If I suffer from another spazz-fest, I’m gonna slap myself in the face – hard. I am friggin’ sick and tired of dealing with my hyper-sensitive reactions – especially when I’m consciously aware I have an ongoing habit of overreacting to, well, almost anything.
Consumed by worry and exhausted from frequent panic attacks, I am miserable. I’m angry and lonely. I’m mentally weak and physically drained. It’s indisputable: I’m often a basket case consumed by crippling anxiety. Although I like to think of myself as a well-balanced, rational guy, some days I find that I’m a little bit psycho. But it’s not all my fault, right?
I agree; I need to tone-down my emotional outbursts. However, if everyone would just quit their constant fuckery, I would be just fine. If everyone would just listen to me, I wouldn’t have to worry, and my angry loneliness would disappear. If everyone would just meet my expectations – which aren’t outrageous – I wouldn’t overreact – and I wouldn’t be mentally and physically drained. After all, I don’t enjoy being distraught over stupid shit; it sucks. However, when I feel hurt, picked on, or ignored – and there isn’t a quick resolution – my obsession begins. To top it off, I make sure whomever I think hurt me knows it. That’s right. They offended me. They stirred up another hysterical episode.
During my last meltdown, I scheduled an emergency appointment with a shrink to understand my despair better. I was smack in the middle of another emotional crisis. After painfully explaining my grief in excruciating detail, the doc sternly pointed at me and said these insulting words:
“Dave, you are codependent.”
“WTF? What do you mean by codependent?”
I wanted to argue. I wanted to cry. I was pissed. Clearly, my psychiatrist was just like everyone else pulling the same old fuckery. I listened anyway, expecting a second unresolved mental breakdown on top of the one I just carefully explained. The most common theme of codependency is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and a sense of identity.
Immediately, I asked for a prescription to ward off this ugly diagnosis. Surly, powerful psych drugs were necessary to prevent my hyper-sensitive overreactions from reoccurring. I readily admitted that some days, I’m a little bit psycho.
“I’m afraid a prescription won’t help you. It’s not about what people say or do to you. It’s all about how you react. You must find your own serenity.”
“It’s all about how I react? I must find serenity? BS. I’ve never experienced serenity – ever. How can I possibly find serenity when everyone else is the asshole?”
I was on the verge of firing this so-called shrink. I needed a real doctor – a doctor that understood me. During my drive home, I thought about the judgment that was slapped upon me. I’ve heard the word before.
A few years ago, one of my friends suggested I read the book Codependent No More. Allegedly, codependency had a stifling hold on my life, and I didn’t even know it. Reluctantly, I purchased an electronic copy and downloaded it to my phone. What a waste of money. It’s not all my fault, right? Everyone else makes me a little bit psycho.
That night, I read a few chapters. A point or two began to resonate: I’ve been afraid to allow others to be who they are, I’ve been afraid to lose control of them, I’ve forced people to see things my way. I failed with all these efforts. My attempt to control others provoked their anger and as a byproduct, created misery for myself. Eventually, I realized it was time to learn how to control the only thing I had the genuine power to control: myself.
To begin the anti-spazz healing process, I started to accept that I have no power over anyone’s thoughts or actions. Instead of blaming everyone else for my despair, I forced myself to look closer at me. Clearly, I have a disabling fear of rejection. Obviously, I suffer from approval addiction. Undoubtedly, I create an unhealthy validation of others by obsessing in my own negative thoughts.
At the end of the day, all I’m left with is me. I am left with my thoughts, my emotions, and my actions. It is my decision how I chose to think, feel, and behave. I can choose to be distraught, frantic, and frenzied with another spazz-fest; or I can choose to be lucid, rational, and reasonable. I can choose to consume myself with misery, or I can choose to reach for serenity. It’s a long road, but a worthwhile goal. I refuse to make others and myself miserable with my selfish anxiety-laced emotional outbursts.
Yeah, I’m still a little bit psycho. But I’m working on it.