Tag Archive | paranoid

Version 2.0- User Manual- Inner workings of an over thinking paranoid mind. Nov/Dec edition

​Upon meeting me for the first time, I probably won’t reveal an awful lot about myself. I imagine I give off the impression I’m confident, talkative and quite strong in mind. After a few meetings or conversations, I may start to tell you the things that have happened over the past few years, the things that essentially have made me into the character you meet today. Even then, I’ll appear to tell you with confidence, you’ll think I’m coping quite well, I’ve even been called brave. Someone once said “inspirational”.
I’m not brave.

I’m not inspirational.
It’s an act I’ve rehearsed, and practised, and honed to perfection in order to get through those conversions without letting out the blubbering wreck that still lives with me, albeit it occasionally, in my busy, over thinking little head. It gets crowded in there. In my little head. So every now and again, I have to let that blubbering wreck out, so the confident, coping version of me can stretch it’s legs and limber up for the hardest season of the year. Winter is shit. Yearly I feel the need to write something like this as, with each year that passes, new people join my life and those people have only ever known the version of me that I now portray on a regular basis. They might never have witnessed my very rare breakdowns, as they only happen in front of people that know me, know why, and I feel safe doing so in front of. However, if you’re still around in my life in November or December, the chances of meeting the wreck is increased, so you kinda need to know the warts and all “me”. Both versions.

 

The prompt for this particular blog is the fact that on Friday 26th October, I had to kick the emotional wreck out of my head for a short while so that I could process stuff on my own without her snivelling in my inner ear. So, out into the real world she came. Tears and all. Whilst I was at work, on my own. I had to get my Mum to phone the shop to speak to “her” as for that short time, rational me couldn’t get through to “her” , and to be frank, “she” needed to let it all out before I let “her” back into the safety of our shared accommodation in my head. 
Now let’s face it, the saying goes “there’s a time and a place for everything”, and that wasn’t the time or the place for that to have happened. I didn’t see it coming and certainly didn’t plan for it to happen right then and there. But it did. And here I find myself explaining why, and also preparing those of you who have only known me this year, that early year me is a very different jigsaw puzzle to the one you’ll have to try and figure out in any given November or December going forward. 
So here’s the re-cap. The full stories can be found in previous posts so a little scrolling back is in order.
On December 28th 2013, my older sister passed away suddenly, aged just 39. Having seen her alive and well on Christmas Day, it was the biggest, most shocking event of my life to date. No time to mentally prepare. No chance to say goodbye. On November 6th, a week today, she should be celebrating her 44th birthday. Instead, she’ll be 39 forever, with 5 birthdays celebrated with the stars. It kills me each year that I’m now older than my older sister. It’s not right. It’s not normal. My family no longer has a normal. 
On December 11th 2014, my husband of 14 years, partner for 17 years, told me he couldn’t give me a hug as I cried over the approaching one year anniversary of my sister’s passing, because he no longer loved me and apparently hadn’t for two years. As he fell asleep and snored upstairs, I cried downstairs until, at 3am, I decided to kick him out and off he went to his parents. 

I do not mourn my marriage ending in December, but I will never forgive the timing, the way it all happened and the way it’s been ever since. Also, nothing could’ve felt worse than losing my sister the previous year. Compared to that, this was nothing. Plus certain actions and behaviours on his part made it very easy to move on from the break up and find myself happier in a relationship than I’ve ever been in my life. But I still resent the lies and deceit behind the whole charade leading up to that event. I am bitter. I won’t forgive or forget because it wasn’t as simple as it was made out to be. 
So, perhaps unsurprisingly, the next two months are always hard for me. It is inevitable that the face I present to the outside world will crack occasionally. 

