I've never been a real hypochondriac. I mean, I've been (for at least a very long time) a pretty big hypochondriac, and sort of a wuss. But I think of being a hypochondriac as secondary to a pessimistic attitude. It's not that I think I am particularly susceptible to disease, but in my darker moods I sometimes feel like everything bad (always) happens to me. Stinkin' thinkin'. I'm sure you can relate. Other times I'm able to weather the storm and not care so much. I dunno. I'm noticing it, so it must not be happening. I think (I hope).
So I feel like it must speak to my mental stability, my overall outlook that I'm able to feel relatively good these days. I don't feel like there's some horrible dark future. I don't feel like that all the time. Or, I didn't feel like that until this morning when I woke up at sat at the computer and yawned and heard a buzzing in my right ear. Then yawned again and it went away. Of course I googled it, and of course the first thing I saw when I googled "tinnitus one ear only" was a fucking brain tumor and of course I spent my morning commute fantasizing about the phrase 'I might have a brain tumor', gently nudging the paranoia into the phrase 'I must have a brain tumor'. This is no fun. Who is actually afraid, in an active sense, of having a fucking brain tumor? Woody Allen, is who. What would he have done if he had grown up with the internet? So I'm nowhere near as funny as Woody Allen. And hypochondria is exhausting. And if I do have a fucking brain tumor, me worrying about it right now, in the absence of any other possible symptom, is useless, right? A lot of things can explain the fact that for one second my right ear was ringing until I yawned, right? So there's no use getting all worked up, right? Right.
I feel like this is a Mercury Retrograde thing. Not the sickness (though I am going to the Dr for a much less stressful thing this afternoon), but the fear. Like, confronting my own paranoia. Why do I have to shoot myself in the foot? Why does it have to be Brain Tumor Thursdays? Why am I doing this? Why do I have to, in a mental landscape which is looking pretty okay lately, suddenly worry about stuff? Is this my nature? Is nature changeable? (Yes, yes, Billy).
I need to get a grip.
(also: I am now a contributor to one of my favorite Tumblrs: Fuck Yeah Comme des Garçons. Check it!)
So I am noticing the feeling (of fear, of paranoia, of anxiety), which, if I am to understand this process correctly, is an effective strategy in keeping the feeling from totally overwhelming me. My last therapist gave me this phrase to think about, with the caveat that it wasn't entirely applicable to me / my life / situation, and also, she noted "advanced": IF YOU CAN SEE IT, YOU CAN'T BE IT. Which implies (I think I've mentioned this on the blog before) that if you can notice and comment on something, then that means that you're not so immersed in it that you lose all sense of perspective. And I'm... y'know... trying that on for size.
And then also trying to spin this the positive way: I am, possibly, to a certain extent, subconsciously trying to sabotage my own happiness or sense of well-being. By fantasizing about brain tumors, incurable diseases, rejection, my student loans, etc. I am hardly in a position to get into why I would subconsciously (half consciously? is it subconscious if I'm blogging about it?) do this, I think probably everybody does this to a greater or lesser extent in various circumstances. BUT WHAT I WANT TO FOCUS ON is acknowledging the fact that I have a sense of well-being to sabotage in the first place. This is backwards, I know. I ought to be in Psychotherapy, laying on a couch, sobbing hysterically to a sympathetic soft butch jewish lesbian therapist, plumbing the depths of my psyche for a reason why I do this. I get that. I don't have the time or money for that right now so I wanna focus on the now. (Which is what my daily horoscope said to do). I'm kind of getting my shit together. I'm not anywhere near as productive or prolific as I thought I'd be with my new job, but it's just barely been a month, so I'm getting the hang of it. Letting myself off the hook. But maybe it's the 5HTP I've been taking or more exercise or the fact that I met this really cute boy who I like a lot or eating better or something. But I feel like I ought to be able to handle my stress a bit more. And I intend to.
Hanging in there.