Worrying, ruminating, obsessively imagining scenarios, procrastinating because of those unfounded scenarios and then you finally do what you have to do after spending days or maybe weeks imagining all sorts of “what if’s” and it all turns out just fine! Boy, that really bugs her when she does that. Does that happen to you too sometimes?
Emily calls it overthinking, daydreaming of things that escalate into screenplays that keep her awake and during the day on her days off from work leave her paralyzed.
Lately, Emily has been trying to observe her thinking patterns more, such as what starts that tiny thought that turns into a saga. So far she is noticing that the worrying or dwelling is getting worse and she is not appreciating the “present” enough. She avoids seeing people who may upset her and make me feel guilty about any passed decisions. She does not really avoid friends but she doesn’t reach out to them much either and she knows that is silly because she knows many of her friends would drop everything to be there for her if she asked them. So why the hell does she do this to herself?!
Today she called her friend who flew from overseas and she made travel arrangements to see her on the weekend. She will be seeing another friend in the same city as well. After she hung up the phone after speaking to her friend, she felt so pumped!! It was as if she had just had an shot of serotonin. Really! She was dancing and singing and jumping. She was so happy and relieved to be getting out of her cocoon.
And yet, here she is, two days after that same phone call to her friends, calling to work sick because she just could not get out of bed due to migraines and chronic joint pain. She had only worked one day but with all the changes to her work, she is wondering now…for the past five years if her doctor is not “a bit” right in suggesting she retire.
Emily still has so much drive to go out in the world and still work…either teach or anything that has to do with people. She is actually a people person. Also she cannot afford to retire yet since she has not had the chance to put much money aside and has no company pension. Living off the government pension will be surviving but no more travelling ever. She still wants o visit so many places.
Is it possible some of her problems have to do with her work? And yet, Emily doubts that since she knows she has had bouts of withdrawing even when she was younger and working elsewhere but she did not miss work then. Also her work helps her get her mind off all the past decisions her children blame her. No, it is not just her work but what her work once provided a workaholic, her nature may not have the same stamina it once had. What to do?
Emily has always felt she did not fit anywhere. Growing up she was faced with being told over and over that “her kind” had no place here. Even in her family she often felt displaced. If you thought differently than the rest of the family you were judged, teased or criticized. That part will never change, so it is Emily’s job to not react to it or just steer away, but how do you steer away from people you love?
Her first trip on her own far from her family was eye opening. She could see there was so much to discover and since then she has always felt one foot in her current home and the other ready to run off somewhere but where?
This is where she is now, contemplating on what to do, how to do it and when? Have you ever felt this way before? If you have, how do you manage those thoughts that take over your life?
(c) Clr ’18