Fast forward to Friday 26th October 2018 and a series of unfortunate events that led to the release of my weaker self. Some events directly associated with my own circumstances, others not, but they were certainly a contributing factor. 
On the Wednesday, I’d seen my best friend for the first time, properly, in a long, long time. She’d been dealing with a lot of stuff, illnesses in the family, work, sleep issues, relationship yours ups and downs. Through messenger and WhatsApp, I was getting half a story, and I’d been frantically trying to pin her down for a catch up for weeks because I was worried. I’m a worrier. Always have been, always will be. I had wound myself up in knots about not being there for her when she needed me. She was there for me throughout the two most shocking events of my life and I desperately wanted to return the favour. I know she has other people she can talk to, but I need to be there for me, she means the world to me and I was reduced to tears each time a meet up couldn’t happen. I knew there was more going on in her head than was being revealed by typed messages. So, when we met, I let her talk. By the end of our evening together, we were having a laugh. The magnitude of what she was dealing with and the fact she could still go on to have a laugh made me realise, she’s the brave one. She’s inspirational. Not me. On the Thursday night, the night before my break down, she needed me so I called her and spent the best part of the evening on the phone to her as she poured her heart out and battled with her thoughts. I was pleased I could be her shoulder to cry on. I can’t fix things, but I can fill my role of best friend and listen.
Another good friend of mine was spending her last week off work before working straight through over Christmas and New Year, visiting her Mum, who had taken ill suddenly, in hospital. Again, not being able to physically do anything to ease her pain, it hurt me. I kept in touch, and thought of her daily.  No one should go through something like that alone. She returned to work this week, not knowing what was going on and literally having to take each day as it came. That’s brave. That’s inspirational.
I love my friends like family. When they hurt, I hurt.

On my break down day, I’d said goodbye to my son as I left for work and he left for school, knowing that I’d be going home to an empty house and not seeing him again until the Tuesday. Although grateful he still has two parents that love him and want to see him, I still hate it. I have a feeling that his dad thinks I use that time to go out and party, when in fact the opposite is true. More often than not, I’m sat home alone in the evenings. Sure, I’ll see my other half when his shifts allow it to be so, but sods law often has it that when my son is away, my partner works late shifts. I didn’t sign up for sharing my time with my son. I signed up for a family unit. I’m traditional in that respect. I wouldn’t change a thing in the way my life has turned out since the bad stuff. Except that. I’d change something so I never had to say goodbye to my son, only “see you later”. I know that can never happen, as, when he gets even more independent and older still, he’ll eventually be leaving home and going away. I can handle the thought of that though, as it means he’s making his own life. At the moment I feel it’s been taken away from me.  On top of this, my ex has already indicated that he wants our son for at least half of Christmas Day this year.  Now bear with me as I explain this one before you think I’m being an unreasonable, selfish, bitch. Selfish is one word I would never use to describe myself. When we spilt, as it was already fairly close to Christmas, I made it clear that I would never, ever stop him seeing our son on Christmas Day. The first year was awkward. He came round in the morning and we handed out the gifts I’d bought from “us” . Awkward, but worth it for our son. 2015 I think was pretty much the same deal. The following year, I think he decided to have our son in the week running up to Christmas Day and brought him back on Christmas eve. His choice. Seeing him Christmas Day was not discussed. The option, as has always been was there. He chose not to take it. Last year, the ex and his partner went away to a secluded cottage for Christmas. Again, his choice as to whether he saw our son or not. So imagine my shock when this year he suggests having him for half the day, in a text which, quite frankly, ignored the fact that the last two years he chose not to see him at all. A text which suggested that as I’d had “the boy” every year since we split, it was actually now his turn. I HAVE NEVER EVER RECINDED THE COMPROMISE OF LETTING HIM SEE HIM. ALSO, I WILL NEVER EVER CHOOSE A SCENARIO WHICH MEANS I WOULDN’T SEE HIM. Even as an adult, I have seen my parents every single Christmas Day. My upset comes from the fact that for the first time in my 41 years on this twisted planet, I face waking up on Christmas Day alone. Sure, I’ll see my partner, but not until the evening as the Christmas eve shift usually renders him useless until about mid day. I could go to my parents, but they usually have my nephews round in the morning with us so that they can give their grandchildren their presents together. My sons absence means that if I do that, they won’t get to see him Christmas Day. Why should they miss out? Christmas Day after lunch, my son and I watch TV and eat junk. I don’t drive, so with the current proposed plans, I’m going to have to walk round to my parents in the afternoon instead, which means potentially missing my nephews. It’s screwed up what we have salvaged of Christmas just because this year, it suits HIS plans to see him. Also, he’s always had him New Year since the first year when he thought better of leaving me on my own after being dumped. This year however, he said our son will want to be with his friends this year. Our son is 15. You tell me where he can go at that age on New year’s eve!? Again, I strongly feel this year they have New Year plans that don’t accommodate a teenager, so he dictates I can have him. Knowing also that I’ve spent New years eves with my partner. 

