…just please don’t have me committed. (I once had a dream that a van-full of men in white coats came to take me away. I was only twelve or so at the time, and it genuinely frightened me.)
It struck me the other day that if I made a list of ALL the things I spend time worrying about – well, it would be less a list, more an Encyclopaedia Neurotica.
So naturally, I started to do just that. I’m hoping, I guess, that people will read this and either feel reassured, in an “oh, I’m not the only one who does that” sort of way, or they’ll feel incredibly relieved that, well, they’re not as addled as me.
I do have a very dear friend who has spent hours – honestly, hours – thinking about the perfect way to make a bechamel sauce. That’s probably part of the reason we’re friends – we understand each other. “You spent all night worrying about that problem that exists only in your head?! Oh my God, samesies!”
We also both used to self-diagnose on the internet if we didn’t feel well, especially during our “watch ALL the seasons of House” phase. Don’t ever do these two things together, take it from me.You will discover you have something terrible and incurable.
Then you will realise that what that is, is a lack of common sense.
But generally, it starts upon waking. What am I saying, it starts?! It doesn’t stop. I’m pretty sure the first thought that fires in my head – and it’s generally verbalised too if I’m on my own – tends to be, do I look like a spotty sixteen-year-old today? (My face hasn’t got the memo that it’s 22, not in its mid-teens. Curses. Clinique, I owe you a lot.) Then there’s the in-shower, “am I too fat?” debate. Objectively, no. I know what I weigh and for my height it’s probably bang-on. But we’re forgetting those pesky XX chromosomes. Which mean, amongst other things, that in my head, I will always want to be thinner. It doesn’t help that Mother Dearest is thinner than me. She has so many amazing clothes and I can’t borrow any of them. Because they’re too small. (Firstworldproblems, huh?)
Other ridiculous things I worry about…let’s see. Oh, here’s one. While on the train to work the other day, I spent most of the time between Horsham and East Croydon feeling guilty because I wasn’t a “proper” commuter. (I wish I was kidding.) I felt bad that I was surrounded by people in suits who had proper jobs and real lives and families to provide for, and I was just on my way to sit in an office and essentially play an hours-long game of spot-the-difference.* I’ve since started taking my laptop with me to look more professional. I joke, it’s so I can do dissertation work on the train. (Which is almost worse, somehow.)
*Or, as it’s been this week, read-the-sociology textbook. Repeatedly.
And I haven’t even got started on the relationship angst. I can hear friends thinking, “Oh God, what do you have to angst over? Like, seriously?” I take their point, I do. I know how lucky I am. I’ve made some shit decisions in my time, but I have brilliant taste in boyfriends. You can’t fault it.
But I think I have a touch of “perfect girlfriend syndrome”. And I highly doubt I’m the only one.
Man, there’s a lot of soul-baring going on here. My next post will be lighthearted, I promise. Because, if nothing else, I need to check I can still do “lighthearted”, as I’ve not exactly been Miss Full of The Joys of Spring. More like Miss Summer Drizzle.
So, Perfect Girlfriend Syndrome. It’s quite simple, but boy, is it persistent. I don’t know, I just want to be the perfect girlfriend. I don’t do anything else to international level, so I might as well give this a shot. Trouble is, it backfires spectacularly because when “PGS” is coupled with my natural bottling tendencies, it means I withdraw into ice-queen mode and everyone is left feeling rather perplexed as to why I am a) silent, and b) suddenly even more haughty and uppity than usual. You know the script as well as I do:
Are you OK?
Are you sure?
‘Cause it doesn’t seem like you are. You know you can tell me if you’re not.
No, I’m fine. Of course I’m not fine, why the flip do you not know this? Oh, ’cause I haven’t told you because I don’t want to drag you into my emo misery and you’re not a mind-reader. WHY AREN’T YOU A MINDREADER? And so on, and so forth.
Don’t give me that look, I’ve never claimed to be rational.
I just hate feeling like the whiny, needy one. I know probably everyone does, but I’m much more comfortable being the listen-girl, rather than the this-is-how-I-feel girl. Thing is, I’m aware that I do the ice-queen thing and I know it’s not exactly the hallmark of a mature relationship -but I don’t know how to not do it! – and so the whole cycle of worrying kicks off again.
In a way, I think it’s at least partly a crutch, this chronic and acute worrying thing. The following sentence might not make sense, but I’ll risk it. I worry that if I stop worrying, things really will all fall to pieces, purely because I’ve stopped worrying about everything. It’s a running joke in my family that, “if Kirsten doesn’t have something to worry about, she worries about that.” Obviously life isn’t like that – shit’s gonna happen whether you were dreading it or not, and as someone far wiser than me once said, “the real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind”. Which isn’t especially reassuring, come to think of it.
I also worry that I haven’t figured out number 17 on this list:
Everything else that churns round and round in my head is pretty much universal, I think – money (i.e. a severe lack thereof), getting a job, being able to tolerate that job long enough to be able to at least rent a tiny little flat and live with someone I’m not related to…
As is probably obvious, I could continue, and you won’t be surprised to hear (read?) I nearly gave myself a stomach ulcer a couple of years ago. There are probably about four or five things that unfailingly make me relax in this world, the rest of life is a relentless cycle of “oh but what if-?”
Don’t ever tell me that I don’t need to worry so much. I can assure you, I do.
Music time? Music time.
I’m going to be honest, the song is nothing outstanding, I just like the video. There’s a lot of corset-y action and people that look delightfully free of morals.
I’m seeing these guys in November, and I might cry when they play Poison and Wine, because I’m like that. But have this one: