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Check-In #6: Underneath It All

Photo by Egor Vikhrev

I woke up today after having terrible stress dreams all night. My anxiety is seeping deep into my subconscious. My car situation is about as bad as it can get. Despite my attempts at positive thinking the outcome has been worse than I thought it could be. I can't help but feel like underneath it all I had the worry about this the whole time. My car is only 6 years old and I'm spending thousands of dollars in repairs already. This shouldn't be happening, but it is. It's a reality. And I'm trying so hard not to think "Why me? Why does this always happen to me??" It just seems so unfair. And the guy at the repair shop said, "Your warranty was for 5 years or 60,000 miles. You just missed it by 5 months and 20 days." He really didn't have to point that out to me. It makes me do that thing I do where I look at what could have been different "if". IF this would have been discovered when I first had this problem back in August of last year it would have been covered under that warranty. It's beyond frustrating, and it makes me so angry. But again, WHY is this happening to my new car??

This is where I have to stop. I obsess over the whys and the what ifs. Of course I feel like my unlucky streak (my life) is upheld. I have to just let it go. I can only move forward and address it NOW. I can't change the past, I can't change the current situation, but I can change my attitude. Always with the attitude. If only that was easier to do.

I had a mini freak out the other night because something didn't go as I had planned. It was genuinely stupid and unnecessary, but there I was. I was going to make grilled corn on the cob for dinner. I fired up the grill with our little propane tank. The corn was on for probably 4 minutes when I checked on it to find that the flames had gone out. The tank was empty. I got so upset. I wanted grilled corn. Not boiled corn, not baked-in-the-oven corn. Grilled corn. I immediately got annoyed with Goose because he was the one who used the grill most of the time, so he should have told me that the gas was getting low. When I had picked it up I said, "This feels empty; I hope there's enough." Sure enough there wasn't. I pitched a little fit like it was the end of the world. Like my day was ruined. Seriously, in the long run or short run or any sort of run under the sun it was not a big deal in the slightest. All it took was a pivot and an adjustment of my expectations. This situation showed me how stressed and angry I really am. I am in desperate need of an adjustment.

The days and weeks I've had recently filled with stressful events seeps into my every little reaction. I had had a third interview for a job on Monday. Never fun. It didn't feel to go as well my first and second interviews. I had a cardiologist visit for my cat on Tuesday. That is an ongoing stress just to manage her quality of life with the time she has left. And I dropped my car off yesterday only to find out all the great news there. All the while I'm surviving off of a very part-time job, which leaves me very financially strapped. So you can see where things are a little tough at the moment.

But that's the thing. It's just at the moment. Things can change. And it could always be worse. I was so wrapped up in my car drama yesterday that I completely forgot I had my anxiety class. I ended up being 5 minutes late, but I made it. That is always a saving grace for me in the middle of the week. It reminds me that what I'm dealing with mentally is a disorder, and not just me struggling to be "normal". It reminds me that I have things for which to be grateful. It reminds me of the tools I have to settle and sooth myself when in the middle of major anxiety. It has to be about making these tools a part of my muscle memory now to make them easier to access in the throws of an attack.

I don't want any of you to think that this past month has been a failure of my experiment. I am just in the beginning stages of what will be a long journey for me. I think this first step has been recognizing my patterns and realizing in the moment that my negativity gets the best of me. The next step will be stopping those thoughts in their tracks and reframing them. And my big focus will be on coming from a place of gratitude.

I want to end this post with some things for which I am grateful: the support of my boyfriend and family, my cats, my cozy apartment (Just having a roof over my head is huge.), the fact that I can buy groceries every week and make new recipes, my health, the California weather, Target.


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