I am truly terrified of Christmas this year. Christmas for me is family and home. I don’t want to go to the pub. I don’t want to see friends just because I’m on my own. I have a traditional idea in my head of what the festive season is like and I don’t want to accept that this year will be so far removed from that. I don’t want to “have our Christmas Day on Boxing Day”. 

So on to potentially the hardest part of my blog..

The day we lost my sister, has been a date I’ve been unable to work since it happened.

However, it is becoming problematic at work.

Last year, for example, Christmas Eve,Christmas day and Boxing day all fell in the same week as the 28th of December.

As a retail worker, I only get two days off a week.

For me it’s been an ongoing problem to try and have either Christmas Eve or Boxing day off along with Christmas day, and I do the same thing for all my staff in order to give us all a fair Christmas. However with me wanting the 28th of December off too, this causes problems. Last year the area manager kindly let me take 3 days off Christmas week, and only have one day off the following week, the week between Christmas and New Year.

Not only did this mean I was incredibly tired the week after Christmas, with the January sales kicking in, it also meant that the week that my son was at home before he went back to school, I only had the one day off with him.
I don’t know how I’m going to be on that day, but I feel I need to try. What are my other options, never work that day ever again in my life? 
I do nothing on that day when I take it off, I sit at home I think and basically I waste a day off.
There’s nothing I can do. This will be the 5th year without my sister, and in all honesty I think I need to move on. It will never get any easier, it will never get any better.
It definitely won’t bring my sister back. And all I do is waste a day with my son when I don’t do anything with him. I’m not prepared to do this anymore. I need to be here for the people that are still here, the people that are with me today, and the people that still love me and I love them. 
It could be a day when the blubbering wreck is the only person you see. But until I work it, I just don’t know how I’m going to be. But I do know this..

I want to spend more time with my son.
More quality time, where I’ll be free of mind to do whatever I wish with him. When “she” has been locked up again for another 10 months. 
I hate being like this. Over thinking and worrying take over my life. I reveal to very few people what I’m like. You meet a confident, happy person who appears in control of what life throws her way. You don’t see the person sat at home, desperately wanting to go out but instead has wound herself up in knots about something she can’t control and the evening just passes her by. 

At any given time, I am dealing with a thousand different things in my head. I can’t talk about them. I don’t want anyone to fix me. I will stew them over and over on my own. No-one can do anything to help. All you can do to help is remember that behind the confident facade, I am.struggling. Remember that. If you think I’m being offish, it’s not intentional, it’s because I’m working through something in my head, trying to keep the wreck inside. If you think I’m being anti social , I’m probably sat at home having a battle with “her”.

I will be there for you if you need me. I’ll never let you down. I’ll offer you coffee, companionship, whatever you need. 

You’ll rarely see “her” , but she’s always there, often forced to stay behind the divider in my mind so that I can help you instead, because I want to. It gives me a purpose. Left to my own devices, “she” makes more appearances. 

All the above has led me to the decision to come off Facebook for the foreseeable future. Facebook is full of irrelevant, silly stuff that we all spend so much time idly scrolling through, not looking up to take stock of what’s going on in the real world. Facebook, and social media in general, also ruins friendships. Blatantly and obviously screaming “look what I’m upto” , knowing no invite to join such shenanigans had been offered your way. Quite frankly, while my already over thinking, paranoid brain struggles even more over the next two months, I don’t want a part of the petty competitions that play out in front of my eyes against the white and blue background of Facebook. I am simply not playing. Real life is not a competition. Even if it was, for two months at least, I don’t have the fight to compete. I’m throwing in the gloves. And the towel. Time out. I lose. 

