Sometimes I narrate my life in my head, as if I’m on my own television show presenting a monologue in the opening scenes setting up the story. I think it’s a way of dissociating a little bit. I think it helps remove myself from my body when I’m feeling stress; it lets me float outside of my head and watch the way I interact with the world without actually having to interact with the world. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. When I would talk to a counselor about stress management in my undergrad, she said it was great that I was so observant of myself and my emotions, but I think it leads me down a wormhole sometimes. Especially late at night when I’d rather be sleeping than analyzing myself, or narrating my day again.
Today was the first day back to vet school for OSU. I’m a second year now and I felt extremely organized – I prepared my notes, packed a lunch, got a gift organized for my little. I paid attention in class and was feeling good until my boyfriend picked me up from school. The traffic was horrible with it being the first day of class and 4:15pm, so naturally he was agitated and swerving between and around slower cars. I started getting nervous as he approached other people’s tail lights more quickly than I am comfortable with and with every quick breaking of the car, my heart rate increased. I began thinking about the seven classes I sat through today and how much material there was to review already. I thought about the fact that I had to get to the barn to clean stalls and ride my horse because we have a show this weekend that I naively registered for while agreeing to work my regular full summer schedule through the first week of classes. I already felt behind and it wasn’t even day two yet.
So how can I fix this? Exercise helps. Pushing my body so that I feel tired enough to relax has always helped. But then I start making excuses. Well, they aren’t excuses really, to me they are legitimate concerns, but to the rest of the world they might sound like excuses. It’s 11:00pm right now, so my plan is to wake up at 6:00am and hit the gym prior to my 9:00am class. But I dyed my hair yesterday and specifically avoided washing it again tonight because it has a blue hue and it will fade quickly with too frequent washing. But if I don’t run, I’ll be anxious all day. But if I run, I’ll have to shower, because I didn’t wash my hair after riding tonight and elected to use dry shampoo instead which can only be used so many times before your hair feels glued on. But I need to run. But if I shower, my hair will fade to a dingy color and I used bleach this last time so another dye job could do some serious damage. This sounds all so shallow and insignificant, but as I write about it, I can feel this tension in my chest like my life depends on making this decision right now and making the wrong decision would ruin me.
I haven’t felt like this in a long time and I guess it’s to be expected as I head back to school after a summer of hard physical work in a low-stress environment. I didn’t think the anxiety would hit quite so soon. The logical answer is to forget my hair and run because I know it will help. Blogging helps too, in its own way. I guess that’s kind of odd when it’s just more narration. But maybe putting it down in a permanent place where I can come back to it and read it, even edit it, will help loosen that tightness in my chest tonight.