Week of Doom and Gloom

If you read my last post, you’ll know that I have been suffering from a great deal of stress regarding flaming swords.
Well, either that or visa applications, I can’t rightly remember anymore.
I was hoping that by today (well, actually, yesterday…), I would have been victoriously posting on FB, UK VISA = APPROVED or IRISH VISA A-OK or simply, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED in an appropriately obnoxious and enigmatic way.
Unfortunately, this is not to be and I have to start thinking (in, oh, the next week or so) of what I am going to be doing in the next few months and what country I will be in and what I will be able to do in said country, which is a rather daunting prospect. I do find it most… ironic (maybe? I’m never certain of the definition of that word anymore… thanks very much Alanis Morrisette) that it was always the UK and London that I wanted to go to, I got distracted and went to Ireland and maybe now I’ll never get to go to the UK after all. That’s needlessly pessimistic and melodramatic, but I keep envisioning these scenarios where I’m forced to go back to Australia because of visa issues and then I get totally distracted by things in Australia and never go to Europe again, or the UK abolishes working holiday visas because their economy is so bad, or we run out of oil and no one can fly anywhere ever again, meaning that I never actually get to live in London, the place I’ve been (inexplicably) dreaming about since I was 15 years old.
Of course, when big things seem to be going wrong, all the little things seem so much harder to deal with; as if the world is essentially spitting you in the eye as you wallow about in the stinking mud of the gutter that life has pushed you into (‘oh, Jenny, don’t you think you’re being just a tad over-the-top and self-pitying?’ ‘why, no, what on earth gave you that impression? Being pushed into a stinking hole of gutter muck is a perfectly accurate depiction of my current existence’). There are many little things that have been made so much worse from the visa stress.
Number one, the weather has been righteously miserable for the last few days and for Ireland, that is saying something. Icy-cold gusts of wind, endless rain, hail, and then these strange 7 minute patches of sunshine that are essentially a tactic used by the weather to lure you out of your house in inappropriate clothing and without your umbrella so that the sky can dump more icy-cold water on you. I have not been dealing well with this treatment. I flip between being the scarily angry woman swearing at her umbrella as it flips inside out in the wind, scowling and rudely gesturing at cars that splash her or pedestrians that get in her way; and the mournful, ‘weight-of-the-world-on-my-shoulders’ woman who stares hopelessly down the street as her now-snapped-in-two umbrella flies away from her, secretly kind of satisfied by the pathetic, wet and bedraggled figure she cuts amongst the crowd. The only benefit with the terrible weather was that I was so cold and wet and miserable coming home yesterday I became so focused on getting into a warm bubble bath that I actually forgot to eat lunch. Now before you start likening me to pro-anorexia websites, I’m not advocating starvation here, I’m simply commenting that things have to be pretty momentous these days for me to actually forget about food. Which brings me to number 2 tiny-thing-that-has-ruined-my-week.
I know I spent a lot of time whingeing about this last year and I honestly don’t want to start complaining about it again, but I jumped on the scales at the gym just recently (first time in a year) and… well, it wasn’t a pretty number. I’m sort of stuck between two feelings, one that I’m very proud I didn’t completely freak out when I saw this number (there have certainly been times when jumping on the scales and seeing the numbers flash by could bring on a panic attack) and another which is, ‘really? that much? THAT BLOODY MUCH?’ I haven’t been totally obsessive about my diet for the past two months, but it has improved out of sight from last year and I have been exercising regularly. My clothes suggest my body is changing a little, very gradually, but its still rather depressing to think I have a fair ways to go before being back in a healthy weight range. The stress from the visas/swords is also inducing within me a strong desire to consume large amounts of sugar, possibly encased in great lumps of fat, which would obviously not assist with the weight loss goal (nor, in fact, if I’m honest, with stress relief), but it is attractive nonetheless.
What else? One of my housemate’s friends who lives down the road from us got robbed the other night. The robbers were jumping from roof to roof (we think) and came in through an open bathroom window at 3am, whilst everyone was inside. The girl even saw the robber walking around downstairs (but thought it was her housemate….). This news has me needlessly paranoid at night at the moment, even though we have an alarm system. I keep waking up and thinking ‘Is that someone downstairs? Is that someone on the roof? OH MY GOD, is that the alarm I can hear?’ It should be pretty obvious, I would have thought, that if you have to ask yourself whether or not ‘that is the alarm’, and then stop and listen really hard and then consider it for a few moments, it is a safe bet that whatever it is is that you think you hear is NOT your security alarm, but just a beeping of the imagination. This would seem pretty obvious to most people, but I am the Queen of Convincing Myself of Anything (well, anything paranoid and bad, like the end of civilization as we know it brought about my the European Monetary Crisis or a robber hanging about my bed like some sort of creepy Spiderman). Nighttime paranoia, of course, translates to daytime tiredness, which only magnifies my feelings of stress and unhappiness.
Furthermore, I am struggling with Facebook at the moment. When in a good mood, Facebook can be delightfully diverting, when in a bad mood, Facebook fuels my paranoia, anxiety, sense of unworthiness and uselessness and many other horrible things that begin with un-. Its kind of like being back in high school, where you’re constantly paranoid; feeling like you’re being left out of all the exciting and popular things. ‘Oh, that friend has a new job,’ ‘Oh, that friend is getting married,’ ‘Oh, that friend is pregnant,’ ‘Oh, that friend is incredibly beautiful,’ ‘Oh, that friend’s status update is much funnier than mine…’ One after the other they pop up in my Newsfeed, ‘BAM! What are you doing with your life? BAM! What are you doing with your life, loser? BAM! You like that, hm? BAM!’ I keep trying to remind myself that its not one friend who is achieving absolutely everything, that everyone has to pick and choose where to put their efforts and what is most important to them, but it sometimes does feel, staring at that Newsfeed, that there is one great big amazing, attractive, cool, smart friend that is DOING and ACHIEVING and WINNING EVERYTHING which must then be compared to your own daily activity of sitting on the couch, developing wrinkles from frowning at a computer screen and balancing various food stuffs on your protruding belly.

Facebook Friend is better than you at EVERYTHING. Found at: http://acidcow.com/famous/31881-peoples-2012-worlds-most-beautiful-woman-10-pics.html

Aside from the feeling of ‘Facebook-Friend-is-better-than-me-at-pretty-much-everything’, whilst in my current fragile and stressed state of mind, I become confusingly distressed by everyone else’s behaviour on FB. ‘Why didn’t she/he message me?’ ‘Why didn’t he/she comment on my status?’ ‘Doesn’t he/she LIKE me???’ ‘Why did he/she say that about me/about that thing/about that person? What are they REALLY TRYING TO SAY?’ Or, in another example, a friend of a friend reacted badly to an online comment I made and I instantly decided that I AM THE WORST HUMAN BEING IN THE HISTORY OF THE KNOWN UNIVERSE, and that this unknown stranger is UNQUESTIONABLY RIGHT AND MORAL AND GOOD and that I should spend the rest of the afternoon SELF-FLAGELLATING for my flippant remark as the ONLY DECENT PUNISHMENT.
So, in other words, instead of compartmentalising my stress and anxiety and allow it to only affect the parts of my life to which it is relevant (actually the stress and anxiety already affect a fairly large chunk of my life as it is, really), I have allowed it to seep into all bits of my life and make everything, EVERYTHING, seem much worse than it is.


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