I will be here for anyone that needs me.Always and forever. 

But please remember all I’ve said above. I am writing this to inform the new people in my life what I go through internally. I won’t talk about it often. I’ll never use any of it as an excuse, even if it is the reason behind my actions.

Do not take advantage of my good nature. I’m the girl that will always ask how you’re doing. I’m the girl that will always ask if there’s anything I can do. I am the girl who will always listen, even if I can’t fix anything. 

Exclude me, and I’ll back away. I’m fighting enough battles as it is. 

It’s not you, it’s not even me. Its, erm, Complicated…?

I can see the headline now…“Instant Messaging Apps Fed My Paranoia”



I feel the need to apologise to everyone who currently knows me.

I’ve touched on my paranoid,over thinking mind before,and I even went as far as saying I no longer stress and worry about what people think. However that isn’t entirely true. 

When something “changes”, I assume the worst. My track record proves I’m usually right. That’s a hard feeling to shake.

I still worry. 

I’m still paranoid. 

I’ll still doubt you.  

I’ll still over analyise things. 

Its not your fault. Trust me though, its not really mine either. I wasn’t always this way. I’ve been broken, and although I’m essentially fully healed, there’s still a weak point. Certain situations balance precariously on that weak spot and, yes, it means I “have my moments”. Please, understand them and bear with me.  I am a better, stronger, more confident version of myself than I ever have been before. And, as much as I’m less tolerant of bullshit and being treated like crap, my good nature, and need to try and find the good in people and situations that really do have no good in them, still lingers. Its who I am. I care too much. Because of this, I struggle to remember not everyone is like me.

And here’s a confession for you. A blog exclusive, if you like.

I struggle to let go of things that were once so good but no longer are. My mind doesn’t accept that its often better to draw a line completely than try and salvage some of what once was, in order to cling onto a good memory. Now, this isn’t because I want things to be the same, or want someone back. Far from it. It isn’t every situation either. My marriage was so stale, and the good times were so long ago and so overshadowed by the bad times and revelations, that I successfully let go quicker than even I thought possible. And I have no problem moving on. No, the reason is because I don’t want something that was so meaningful to me to appear to mean nothing to them.

If you’ve read previous blogs of mine, you will be forgiven for jumping to conclusions and expecting me to go ” I’ve been cheated on, I don’t trust anyone “. I’m not going to. Yes. It played a part but it goes deeper than that. It goes deep into the depths of my self doubt and my own head. So, why am I saying its not me? Well, if it was me, paranoia would’ve played a part in my whole life and it hasn’t. If I was to try and pin point when it started, I’d say 2 years and 6 months ago. AFTER my marriage ended. 

When I started dating the person I ended up marrying, neither of us had mobile phones. Contact was made using an old fashioned land line, a couple of evenings a week. We both worked in town so it was easy to pop along and see each other at lunch time if we wanted to.  We got our first mobile phones together, but by that point we were living together. There was no chance to build up a routine of ” contact”.  I had no chance to start wondering “why haven’t I heard from him!”.

18 years later when I become single again, times have changed. I initially started talking to the guy I ended up dating just after my marriage broke up, G, on Facebook. Messenger has this handy little way of bobbing a persons picture down next to a message you’ve sent to show they have indeed read the message. Then it would conveniently show a wobbling “…” to indicate they were replying. Our messenger conversations had a very definate  start and finish. I wasn’t left hanging. We’d say goodnight and that would be it till one of us said “Morning”. We soon awkwardly exchanged numbers in my shop, remember G worked in the shopping centre where my workplace was located, and constant messaging commenced. I’m sure you’re all thinking my god she’s obsessive, but it genuinely was him more than me. He’d walk past my shop and wave, and by the next time I had chance to check my phone, he’d sent about five messages. I loved it. I thrived on it. In the later years of my marriage I wasn’t made to feel attractive. I actually told my then husband that I felt he would rather be anywhere but home with me and although he denied it, I knew how it was wrong that he’d come home later and later and then go straight to his ” office” in the cellar (how right was I in the end!?). I had sensed I was losing him, and despite his insistance it was all in my head, I was right. And he told me he hadn’t loved me for two years. So, he lied too. Now, I had a man texting me with things like “although my eyes are watching my boys play football, my mind is on you”. How is a girl not meant to love that!?!  After a few days of not seeing me, he’d tell me how much he missed me. Heading home after evenings at his, he’d message saying he wished I hadn’t had to go.  His favourite phrase in broken English was ” why you so lovely?”.  I got used to it. I got attached to the contact. No end or beginning to conversations, just a never ending stream of messages that only paused when we were together. I hadn’t had that kind of attention, hadn’t felt so wanted, in a very, very long time. Due to working in maintenance, he had early and late shifts to do work out of hours, but he gave me his time and made effort.

