My interest in Irish history is teaching me lots of cool terms, like shite and ta. But I digress – I need to tell you that it’s okay to feel okay about the things you are capable of doing. And that it’s not necessary to feel badly about those things you aren’t capable of doing.
Maybe this is common sense to a lot of people, but it hasn’t been for me. And I’m still practicing the understanding of such a concept.
Let me give you a real example, an example that is pretty much happening LIVE right now as I write this. You see, I should be in downtown Manhattan right now, not still in my apartment. I’m fully dressed, ready to go, and I got all the way into the elevator before jumping back out on the fourteenth floor and unlocking my door, and walking back into my home.
I just couldn’t do it today.
“It” was something fun, too, which makes this situation all the more annoying and frustrating. See, I had plans today. The plan was a walking tour of the architecture in Tribeca (aka the triangle below Canal street, for those who aren’t New Yorkers.) But I couldn’t go. I wanted to go, I’d planned this for over a week, I paid good money for the tour. I told my friends about it (“I’m going on an architecture tour!”) and I woke this morning and got dressed to walk around the city.
But I couldn’t go.
Well, that’s not true – I chose to stay home, because I felt like I couldn’t go. This is a contradiction that disturbs me to my core. But I am slowly being able to find peace about such a contradiction between me, myself, and I.
Who reading this can relate to wanting to do something, but then when that something arrives, you just feel like all the alarm bells are going off?
Probably the people who can relate also struggle with anxiety and depression, like me. I basically feel like sh*t about myself for not being able to do the things that I want to do, that I enjoy. I feel like my own worst enemy sometimes.
But that feeling will not define me, and that’s why I’m writing this post. Yes, I chose to stay home because my anxiety was so bad today that I hopped out the elevator before the door closed on me. My mental health is not up to par with walking around the bustling, busy streets of lower Manhattan with other people.
And that’s okay. Because you know what I can do? I can fold the laundry. I can wash the rest of it, and put everything away. I can take the boxes down to the recycling and move an old piece of furniture down to big trash. I can spruce up and tidy up my apartment.
Yes, that’s the safe route. And I know that – I know that I’m a scaredy cat and some days are easier than others.
I also know that I don’t need to force myself to have fun. In fact, I don’t think that’s possible.
In the past, I’ve been an expert at acting like I’m having fun. All you have to do is act interested, ask questions, and keep your eyes on the speaker. I can fool most anyone, even myself, into thinking I’m just as carefree as a lark. If anyone sees my face fall, I can smile real quickly at them and blind them away from asking me if I’m alright. Would a not-alright person be able to smile and laugh the way I do? Yep. But that’s for me to know, and no one else to find out. (This is my mindset when I force myself to have fun. Not very healthy.)
So here I am, writing instead of walking, and that’s okay. At 1 PM, I have another tour much closer to home, which I am planning to attend. See? I can still do things. I can even enjoy them. I didn’t force myself to have fun, I chose to stay home even though I know the anxiety is “all in me head.” And I’m checking my feelings of worthlessness, and reminding myself it’s pretty loving to stay home and take care of myself, and that means I think I’m worth a good bit of my own time and attention.
When have you forced yourself to go out and have fun? When have you given yourself a break for staying home, despite having plans? How do cope with anxiety, especially when it comes to enjoying yourself? Let me know in the comment section 🙂