I like routine and plans. I live by my calendar. I love knowing that I have plans for the day or night with friends. Even tentative plans in my mind become solid ones. Someone may say that they might be able to hang out on a Monday night, and somehow my mind twists that vague phrase into a definite: “great, I have plans with Katie on Monday night!” I get excited. I plan my whole day around it. And then, when I get a text that something has come up (something totally valid since we never actually made plans), I’m devastated.
This hasn’t just happened once or twice. This has happened multiple times. I build up my plan so much that a deviation throws me into complete turmoil.
A few days ago, I was taking a class and my boyfriend was at work. We had arranged that morning to meet up and go to an event a friend of mine was hosting that evening. When I got out of class, I texted him asking what the deal is. But he had forgotten and had gone home instead. No big deal, right? Wrong, apparently. Even though I still went to the event and spent time with friends I hadn’t seen in awhile, there was this tiny nagging thought burrowing into my mind. I spent more time with my thoughts that day than I did with the people around me. That little voice was loud enough to drown out the crash of the cymbals of the live karaoke band. My plans were awry and I simply could not let it go.
I don’t like this part of me. I don’t like the fact that I can’t be spontaneous. I used to be, before my eating disorder wrecked my body and mind. But the anxiety it unleashed has destroyed any semblance of spontaneity that I once had.
Not only do I wish I could be more spontaneous, but I feel bad when I have breakdowns because things fall through. I was annoyed and angry with my boyfriend the other day, even though I too have forgotten things before. And I ruined my own potentially good time because I was so stuck on the fact that things weren’t the way I had envisioned them.
As I’m writing this, the thought occurs to me: maybe it’s not so much that I hate the disruption in my routine as much as it is that I’m left alone.
I hate being alone because my thoughts scare me. And every time plans fall through, I’m left on my own. With nothing to distract me, with no one around to keep me engrossed in something else, some small voice inside of my head whispers maliciously that something better came up. That I’m second fiddle. That no one really likes me. That I’m not worth anyone’s time.
Now, rational me knows that this is just ridiculous and that I am putting unrealistic standards on people. I know that I’m attaching significance to something so inconsequential. But I can’t get rid of it and it’s driving me nuts.
But I have to be able to combat this thinking. I need to make a conscious effort to remind myself that it’s okay to be alone. That just because my plans fall apart it doesn’t mean my world will too. And that I’m a wicked awesome person who is worth people’s time and energy.
It’s a lot to remember on the days when things feel so incredibly hard that I just can’t cope. I know that. But I’m ready for the fight. I have to be.
And I know that it’s going to take some time, but I also know that I can find a way to believe that I’m worth it even in the darkest of times. That even though I’m alone, I’m okay.
And guess what? You are, too.
My name is Kristy and This is Where I Stand