After a while together, his messaging habits changed. I’d not get a morning text if he was on an early shift. He stopped saying he missed me. Messages were ended with a “x” rather than “xxxx”. My work mates said it was normal. It couldn’t possibly keep up the way it was. My rational mind agreed, but my paranoid mind thought, and knew,better. It had changed without warning. I’m very, very intuitive. What was right..? Rational mind or paranoid mind? Two weeks after I felt things had changed, he ended things. The whole its not you, its me, routine. My paranoid mind was right. It had been fuelled with being right, so my inclination to trust my gut feeling rather than be rational dug its heels in and stands firmly by my side to this day. G adamantly promised he wanted to keep a friendship, so I tried and quickly realised it was only me making the effort. For months after, I kept a few special text messages from him locked on my phone. It was clear he didn’t treasure our time together as much as I did. That hurt. That made my paranoia look at it all differently and doubt what we had. When your paranoia is right about a feeling, its hard to ignore when it crops up again. It took me ages to delete those texts, even after I started online dating.

The good thing about texting though, was that you were never really sure if a message had been read. You know, I’ve since realised this ignorance is bliss. 

My next relationship was the alley cat musician. Meeting online meant I had no way of knowing he’d read messages until he replied. Sure, you could pay for membership to allow you to see when messages had been read, but I wasn’t quite at that stage yet! We exchanged numbers on my birthday, a week after we’d started chatting. Texts were consistent till our first date, then completely ramped up after meeting, again, on his part more than mine. When he went to Italy for three weeks he said it’d be hard to keep in touch daily, but I heard from him way more than I expected to. One particular text exchange went as follows:-

D:- I’m so excited xx

Me:- About what? Xx

D:- Us xx

How is a girl meant to respond to that? I was giddy with excitement. Remember my blog about the power of words? They need to be used wisely. You don’t use simple words like that if you have no intention of following through. Maybe I’m gullible….? I know I cling to such words. Words are my thing, remember. Use them on me and be warned, I’ll fall for it every time.

 After Italy, I got a new phone which enabled me to install WhatsApp, something he’d been asking me to do since we got numbers. Word of warning, WhatsApp is not good for a paranoid person. It was the beginning of the end for mine and Ds relationship. 

WhatsApp has 3 indicators for the status of a message.

1 grey tick- message has been received by WhatsApp server. (The recipients phone is likely off, out of signal or service is down if it remains on this for a while)

2 grey ticks- message has been sent to recipients phone but has not yet been read.

2 blue ticks- message has been read by recipient.

Added to this, you can see if someone is online. If they haven’t changed their settings, you can potentially see WHEN they were last on. You can even check what time a message was read. WhatsApp is creating stalkers! 

This is what a paranoid mind sees.

1 grey tick- the person has blocked you.

2 grey ticks- they’ve got it, why haven’t they read it? Are they ignoring me, they’ve been online since I sent it!!

