Thursday, May 26, 2011

Eventually, It Will Sink In

Sometimes I don't catch on so quickly. For a smart girl, I can be pretty dumb.

(This is one of the reasons that my friends cringe every time I announce "I'm seeing someone!" As one of my friends said after the LAST train wreck: "Honey? I don't think we can allow you to choose your own dates anymore.")

One of the ways in which I can be, shall we say, short of brilliant, is in my reaction to things. Which is to say I am a little high strung. Tightly wound. Hair trigger. (As I type this, two things occur to me: 1. That those are gross understatements and 2. There should be a prettier way of describing this state of being, even if it isn't a pretty way of behaving.)

Every time I find myself flying off the handle, a part of me -- the smart part, the part who KNEW that boy was trouble but who was overriden by the "oh but he's DREAMY" part of my brain -- would stand back and say quietly, "Nothing -- NOTHING -- is worth this expense of energy and time."

Because it never is.

And after? When I'm tired and stressed and having an anxiety attack because I'm so worked up that I have forgotten to breathe? (I'm not proud of this, but it's important to be honest.) Has anything at all changed? Was anything made better? Was anyone other than me impacted by my reaction?

The answer is usually: No. No. And, finally, No.

So what's the point?

I know that I'm not the only one who falls into this trap of negativity. I see it all the time. We all get so focused on what OTHER people are doing that we don't take into account how we are causing/creating/contributing to the situation, and then we say things like "If he hadn't done that, I wouldn't have to freak out!"

But the truth -- the simple, hard to learn truth -- is that you don't have to freak out. You can't control what HE did, does, is doing. But you can control how you respond to it. You can control how it impacts you. He did what he did. You can't change that or undo it. But  the only person responsible for you freaking out is you.

So. If I'm a mess, if I'm a fraught wreck, who is to blame? Who shoulders that? I do. And is it fun? Am I getting something positive out of it? No?

Then I need to STOP.

And I need to do it NOW. Before I have another unproductive, unprofessional, unnecessary meltdown about something I cannot control in any way. Then maybe I can use all of that energy, and time, and emotion for something USEFUL.

Something FUN.

Something a little less drama-queen-y.

I just need to keep reminding myself, when I feel like sliding over the edge: "You don't need to do this".

And eventually, it will sink it.

1 comment:

  1. You've just done a nice job of using rational emotive behavioral therapy and/or cognitive therapy on yourself.

    This is SO important to remember in many aspects of our lives, whether it's with regard to our romantic partner, parents, children, colleagues, or friends:
    "You can't control what HE did, does, is doing. But you can control how you respond to it."

    Absolutely! Bravo.