So I’ve spent the weekend in Aviemore at Deep Impact youth and children’s work conference. It is a Christian conference for anyone involved in paid or voluntary youth or children’s work across Scotland, and since I help (or hinder 😂) with the kids stuff at Clydebank, and have a welfare role with the divisional youth band, I was able to go. It was an interesting weekend with challenges in several capacities. Challenges to my own personal faith but also how I can work with youth/children and share about God with them. I was hugely interested by the way people from different churches and denominations worship completely differently to how we do (future blog post…). I was also challenged to think about my relationships and even just about who I am as a person. And I will no doubt write posts about several of those challenges.
But for this post, I’m going to ramble on about me as a person. I titled this post before I wrote it – which I don’t do very often. Usually I write down whatever’s going on in my head, then try to think of something to stick as the title at the end. But this one, I at least know where I’m trying to go with it. (Whether that’s where it’ll end up, who knows)
Is your brain as annoying as mine?
Well, is it? Let me explain what I mean, and then you can decide.
- I overanalyse everything: I do. Past, present, future, doesn’t matter which..I overanalyse every detail. Take today as an example. I spent the weekend with friends; some of whom are extremely close and very important to me and who I know care about me and love me and all the rest of it. But that doesn’t stop me spending a good few hours on the way home going through conversations I had, wondering if I said the right thing at the right time, or even the wrong thing. Should I have said or done something differently? What if I gave off the wrong impression? What if I annoyed them, or offended them? Do they really like me? Were they really interested in what I was saying? Were they judging me? These are the sorts of things that will go through my head for hours/days/weeks, even longer sometimes, after an event or conversation or situation. Is this just me?!
- I question and doubt and overthink: I’m taking these together to hopefully ramble a little less, but they could probably be separated. I am terrible at accepting what I am told. I question things. I doubt everything. And it is very annoying. If you’ve ever read any of my posts, most of them involve me either doubting aspects of Christianity and faith, or questioning practices within the church, or questioning my own path or personality. Just questioning. All. The. Time. It’s exhausting. But it just seems to be who I am. Faith wise, every time I start to take a step forward, 1000 why? questions seem to arise. ‘But why?’ ‘But how do you know that?’ ‘But why should I believe that?’ Someone mentioned today that it’s a good thing because we need both people who readily accept things, and questioners, but being one of the latter sure is draining sometimes. (I also overanalyse this and think that with my constant questions and unwillingness to accept people’s answers or justifications, they’ll think I’m deliberately being awkward and obtuse and get frustrated with me. See? It is all linked…)
- I worry: I do seem to spend a lot of my time, particularly recently, worrying about things. “What if” is the very familiar question that rattles through my brain multiple times a day. A lot of it comes from my dodgy, uncooperative insides, which make me really nervous. What if I don’t feel right? What if they act up when I’m out or with people? Some of it comes from the irrational sick phobia. What if someone is sick on this plane/bus/train/anywhere? What if I’m sick? What if someone else gets sick and I’m near it? What if I catch something? What if Matt/Parents/anyone gets sick? Some is uni based: what if I don’t pass this exam/coursework? What if I fail the course? What if I don’t know what to do? What if I can’t figure out what to do after uni? What if I can’t get a job? And the rest of it just comes from general awkward me: What if that stranger who just sat next to me starts a conversation? What will I say? What if I say the wrong thing when making that phone call? What if I don’t know what to say? What if, what if, what if?!
Right so what am I on about? I think a lot of what I’m going on about here comes back to anxiety. Now everyone has some experiences of anxiety in their life. Before a big test, before giving a talk, before something important/exciting/scary. It is the body’s natural response to get nervous and have anxiety with certain kinds of experiences and situations. And that is normal and healthy and can be useful. However, there’s definitely a double edge to it. If you have too much anxiety, and when it’s not really necessary, it can be a problem. And a serious pain. I’m not saying I have an anxiety problem. I know people who do struggle immensely with anxiety and I don’t envy them one bit, but I do understand how hard things can be when your brain just won’t stop worrying or reacting anxiously to normal things. (Even more so when physical symptoms start joining in!) Taking the test for generalised anxiety, my score suggests low mild anxiety. My social anxiety score does suggest moderate social anxiety, however I’m not remotely surprised by that – I also think the combination of shy and introverted already shapes you up for having at least some social anxiety!
I do however give myself a hard time for struggling with things that other people seem fine with or for not feeling normal, and I see a lot of my personality aspects as negatives. Just yesterday one of my closest friends made a passing comment about me being quiet and not a chatty person – she didn’t mean it negatively, she was just stating a fact that that’s who I am – I’m not one of the chattiest people and that’s not a bad thing! – but I realised after I jokingly took offence, that I do see that as a negative. I was incredibly envious of the same friend this morning when in a group discussion she was able to openly talk for ages about her point of view and things that were important to her. Meanwhile, my palms were sweating and my heart was pounding every time I wanted to join in, then by the time I got brave enough, we’d moved on to another topic and my chance was gone. (I did manage to speak up at one point! Although I have been overanalysing it ever since 😉)
So ultimately, what am I saying here?! I think I’m asking, is it just me who has these issues of overthinking, overanalysing, doubting, worrying, and just generally being a bit insecure? Or is it more common and I’m actually more normal than I think I am? Is it just in my nature to be quiet and questioning, or are these things, like confidence for example, that can be improved or changed? Any opinions welcome 😊
(Side note…I’m not trying to be negative or self deprecating, nor am I looking for praise about how wonderful I am and that I’m perfect just the way I am, quirks and all. (Lol!) I’m just genuinely intrigued to know if it’s just me who has these thoughts!)
“Everyone is weird once you get to know them”