2 blue ticks- they’ve seen it. They’re not typing. They are ignoring me. Its been an hour since they read it.  Oh, they are online now…. Nope, still not replying. I’ll send them another just in case… 

D would often go AWOL for whole evenings , with messages not even reaching his phone. I’d wake the next morning to find he’d read them at some ungodly hour of the morning but still not replied. Even after nights we were due to see each other. I’d send a rant. Which would get ignored.  I’d get paranoid that if I didn’t message him, he’d think I’d stopped caring and then he’d never message and I’d lose him anyway. I’d send another to be told “I’m not getting into an argument, you’re pushing me away”. The original messages long since losing their meaning. It infuriated me. When I tried the same tactics with him, he turned nasty on me! We never really broke up. I just gave up. He never explained nor apologised just kept telling me I was wrong. Maybe I was too much, but come on…. He’s meant to be coming to see me but his phone remains off all night…..?? I think I had every right to rant! I’d go on and on at him, like poking a bear hoping for a reaction. The more he didn’t reply, the more I went on. He told me on numerous occassions that I was pushing him away. Truth be told, I’d long given up on him but he kept telling me to ” give him time” and I so desperately wanted the “I’m so excited” text exchange to be real. 

Also, because I care too much, I worry unreasonably. On one particular night I was meant to be visited by D and he went AWOL, I woke up to the news that a man in his 40s had fled the scene of a car accident in the early hours of the morning, leaving his passenger who was in his 20s stuck in the wreckage. I knew that an ex band mate of Ds  was returning to his native country that day, so my worried paranoid mind convinced me that D had offered to give his mate a lift to the airport and the crash was them. Trust me, a mind like mine can go there. I felt sick as the day went on. Much later in the afternoon, he sees the messages, even ones telling him about the crash and my assumption. I guessed he was at least alive. Or dying in a ditch! He doesn’t reply. I rant. That night he messages to say he got drunk at a mates and stayed there. No acknowledgement of what he’d put me through. 

We remained friends for a while after, with him insisting I was one of his best friends and he trusted me, but when the ignoring continued and it was only ever me putting the effort in, I realised I had to let go. I tried telling him it was a pointless, one sided friendship and I got told I didn’t understand. That he was “sorting his life out”. Because I cared, I felt I couldn’t let him down. So he got chance after chance but nothing changed. How could a man once so ” excited about us” care so little now? I clung onto the hope he’d get sorted and a friendship would remain. It was pointless. I forced myself to let go. He begged to talk to me to explain himself, but I was done. He accused me of being “like all the others”. That hurt, because I care what people think of me. Even though I was cutting him loose, I didn’t want his parting impression of me to be negative. I battled with myself over the need to rant and justify myself to him. Truth is, he didn’t care, so I shouldn’t. Ignoring his plea to explain himself was probably the first time I ever went against my nature. I sometimes wonder what he’s doing now, but I know he’s probably putting some poor person through the same again. 

This paranoia doesn’t just haunt me in relationships, it extends to friendships and other situations too. I’m currently organising a charity fundraising gig so have been messaging venues and bands. I’m shy on the phone, I can get my point across using the written word so much better. Again, social media apps and instant messaging let’s me know if an enquiry has been read. Sure, I don’t expect immediate replies, but to not answer, EVER? Rude! My feeling is this, if you can take 5 seconds to open an app and read a message, you can surely take two more to type ” yes” “no” or “message u later”. As a result of my own paranoia, I try really really hard to not open a message and let it be seen as read until I can grant a reply. Although I realise not everyone is as obsessive about it as me! 

I’ve said before though, I’m paranoid because I care. Because the person or situation is important to me. I’m sorry. I can’t help it! Its not because I dont trust you, its because I’m scared I’ve done something wrong. I know, I know, the more I bother you, the more likely it is that I’ll end up doing exactly what I’ve been worried about doing!

So, If I’ve asked you a question and I know you’ve seen that question but haven’t answered for a few hours… My mind will go through one, some or all of the following:-

They’re ignoring me

I’ve pissed them off

Oh God they’re dead

I shouldn’t of asked that

I’ve upset them

They’re somewhere they shouldn’t be

They don’t know how to answer, it must be bad.

