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“It’s not the end of the world”. I can’t even count the number of times my father has said that to me. And it’s a phrase I’ve heard all my life from other people that I love.
I have a very long history of catastrophizing. My old therapist used to get frustrated with me when I said something was “horrible.” For example, bad traffic was “annoying” but not “horrible”. Hurricane Katrina was “horrible” and “devastating”, but not me having a bad day. I get that. My logical brain gets that. Of course, any reasonable person can understand that line of thinking. And when I’m not wailing like I cut my foot off, I’ll be able to see that clearly.
I like routines. Routines help my life make sense. I do things the same way everyday because otherwise I won’t remember where my keys are and whether or not I’ve taken my meds. I always put my Oyster (transportation) card in my wallet when I get off the bus. But today, I put it in my pocket with my phone. When my phone rang on my walk home, I pulled it out of my pocket and my card must have fallen out onto the street. I didn’t realize this until I got all the way home. The realization that I lost my card with £20 worth of bus pass on it made me lose it. I started crying as if I’d lost a limb or something. In fact, I’m still crying. I feel this complete sense of loss. This horrible feeling. And yes, to me, it feels like everything is falling apart. I almost blacked out because I was crying so hard.
And again, I know that I shouldn’t be this upset over £20. That a bus pass can be replaced. That it’s “not the end of the world”. But I feel like such an irresponsible idiot for not following a routine I know works for me. For not doing what I always do. When I deviate, bad things happen. I’m trying to calm down before my husband gets home but I just feel so awful about it. And I can’t stop crying enough to suck it up and walk down the street to get another one. I just want it to magically appear again. And what’s even dumber is that if I had registered the card last week, then I could just transfer it to a new card. But I didn’t. So, again strike it up to being a complete dumbass.
Ok, so losing my Oyster card is really annoying. But that doesn’t describe this overwhelming grief I feel. There’s no other word to describe this absolute pain in my heart. I feel it all through my chest and my throat is tight and my head is spinning. Everytime I think I’m ok, the tears start all over again. I know that I shouldn’t feel like this because it’s not the end of the world. I know that normal people are not like this. I know that I don’t have many people I can tell about this who aren’t sick of hearing about it already. As if they can’t understand why I shouldn’t be the happiest girl in the world.
I want to be the happiest girl in the world. I don’t like being this way. I don’t like being gripped by sadness that I can’t even explain. I hate having to try to explain that I suck up the sadness of other people like a sponge and sometimes own it as my own. I’m terrified that I’m as crazy as I think I am.
I still can’t stop crying. I can’t get out of my own way. I hate the voice inside my head who is making fun of me right now and taunting me and telling me “it’s not the end of the world.” I just want it to shut up.