I have been a big, emotional basket in the last few weeks. I cried yesterday, every day last week, and the week before, and I shouted at BGC last week, which I’ve never done before. I don’t ever remember crying so much or being randomly angry or anxious so much for many years! Though my memory is like a sieve.
At first I was worried I was going back to my old self – unstable moods and not the most chilled cucumber in the fridge.
I hate cucumber.
But then I realised I’ve just been triggered by the build up of many seemingly suspiciously un-similar yet similar events, leading to one giant trigger that has left me feeling on shaky ground.
AKA my usually-chilled mind whirled itself into a big whirlwind of overthinking.
1. Four weeks ago, someone I work with and coach disappeared from my life without a trace.
I see this person regularly in person as she helps me with my business, and she’s also one of my Bloody Good Life clients, and also a friend, I care about her very much.
Then one day she just didn’t show up to our arranged meeting. And then two weeks went by of her not showing up; not at my house; not on her client sessions, phone disconnected and not answering emails.
2. This morning I woke up to find that a friend who was staying with me hadn’t come home.
At first I thought it was all good, she probably just stayed at her friend’s house, but as the morning went on, and it came closer and closer to the time she needed to leave to catch her flight I got more and more anxious. Her phone was off and I realised I had no way of finding her or knowing if she was ok.
So I freaked out, again.
Luckily, she came home safe half an hour before she needed to leave for the airport. But this time I was quite a flitty mess.
3. Lately, someone who works for me has been going in and out of contact.
Not getting tasks done when they say they’ll be done, missing things that they used to be so reliable on, and not getting in touch to tell me what’s going on.
It stresses me out like nothing else.
When I message people something important and I don’t hear back my mind goes into overdrive filling in the blanks with worst case scenarios.
I’ve written about this phenomenon here : (Argh, why isn’t he texting back?)
So all these (mostly) relatively small things have been happening over the last month or so, and it’s left me a bit of an up and down emotional basket, like nothing I’ve experienced in years. I feel vulnerable and out of control, which is exactly what triggers me most.
These incidences (along with a few others) have been slowly weighing on me bit by bit, to the point where I have had no inspiration or drive lately. It felt like I was putting out fires everywhere, every day there seemed to be some new drama that I have to deal with.
At least, that’s what my perception thought.
Because when a few things happen that trigger an insecurity or old pattern-of upset in us, we start to feel like everything is wrong with the world, and we start to see “everything is wrong” everywhere.
I’ve found myself saying things like “everyone is letting me down and disappearing on me lately”. It’s not true, a handful of people have let me down lately for their own undoubtedly very valid reasons, and many more than that have been more reliable and awesome than ever.My mind, like yours, likes to catastrophise and announce that EVERYTHING is now wrong. Click To Tweet
My mind had started to take all these things personally, where really they’re none of them anything to do with me. I’d started to see patterns of people letting me down where there weren’t patterns.
This is what our mind does.
We have a thing called the reticular activating system in the oldest (read, least evolved) part of our brain, which decides what information is salient for us to focus on.
A lot of people talk about this with the law of attraction – what you believe is what you’ll attract, etc, etc, and I’m not so sure as far as the woo woo side of things go, but I do know this for sure:
When we have a belief (either old or new, from past or present experiences) e.g. “everyone keeps letting me down”, “no one loves me”, “I never have enough money” (etc etc), we suddenly see proof all around us.
Just like when we think about getting a boxer dog, and suddenly we see them everywhere. It’s not that there are suddenly more boxer dogs in the world, (thought wouldn’t that be great?!) it’s just that our reticular activating system is alerting us so that we notice them.
If a friend is stressed and can’t make it to our catch up, I’d normally interpret this as no big deal, nothing to do with me, I do it all the time.
But when I’m in the midst of a “everyone is letting me down” cloud, all I can see is another person letting me down.
It’s all about me, why is the world being so hard on me?
I remember feeling like this ALL the time in my past.
I was so negative in my pre-bloody-good life, I noticed everything that went wrong, and I focussed on it. Click To TweetSo it seemed like a lot went wrong.
And this is what’s been sneaking up on me lately.
But even in just realising this pattern that has been weaving through the last few weeks, I suddenly need not take my mind so seriously when it throws its monkey paws in the air and shouts “EVERYONE IS LETTING ME DOWN”.
The awareness allows me to drop the drama and resume my normal activities of living a bloody good life.
My posts have been consequently less jovial and inspiring than normal lately. I wonder what to write when I don’t have the answers to my very triggery conundrum, and I have a very strong internal anti-fake meter.
And then I realise,Project Self is all about being real. Click To Tweet
So here I am keeping it real. I hope it helps you feel safe to be real too.
Ps. this photo has absolutely nothing to do with anything. But how fun are Australian place names?!