Paranoia is very, very real. It verges on anxiety. There are many levels. I’m not at the delusional stage. I’m not claiming I have a mental illness either, because, believe me, I know people that have and its way more than what I feel and experience. And I’m not paranoid in a negative way, not really. I’m only paranoid in those situations that are important to me. With the people I am, or have been, close to. Perhaps I have pushed people away in the past. Although my gut feeling tells me if my genuine concern and worry could push them away, maybe they don’t deserve my friendship after all and they were infact wanting to walk away from me for other reasons, just used my guilable nature and turned it against me. If I think you’ve stopped talking to me, I’m not angry at you, I’m worried I’ve done something to cause it! 

I jokingly tell the people who come into my life that I get paranoid. Truth is, its no joke.

My current partner and I don’t live together. I’m grateful he’s not a techy geek. Simple texts is all we have. No read receipts. A vague enough routine for me not to endlessly stress that I’ve said the wrong thing. 

Remember how much words mean to me.

Don’t promise me the world, and leave me waiting for the journey of a lifetime.

Don’t say you’ll get back to me, then leave me hanging.

Don’t tell me you’re excited, then show no evidence of it.
I wasn’t always like this. Maybe one day I won’t be again. If I haven’t driven you all crazy by then!

Dear Brain, please shut up.

Just because I’m paranoid, it doesn’t mean you’re not talking about me
– quote by me

Everyone has something about themselves they would like to change. For some people it’s a physical attribute, they feel their nose is too big, wish they could lose weight, long to be taller. For others it’s a health issue that’s out of their control. For me, it’s a personal, mental thing that isn’t visible to anyone else, but it is there. I am paranoid, and I do overthink things. No, correction. I overthink everything.

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Now, unlike a physical trait or a health issue, I have absolutely no way of knowing when or where this started. I’m sure it’s deep rooted back to some insignificant (at the time anyway) time, but I don’t remember what triggered it. Right now in my life, I’m in a good place and I’m happy, but the issue is still there. Close friends know that I don’t sleep well. I’m the kind of person who needs pitch black and complete silence at the best of times to even feel remotely relaxed enough to sleep. However, unlike a light switch, my over active mind can not be switched off. No off switch. Unless it broke, because I know of people who can fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow. Yep, my off switch is broken. That’s totally what’s wrong here! At night, when I’m tired and craving sleep, that’s when I go back over the days events, or future plans, and turn them into the biggest nightmare before I even close my eyes. I’ve heard a good nights sleep can help clear the mind to make you see things with a clear head the next day. I often wonder what that would feel like. Sometimes, the over thinking is subconscious. I go to bed in a good, happy mood, it’s been a good day and I’ve got something to look forward to, yet my brain is still ticking, so therefore I’m still thinking. I really don’t know what about most of the time. Random thoughts come to mind. Occasionally a song lyric comes to mind and I can’t shift it from going over and over in my head until I’ve been and found the song and listened to it. Over thinking isn’t exclusively saved for bedtime. No, no such luck. I’m always thinking. I guess that’s why I’ve started blogging. I’ve also started an online creative writing course. My blog is real life, my paranoia creates situations that will never happen. They are created fiction. I need an avenue to get them out there because they’ll make good stories!! My mind is over active. I’m the kind of person who can’t stand repetitive noises, tapping, dripping, banging and I am compelled to go and stop the noise. I truly believe that it’s because I always have something going on in my brain that needs to be worked and worked over again, and any other noise trying to take me away from my thoughts is an unwelcome visitor in my head. Of course I’ve led myself to believe that my over thinking and paranoia had somehow contributed to previous relationships not lasting. Even though I suffer from my paranoia silently, and I don’t talk about my fears to the person involved. They’d think I was crazy!?
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I’ve started to wonder whether I’m so paranoid because when good things happen and things are going well, part of me feels that I don’t deserve it. Good things don’t happen to me, so there’s got to be a catch, right? Having so many bad things happen in a short space of time, it’s easy to think that I’m just one of life’s unlucky people. Although, now I’m on a “be happy” route…… I know that’s not the case. I’m lucky. I’m very lucky.

In my mind though, it’s better to think the worst about a current situation, as its gives me chance to prepare how I deal with it if that worst case scenario is the one that presents itself.

forewarned is forearmed
phrase of forewarn
1.
proverb
prior knowledge of possible dangers or problems gives one a tactical advantage.

