Thursday, October 06, 2005

Laughing all the way

Today, the sun is out and it's a bright and glorious day. Well, actually, it's cloudy and drizzly, but you take my meaning. This morning, I emerged feeling happy and content from my haze of anxiety.

But I am still little stunned by all the comments telling me what I should do:
  • Quit overanalyzing
  • Try not to think about the relationship
  • Relax
  • Stop calling Tim so often
Yesterday, I wasn't thinking very much about Tim as a person or about any of the specifics of how we get along, what our time is like together or what I expect to happen. It was a general bad feeling, disconnected from any specific thought or incident. There was also an urge to flee. I need to find better ways to deal with these feelings, better strategies to get me through anxious times. I will work on that.

However, telling someone who occasionally suffers from anxiety that she should "quit overanalyzing" is not helpful. I wasn't analyzing at all. One of the things that helped me feel better was a conversation with Pele where I focused on some concrete things about Tim. Thinking of him as a flesh and blood person and remembering what I like about him helped ground me. Not thinking about him wasn't possible. Making him more real and less a looming unknown was helpful.

Relaxing, of course, is always a good idea. I didn't use any specific relaxation techniques, but I walked to work, went to the gym and walked home. I tired myself out physically and was rewarded with a restful night's sleep.

Calling Tim yesterday afternoon was fine. He didn't care. He was happy to hear from me. In the short run, it helped calm me down and for that alone it was worth it. If he can't handle one call in the afternoon, then he's not worth the trouble. For the record, it was the first time I've called him during working hours and it won't be a regular thing. Generally, he calls me. I know when I'm being pushy and this is not one of those times. It's not even in my tone when we talk. If anything, I'm withdrawn (which isn't good either, but totally understandable). He called me last night, just when he said he would, and we had a good, funny conversation where he suggested we go to the movies on Friday (swing dancing was rejected). We hung up looking forward to our next date.

It's funny that anyone could think that we're not in a relationship. It doesn't matter if it's a formal BF/GF thing or if we're "friends." It's a relationship. If we were to end it now, it would be a break up. I'm not saying it would crush me or that it would be hard to recover--it wouldn't. I would be sad. I would move on.

Several people have made the comment that it will fizzle quickly. It is one of my fears. However, when I read that comment, my gut says "no." I can't say with certainty what will happen. It may be over quickly. But all of his behavior indicates a desire to stick around. I want to stick around too. I want to accept things for what they are--appreciate the time I spend with him and enjoy myself--and not have the need for formal definitions. That's what I want. Doing it without being an anxious wreck is the goal. If it gets to be more anxiety than fun, I will consider leaving (after talking to him first, of course).

I'm sure that everyone who wrote comments meant well and I'm touched that you took the trouble. I'm honored and flattered that you are reading and following and feeling engaged with my life. The last time we had an advice-fest was regarding Jay and I explicitly asked you to stop giving advice. I was overwhelmed and couldn't handle all the different comments and ideas coming at me.

I'm not going to do that this time. I know how I feel. I'm not unsure about his motivations or how much he likes me. I don't have to guess about that stuff. He is an open book, not a cipher. There may be things that throw us off course; things that I can't foresee or things that are obvious. But it's so much clearer to me where we are headed that the comments don't really matter.

But I take comments seriously and sometimes they can hurt my feelings, make me doubt myself or cheer me up. I guess I was hoping for more cheering comments on the last post and fewer "stop acting crazy" ones. Especially since I wasn't acting crazy, merely feeling crazy. In the past, those feelings might have led to crazy actions, desperate phone calls or who knows what. But not now.

One last point: the entire post was totally funny! Why didn't anyone laugh? I wrote it after I was feeling much calmer and less anxious. I wrote it because I HATE being "poor me" when there is absolutely nothing wrong. I wrote it in the spirit of sharing some of my internal life with you and letting you join me in my journey--and letting you know how I struggle sometimes. I can't help poking a little fun at the ways in which many of us humans get a little out of control for no reason--me especially. I'm hilarious and absurd--and that's life!

Grateful for: never taking myself too seriously.

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