Trying to Unlearn Old Patterns

Anxiety is a real bitch, y’all, and it’s a daily struggle to not let it ruin my life. The thing I am struggling with today is not feeling responsible for, or the automatic cause for, the distress or bad mood of my spouse. Hubzy is clearly off today, and was last night too. I’ve asked him, twice already because anxiety, what is going on. he states he’s just tired and sore and having an off day. My anxious mind refuses to accept this. It tells me, “It’s obviously you and some stupid thing you did, didn’t do, said, or the fact that you are less than and basically worthless.”

It’s a huge win and sign of growth that I can now see what is going on and internally call out this false pattern of thought.

It’s narcissistic in a way, this anxiety; it assumes that the whole world revolves around me and that I can have such a strong and constant effect on the life of my spouse. I am not that important or that powerful. It’s an odd thing that telling oneself that you are not as important as you think, and acceptance of this fact would be incredibly freeing. Such is #anxietylife.

Adjunct to this is my desire, and sort of compulsion, to fix the mood of others closest to me. I’m an extremely capable and resourceful person who is very good at solving problems. This makes me a every good attorney. In a lot of ways, it makes me a kick ass wife, mother and friend. I am proud of this characteristic of my personality. However, I have to remind myself on the regular that I am not responsible for the emotions or mental states of others, and it is not my job to help them fix it unless asked. I am also not automatically obligated to help even if asked, if the ask is too much for me to bear. It’s not even something that always needs fixing. Some things just need to exist and be gone through, and to solve others’ problems for them all the time robs them of an opportunity to grow. It’s not easy for me to take this hands off approach. Anxiety brain always steps in and tells me that things are going to go terribly wrong and that I will lose everything. It’s fucking exhausting.

Anyone else out there deal with this mess?

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