It's really been an up and down month for me. Yesterday, I let a misunderstanding with a friend really throw me into the pit of swirling negative emotions. I'm not sure why it was such a trigger for me. Maybe I felt a bit blindsided -- or maybe I felt underappreciated.
She's not been the best of friends to me; usually the giving runs from me to her, and rarely the other way round, so perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised that she was willing to be critical of me.
What I was surprised by was the strength of the anxiety that hit me and how completely unmoored I felt. I had nightmares, anxiety, depression, hopelessness, worthlessness, obsessive thinking, self-doubt and defensiveness. All of this running through my head on the big day of the nonprofit conference, where I needed to be at the top of my game, project good energy, and network my way to future employment. I didn't like the way my thoughts felt at all; I tried my best to see them as only stories and to stop them or change them.
In the meanwhile, I did a surprisingly good job at the conference. While the ooey-gooey center of me just wanted to run home to bed and snivel below the covers, my polished exterior sat in trainings, took notes, smiled, asked questions, made jokes, chatted with complete strangers and handed out business cards. I even generated a list of pertinent topics to write articles about for my upcoming business website. So it was a hugely successful day. Mostly it was successful in that I didn't quit and I didn't cave in to the internal pressure.
Today, I took it easier. I had a nice visit with a true friend, and she was appropriately indignant on my behalf, validating, protective and loving. I feel ever so much better. I also see that I am still here, still going, and still working.
If she wants to take it back and be my friend, fine. And if not, fine for that too. I do have loads of other people in my life.