The past couple of weeks has been awesome for me. Scratch that. The past couple of months have been awesome for me. In the past month, I’ve gone to 5 concerts/shows, visited Michigan and saw old friends, made milestones in swimming, got over 100 books, and went to dozens of awesome restaurants. My boyfriend has been pretty excellent as well.
Despite all of this, my brain has been freaking out. The little voice keeps saying that something terribly bad is going to happen. Or, I’m going to wake up from this dream and come back down to reality. It’s hard to describe this feeling. All I really want to do is enjoy myself in the moment and fully let go of all worries. However, my brain is still gearing me up for picking up the pieces when things fall apart.
I find myself finding it so terrifying that I keep pushing my luck while it lasts. I try to do even scarier things like learn a new language at work or try to push myself to swim better. In my mind, everything else is going well so I might as well add some scary thing back into the mix to even out the field. If I fail at swimming for instance, then I am artificially evening out the scales with something that I can manage. If I don’t introduce those scary things in life, then who knows what scary things life will throw my way.
It feels stupid to even say this all out loud. Every so often, I tell someone that I’m feeling this way. Most people laugh and find it silly — why worry when there’s nothing to worry about? Every once in a while, I find someone who gets it. We then whisper to each other our fears as if saying them any louder would make them come into reality.
Why do we feel this way? Are we natural worriers? Is it weird that bad isn’t scary? For me, bad is predictable. I know what it feels like when it really sucks, and it seems like emotions stay pretty stable. You can’t fall that far down when things are bad. When things are good, that potential fall is heart-breaking and soul-shattering. Falling from good seems like the only person to blame is myself and I should have been able to prevent the fall. If you stay close to the ground, you won’t fall that far, but if you go up to the top of a mountain, you’ll be able to see the world. Once you experience the world and the happiness it has to offer, it’s hard to stop yourself from protecting it like crazy but it’s equally hard to sit back and soak it all in.
I’m trying so hard to take deep breaths and enjoy this happiness. My brain keeps finish the previous line with “while it lasts”. I’m reminding myself through a complex series of post-it notes to take time to recognize all the good in my life and send notes of appreciation to those who helped me get here. I’m hoping this will help me believe that I truly deserve happiness myself.