I often feel like I am living a different reality from the people around me.
My mind runs a mile an hour, and I overthink and ruminate over every interaction I have—with friends and in romantic relationships.
Was I too much?
Did I say the wrong thing?
Do they think I’m weird?
Did I sound judgy or not supportive enough?
I never used to struggle with anxiety, but the pandemic seems to have brought it on to an extreme level due to well, obviously, limited interactions with other humans.
I have always struggled with depression and the two together is a recipe for a constantly stressed-out, confused, and self-berating mind.
I’m anxious and then I feel incredibly alone and sad. The overthinking turns inward to feelings of, I’m not a good person or, no one will love me.
In relationships, I often feel like because I bring things up, I’m the cause of issues. I don’t know how to decipher between what is real and what stories I am making up in my own head.
How do I trust my inner knowing? Is it the anxiety talking? Is my depression confirming a belief that I already have about who I am as a person? Or is it a sign that something is wrong?
I understand that for the other party this can be exhausting.
Nobody wants to constantly give affirmation. And the people who love and care about you just want you to be happy.
But how do you know what’s really going on?
How do you know if you’re unhappy and anxious because maybe something is wrong.
If it was the right relationship, would you be feeling this “crazy”?
When I was in high school, I was in a pretty tumultuous off-and-on-again relationship. I don’t know why I stayed for as long as I did because I was clearly not happy.
Maybe it was a fear of being alone.
Or maybe it was a fear of hurting somebody who I knew was in love with me.
In one particular argument, I told him that I couldn’t handle our relationship because it felt like he was always “Mr. My Way or the Highway.” And he retorted, “If I’m Mr. My Way or the Highway, you’re Mrs. It’s Never my Fault.”
These words have stuck with me for my entire adult life. Every time something comes up in a relationship, I try to communicate, and then later, I think, am I Mrs. It’s Never my Fault? Am I playing the victim?
I cannot help but wonder, is it me and my own mind that’s preventing me from happiness? Am I projecting?
Or is my depression and anxiety a gift—a sign—that allows me to feel and experience the world and relationships deeply. To be in tune with what’s happening around me.
Whatever the “right” answer is, I cannot help but think it would be easier to not overthink as much as I do.
One partner told me that they just had absolutely no idea I interpreted an incident the way I did, and it wasn’t their intention for me to feel how I did. They’d been totally happy, thinking all was well in relationship-land; meanwhile, I was consumed by thoughts of what was going wrong and stressed out.
If I didn’t pay attention so closely, maybe I’d be happier?
On the other hand, if I didn’t pay attention so closely, what would be all the things I miss?
“You say you’re ‘depressed’—all I see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn’t mean you’re defective—it just means you’re human.” ~ David Mitchell