I absolutely hate waiting. Maybe it’s due to the fear of the unknown, or the inability to plan until you get an answer, but waiting seems to have been a main source of stress as of late.
This can be in relation to big life events. For example, when I was waiting to hear from grad schools, I was on edge for a good 3 months. I couldn’t make any future plans until I knew whether or not I was going to be moving away for school. Thus I missed out/postponed making decisions about relationships, job offers, etc simply because I was awaiting an answer. Not being able to move in any direction is absolutely suffocating.
This can also be in relation to smaller, trivial things. Texting, for instance. There are some days where a drawn-out response is barely noticed. But there are other days where I literally feel like every molecule in my body is anxiously awaiting an answer. Even if that answer is a simple “ok”, there is power in the acknowledgement. The little “ding” that signals a reponse is like a buddhist call to meditation, or to return to your breath. It instantly calms my mind, slows my heart, soothes my stomach, and cools my skin.
And the fact that it has that kind of power absolutely terrifies me. Especially when it comes to my boyfriend, who, on day one, made it clear that he abhors texting. It’s one thing if he’s at work. That is when my anxiety finds no fuel, because the reason he isn’t responding is known. But if I know he is off work, just sitting around at home, the knowledge that my text has gone two+ hours without acknowledgement becomes all-consuming and my mind can do nothing but try to come up with explanations for why he hasn’t responded.
These explanations are often much more dramatic than realistic and tend to trend towards end-all implications for our relationship. “He doesn’t like me anymore”, “He thinks I’m clingy”, “He has utterly no respect for me as an individual and completely takes me for granted”. Clearly none of these are healthy conclusions, neither for my mental sanity nor our relationship.
The thing is, I KNOW his lack of response is much more likely that his phone is upstairs charging while he’s downstairs, or he’s asleep, or he’s in the middle of a video game. But no matter how often I remind myself of these explanations, or of the fact that EVERY time he has failed to respond for long periods of time he has a valid reason, I still cannot seem to conquer these thoughts.
I’m trying to practice mindfulness, but after years of letting myself be swept away by the emotional nuances of my mind, I find it almost relieving to let them take over. As if they will guide me to the correct response. But I know that will ultimately lead to disaster, so I will continue to practice until my emotional mind no longer has control.