Musings and Snoozes

A tangled spider’s web

on August 23, 2019

Well I’ve been looking for the inspiration to write for a while now, and I think this might just be the not so subtle slap in the face I was looking for!

I started seeing a new therapist a couple of months ago. She’s Irish, and says things like “hmm, interesting, we’ll come back to that”, and I scowl, knowing she’s picked up on the one thing I was hoping she wouldn’t notice. She’s either perceptive or a witch. My money’s on the latter. And I mean that in a complimentary way. But after a few sessions of figuring each other out, we talked about boundaries and whether I have them. Unsurprisingly, I don’t have many. The only boundaries I ever set are the ones that I throw up when I shut down from the world completely. Not entirely healthy either. So we’re working on it, and any part of working on it for me is to put it down in words to try and make sense of the tangled mess that is my head sometimes.

So here we are.

My mood can switch in an instant. On a really good day, I can go from being on top of the world to a pit of despair in about three seconds flat, which you have to admit, is impressive in itself. But all it takes is one intruding thought, one flippant comment from someone, one unpleasant memory, and boom, my mind has flipped 180. And it’s exhausting, both for me and for those around me I expect, never knowing what’s coming next or how long each mood will last. The upside is that just as my emotions can plummet suddenly, they can shoot back up just as quickly, and I’m learning to counteract that one intrusive thought with a positive one or that one unpleasant memory with one of the million more pleasant memories available to me. But it’s hard damn work, and it would be so much easier if my emotions didn’t depend so much on perceived outside influences, and instead were happily independent and able to make their own decisions! Because aged 32, I should not still be upset because I see someone prettier than me, or I don’t hear back from someone I wanted to talk to. But sadly, as of yet, no one seems to have convinced my inner teenage mind, which I swear is still stuck somewhere around 17, that it should have grown up by now.

And here’s where it gets interesting. I had some pretty unpleasant experiences around that age, during my “influential years” as my therapist calls them. And while I’ve grown up in so many ways and am capable of dealing with a lot of what life throws at me these days, it seems there is a part of my brain that got stuck, that never quite left behind my 17 year old self, and consequently is prone to teenage self defence mechanisms that I probably should have long since left behind.

But, on the flip side (because I will always take the wins where I can), I have moments of the absolute assured self image that only a teenager can have. I had a remarkably good sense of who I was at 17 and I’m pleased to say I’ve never lost that, I’ve only come to be more and more confident with it over time. And those moments are awesome. In those moments I can, and do, take on the world. Admittedly, sometimes that translates into impulsive, not so sensible ideas, but I like to think I take 5 out of 6.

And so I have to learn to find the elusive balance somewhere. Crazy highs are only a good thing when they can’t be brought crashing down by one single moment of negativity, or equally carried away by impulsive, irrational decision making. Both of which have a knock on effect in the aftermath, be it crippling self doubt and an absolute loss of motivation for anything or anyone, or the regret of having done something so stupid, and usually irresponsible, that I will probably regret.

Acknowledging it is the first step, that’s what they always say right? So now we just have to figure out how to tame the wild little girl inside my head.


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