I do and say the stupidest shit.
I swear to God. Because I’m parenting two five-year-olds, my life is essentially chaos from the moment I get up until the moment I finally, finally fall asleep.
Time gets really fluid and although the days seem to drag on endlessly it feels as if I turn around and three months have gone by.
I cannot believe it’s almost the end of this year. Wasn’t I just bitching about 2016 being a dirty rat bastard of a year? And now it’s almost time to start bitching about 2017 already.
I don’t think I’ll ever completely outgrow the panic and anxiety issues I find myself dealing with. It’s almost exclusively social. Like yesterday. I know what day it is but in my head I’m trying to manage my schedule for weeks out. So as I’m contributing to a group text by saying I can’t work this Friday night because my kids are in the Christmas parade, I’m ignoring the fact that the question wasn’t even about this Friday.
For which I’m already scheduled to work nights.
It was about next Friday.
Because of course it was.
But I think the parade is this week. Which it’s not, and oh my God ADD plus a chaotic life means I can’t even keep it straight as I’m writing about it!
Because I’m still ruminating over last week in my stupid brain.
So much dumb shit comes out of my mouth that I am literally shocked they let me wander the streets without supervision sometimes.
And thanks to my twitchy personality I have developed my obsessing-over-it game to Olympic levels.
Like, I am good at two things: writing, sometimes, and ruminating over the stupid shit I say, on some level, literally every waking moment of my life.
Lucky for me I am also deceloping my chilling-the-fuck out game more intentionally as well.
Because my cognitive distortions are limitless in their potential. Seriously. Having an imagination suited to writing tends to make a person really good at reading way too much into meaningless interactions and creating entire fictional and speculative social realities as well.
It’s so, so hard to catch myself in the moment and logically examine the evidence. I have the loudest internal critic in the world and I find myself losing track of where her harsh evaluations end and my own thoughts and beliefs begin.
I find that I have to just physically and intentionally ground myself or it has the potential to become consuming.
The last few days it’s been steadily building. That loud ass voice is triggered by authenticity. When I write a column or a post or anything at all in which I’m exceptionally myself, I can let my predictions about the reactions of others take up all the space in my brain.
I try more than anything to avoid ever shaming my kids for being authentic, even when their authentic selves are not quite what I hope they will be. They’re five. They’re entitled to be non-prefrontal.
Excessively non-prefrontal, sometimes.
Less entitled than I am, certainly. And I’m still pretty non-prefrontal myself, which is looking more and more like a terminal condition in my case.
I have a sort of love/hate relationship with myself. I think most people do at some point or another. In terms of evolution and survival in this incredibly social world we’ve made for ourselves, being aware of and caring what others think of us is important. But it’s less important than being aware of and caring what we think of ourselves.
And I have to remind myself that even when I do and say stupid shit, which is often, as we’ve already established, it doesn’t make me a stupid person.
Anybody else hard on themselves? I’m willing to bet nine out of ten people are harder on themselves when they feel the vulnerability that comes with being authentic.
Sometimes, I wonder why I struggle so hard with social interaction, particulaly conflict and embarrassment – of which I have an excessive fear – when I am clearly unemployable as anything other than a writer. Being vulnerable and embarrassed kind of goes with the territory.
Oh well. Life goes on. And I have to remind myself that in the past 24 hours I’ve probably thought a million times more, both in terms of volume and importance, about my moment of group text lunacy than anyone else ever will.
After all, if the rest of the world is even 25 percent as wrapped up in evaluating their own social and cognitive performances, then there’s a good chance that few to none of the people involved even noticed my moment of dumbassery at all.