The Cold Penguin

expanding the box

My biggest fear

on August 25, 2014

I took a break from journaling for a while.  And it wasn’t a good idea.  I was busier than normal, so in my free time I “relaxed”.  But since I was anxious, relaxation wasn’t really relaxation.  I tried to rest, but it didn’t work.   I ended up getting into a frenzy trying to get my career going, life going, and of course, snacking like I hadn’t eaten in a week, but really I was pretty full.

I figured out a long time ago stress and anxiety trigger my overeating.  It also triggers my inability to rest and sleep well.  So it’s a double edge sword.  When really all you need to do is calm your mind, my mind can’t stop – which keeps my body going too.

So here I am, still a bit anxious about the future, and 1.5 lbs heavier in a week.  Not a good idea to skip journaling.

I have had some good moments.  I’ve joined a ladies group and met some fun gals.  I’ve made progress on working on my career goals.  I’ve still been exercising every day and gaining fitness ground (my weight gain is complete proof that you can’t exercise away a bad diet).  I’ve had some good times.

But I always feel this negative ball in the pit of my stomach.  Sometimes I know why.  Many times I don’t.  I feel like right now it’s a bunch of things all at once.  But I’ll share with you the main thing on my mind right now.  It’s personal, so I’ll try to be vague.

I’ve always had an issue with fear of abandonment.  I don’t have a relationship with my father, and had a very poor one when I was a child.  It all stems from that.  And even as a child if a family member or friend left me (even just for a small amount of time) for someone else, it was like I was stabbed in the chest.  I took it as proof that I was unlovable.

And even as an adult, I still have this fear.  It’s definitely not as extreme as when I was younger.  I don’t cry and pitch a fit to get someone to stay with me.  But I do go through an anxiety spiral, and sometimes it can get pretty bad.

Now, the current situation.  My husband is very close with his family.  Which is a wonderful, beautiful thing.  I like his family, but would not consider myself close to them.  They are all very much alike and have always been close.  I am different, an outsider, someone who they had to let into the clique and are dealing with it, but still not quite fitting in.  So it’s a little awkward for all of us.  It has improved over time and I hope it will continue until it becomes natural and fitting that I’m part of the group.  I’m sure it will, actually.

But lately, old habits are starting to show signs of peaking in.

When dating, engaged and even as newlyweds, my husband would “leave me” for times to go visit his family.  Usually it was most holiday weekends.  He would just go up every day to visit them (they live about an hour away) – or even spend the whole weekend up there (spending the night and all).  I, though I like his family, do not want to spend my entire holiday weekend at their home.  When we had this discussion I could tell it rocked his world a bit and was not well received by others when all of a sudden he wasn’t spending the entire weekend with them.  But it has gotten better and I think more accepted.

But this coming Labor Day weekend, you guessed it, there are signs that he may be spending a good bit of it at his family’s place (without me).  It scares me. That old habits may be coming back.  My fear of abandonment has been triggered and it makes me anxious.  And while he may just spend Monday up there, to my fear and anxiety it feels like all weekend.  I know it’s irrational, but I can’t seem to tell my mind that.  Obviously it’s fine that he wants to spend time with them.  It’s healthy, it’s natural, it’s good.  But my mind takes this one step and blows it up to full blown abandonment.  That soon he will be spending every weekend up there and leaving me all alone, that I won’t have a husband, that I’ll just be sad and unloved.

And the bad part of my anxiety is that I attribute a lot of these fears to myself.  Like it’s my fault that he wants to abandon me.  That I’m not doing enough to keep him around and interested.  That I’m just not good enough.

So yeah, that can cause a girl to feel pretty lousy and fill the sadness with sugar cookies and vanilla ice cream.

But I have to snap out of this.  I need to snap out of this.  I want to snap out of this.

Every time these fears seem to seep up from the pit of my stomach to the forefront of my brain, I can fight them.  I can realize how irrational they are.  But when they are down in the pit, I don’t usually fight them, even though they still effect my wellbeing.  I need to fight them constantly.  So that is what I’ll be working on.

I went shopping with my mother several weeks ago and we went into a home store that had a lot of those subway art style paintings with the inspirational sayings.  I commented on how sad it is that we need those to remind us to enjoy life, relax, don’t let others steal our joy.  But I think I may need some of those.  Maybe I won’t invest in the art, but print out or write out a few of my favorites and post them around the home.  I’m sure my husband will think I’m nuts, but he supports me no matter what – nuts or not!  (See, why would I have this fear???  It’s so sad!!)

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