I genuinely do look at every single angle on things. Previous conversations are ripped apart word for word to see if I missed anything out, if there was a hidden meaning which I’d missed at the time. Future appointments that haven’t even happened yet will be played over and over in my head, wondering what will happen if this is said or if that is done. I have an inability to just “wait and see”. It is something I’m working on, in my blog about happiness I’ve acknowledged that you shouldn’t waste your time worrying about what might be as it may never happen, so, I’m getting there, I am. It’s not something that can be changed overnight (especially when that night is spent awake thinking about how to stop thinking about things!). However, the following quote is starting to make me think…. is being paranoid and over thinking things really such a bad thing.


“Your mind is working at its best when you’re being paranoid.
You explore every avenue and possibility of your situation
at high speed with total clarity.”
― Banksy, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall

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Exploring every possible outcome does give me the advantage of not being taken by surprise. In my mind I have thought about everything that could possibly take place, so that I already know how each of the scenarios would make me feel. Or, that’s what I’ve convinced myself. Protecting myself. I know, I know, get the violins out!! This way of thinking only applies to situations that are yet to happen. Over thinking late at night leads to sleepless nights, not just the night before, but from the moment I know the subject of my over thinking is going to happen. I imagine the conversations, I prepare what I want to say, how I’ll react. Sometimes I even write down what I think I might need to say, crazy right, the conversation hasn’t even happened yet. I once texted myself a whole speech to say to someone if they said what I thought they were going to say to me. They did actually say it, but I was hardly in a position to get the phone out and read out what I’d typed. I was right though. So, forewarned had its benefits in that situation. I can’t do anything about situations that have already happened, but it doesn’t stop me going over and over them in my mind.

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What I can’t prepare myself for are the things that happen out of the blue, so that’s where my paranoia kicks in. For example, if I receive one of those badly worded texts where more than one thing could be meant by the words used. I will spend hours and hours thinking about it, I’ll read it over and over again as if the meaning would become clearer the more it goes into my brain. Part of being paranoid means not just considering that everyone is out to get you or that the worst is going to happen, it means thinking about this constantly, no matter how much you try and distract your mind with something else. Trust me on that one, I worry myself over the same thing over and over again. The more you think about the same negative meaning or outcome, the more you indulge in your paranoia, and the more you become convinced that they are likely to be accurate. It’s hard. I wish I didn’t feel like this, but I do. Next time you’re talking to me and despite answering you, you can tell I’m not quite there, it’s probably because I’m still worrying that the text message I sent three hours ago THREE HOURS AGO….had scared him off and it meant that my relationship was over and he never wants to see me again and as every minute passes by until I hear from him again, I go over and over what I’ll say when I finally cave and text him if I haven’t heard from him in another hour because it’s been three hours so it must mean its over right well sod him I’ll ignore him too……. (My lack of commas in that sentence is how my train of thought goes when in a paranoid state). Then I find out his phone died and had been on charge. Oh. How stupid do I feel? Very stupid. I was one hour away from making a fool of myself. Then I worry what would’ve happened had I sent the text I wanted to send if I didn’t hear from him. It’s never ending, I tell you!
I’m getting better, honestly. Being happy does help. Reading about paranoia, it seems most paranoid situations arise from being self-conscious, however with me that’s not the case. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been self-conscious. I’m sociable and have enough confidence to pull me through most situations. I do have a fear of talking on the phone, but that’s a whole other unrelated issue. Or is it? I wonder… anyway…! Many many years ago, before the crap stuff happened, I bought a book called “Women who think too much”, as even back then I was an over thinker. Recent years events have not made me this way. I’ve kinda always been like it. The book was purchased in the hope that it could give me some sound advice on how to not over think. It didn’t. All it made me realise is that there must be enough crazy ladies out there just like me, that it warrants a book being dedicated to the subject. So, I don’t have the answers on this one. I know I’m not alone. The only plus side to having this constant state of mind is that more often than not, I can get to be smug and confidently say “I told you so”, because trust me, I saw every possibly outcome!

Pronoia- I’ll come back to you on that one!
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