. doesn't she/he realize that i don't want to talk about what i'm thinking? i'm just not in the mood to be judged right now. i know, i'll bring up something else completely unrelated, like a kid when adults are asking too many questions.
as long as i'm not vulnerable, it'll be okay. as long as i don't complain about anything, my friend will still like me. i just have to start acting better around people to earn their respect. 

no anxiety: hmm, my friends are pretty cool. i'm lucky to know such awesome people. they might misunderstand me sometimes, but i bet i misunderstand them sometimes, too. it's all good. we all respect each other. man, coffee sounds good right now.


I was just reminded of this video because the "no anxiety" examples I gave are definitely the "Adult" frame of mind discussed. Also, a lot of the "anxiety" examples I gave (whether controlled are not) fall into the "Child" state. 
As far as I can tell, the best way to get me to move into an Adult state from a Child state is by someone bringing out my Parent state (for better or worse), because then I balance out. (Examples of multiple types of exchanges like this are shown in the video series.)
It's like how when I'm walking alone at night, I sometimes get scared (Child state), but if I have someone with me, my first response to potential danger is a protective instinct (Parent state), which smooths out back into an enjoyable walk (Adult state) as I evaluate how small the actual risk is of walking around at night in a normal neighborhood/park/forest. 


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