I call her Anxious Annie. She pops up every few weeks or months, usually around 5am. My eyes will ping open and I will be wide awake. I will go over hundreds of thoughts at one time, that Whatsapp message I sent to my friend which had two blue ticks and no reply, that look someone did when my mouth spoke faster than my brain, that friend who I convinced myself I had let down because I couldn't make her birthday. Is my wedding costing too much? Do people hate me for wanting to get married in Italy? My friend's flight was expensive, I bet she resents me. Is the reason that person is not coming about something else. Am I being phased out? I am being phased out. They don't like me anymore. Why would they? And so on...
Then, this morning, at 4.50am, (on a Saturday morning, may I add), I woke up, and decided to trawl through Facebook and come across this.
It was like a cute little choir singing 'Hallelujah' went off in my head.
Every word resonated and I was so pleased to read my thoughts written down, almost validating that I am in fact not bonkers and crazy, that 'this thing' exists in others, "look, it's had nearly 700 comments", I then sent it to some key people in my life. At 6am. On a Saturday morning.
** DING DING DING WEIRDO ALERT **
This week Anxious Annie has been loitering around, and for no good reason may I add. I am as happy as punch, hitting the gym daily and eating more vegetables than ever before, seeing friends and loving work. So, why now Annie, you annoying little c%&t?
Well, let's try to answer some of the myths eh? Maybe figure out if there is a reason or pattern to her visit.
Below are just some of the comments I have had this week, all said with pure love and care, from people I admire and adore.
"But Gina, you are so happy".
You are right. I bloody adore life. I wake up positive, upbeat and to the annoyance of my fiancé Mark, often singing. I love my family, home, friends and job. If you looked at my Instagram, you would say I have life made, and I would have to agree.
"Just go for a walk, take a pause before replying, don't think everyone hates you."
OMFG DUDE YOU GOT IT, I AM CURED. Alas, anxiety takes over your body like a cheeky little terrorist claiming the land. As I said, there is no rhyme or reason, (that I have found so far in this blog), and it often comes at a time when I don't feel sad. I don't even know Annie the terrorist is there until a few text replies later or an ignored message. It's only then I realise I've been listening to her and not the far more rational, Gina.
"What is it thats bothering you?"
Talking about anxiety on Facebook just now, my friend said the following. "My favourite game is to lie awake at night thinking of all the bad things I've done over the years - even from when I was a kid!" So, in order to reply to this message, I can tell you now, you might be here another 32 years. It can be as silly as a short reply on Whatsapp, to thinking about that old friend who you don't talk to anymore and going through your final conversations, dissecting what YOU did wrong, to thinking about a weird scene from your childhood, that plays out over and over again, like some gory horror movie with you as the lead. There's a million reasons and there are none.
"Jesus, why did you get up at 5am?"
A favourite of mine from my sleepy fiancé who rolls over at 8am, watching me, high eyes, scrolling through my phone. Well, my darling Mark, and anyone else who wonders this, I did not choose to wake up at 5am. In fact sometimes, I stayed up to watch Modern Family until 1am in order to not wake up at 5am, but alas, here we are.
In speaking openly about Annie this week, I have noticed a few things. Some people, don't get it, and are probably my reason for writing this. Annie is convinced she wants everyone to know she is here. They love you and want you happy and carefree, and to them it looks like you are driving yourself mad, like this is a thing YOU do that YOU must stop. If only YOU could stop.
Then there are the ones who get it. This week, my friends Harriet, Stephen and Kelly have been those little rocks. They are the ones that might get that little voice in their heads too or maybe they just imagine what it's like. Who knows? Although with friends like these, you settle a little bit. You can discuss things and you can feel normal.
Being up at 5am has its advantages in what I hoped would be time to research this in order to delete Annie from my head permanently. Sorry Annie. But frankly, she doesn't pay rent, she never makes her bed and she is NOT as fun as rational Gina, who collects photos of her friends and is grateful for the abundance of love she has in her life. But alas, I have found no solution that I have yet to try. I am not drinking, I am working out, eating well, writing lists, resting, keeping on track of finances and overall, looking forward to a glorious year of mine and some other best friends getting married and travelling the world.
So, what's, the pro? If Annie is gonna kick about a bit, what is the pro in having her there? Well, for one, she's an empath. And she must enjoy hibernating in your head because you are one too. She cares STUPIDLY about people and their feelings. She desperately wants to be liked and despite being a massive try hard, her heart is in the right place. Maybe from now on though, moving forward, you only invite her to dinner dates with the friends that have their own Annies.
This blog is dedicated to all my friends with their own Annies. May you embrace the swine and learn to accept your new lodger.