Sometimes my anxiety is a jerk.
It’s extremely high today, and I know exactly why: I have friends coming over tomorrow.
I often feel like my brain holds two separate entities: the Rational Brain (RB) and my Anxiety Brain (AB). Sometimes they coexist peacefully.
Other times my Anxiety Brain tries to stage a coup and completely take over.
(She can be mean when she wants to be.)
Today was a hard day. It’s felt a little like this:
Rational Brain (RB): “It’s going to be so good to see my friend tomorrow. I really need this.
Anxiety Brain (AB): “You can’t possibly have friends over!! Your house is a disaster. Have you SEEN your floors?!”
RB: “I really don’t think my friend will care about the floors. That’s not why she’s…”
AB (cutting in): Okay, but your bathrooms? Nope. You can’t let anyone in.
RB: “It’s not bad. And I can quickly clean them before…”
AB: “Not good enough. What about the kitchen? Or the dining room? Or the kids rooms? Don’t even get me started on the basement. There is NO WAY that you’ll have time to get it done. You’re stuck in the chair with the baby all day.”
RB: “Isn’t that where I’m supposed to be right now? I really don’t think…”
AB: “LOOK AT THE PILES EVERYWHERE. No one will ever want to be your friend if your house isn’t spotless and inviting. Everyone else manages it. Why can’t you?
RB: “I have four kids. One is a baby who nurses all. the. time. I don’t think anyone expects me to have it all together…”
AB: “Of course they do. Your shelves are dusty. You have PILES laundry to put away. Did I mention the bathrooms?”
RB: “I just cleaned them not long ago, but maybe…”
AB: “You should cancel. It’s too much. You can’t do all the things that the world expects of you AND feed your baby all day. You have to choose. CHOOSE. And if you choose wrong and your house is a mess everyone will judge you.”
RB: “No, but, I mean… really?”
AB: “YES. You need to clean. And organize. And put everything else away. Everyone will judge you if your house isn’t PERFECT.”
RB: “…but no one has a perfect house.”
AB: “Doesn’t matter. You need to.”
…and on and on it goes.
I’m getting better at recognizing when my it’s my anxiety talking and not my better half. This is usually my worst trigger: I get so stressed about my home when I know I’m having people over.
The thing is, I LOVE having people over. I really do. I’m so excited to see my friend tomorrow. But then my anxiety rages and it’s like this battle that happens every time.
I KNOW it’s irrational. I KNOW I’m not being judged. I know that when my friend reads this, she’s going to lovingly yell at me because she’s one of my favorite people and she probably couldn’t care less about what my house looks like. She has kids too. She gets it.
I know these things. I know this because I couldn’t imagine doing it to anyone else in a million years. I honestly couldn’t care less if my friends’ homes are messy. That’s not why I go.
…but it still doesn’t stop my anxiety from being a jerk.
I didn’t get all the things I wanted to done today. W needed me and I just… couldn’t do it. I’m working on being okay with that. It gets a little easier each time.
That being said, it’s still hard. It’s like a war in my head that I have been fighting all day… and it’s a little exhausting.
But today the Rational Brain won. As my plans to clean and organize were continually interrupted all day long, I knew it wasn’t all going to happen. I’m choosing to let it go. I chose to sit in the chair and rock my baby because he just needed me a little more today.
…maybe he knew that that’s what I really needed too.
I’m excited to see my friend tomorrow. My house won’t be perfect… and that’s okay. It doesn’t need to be. I’m a hot mess sometimes, and I’m trying to be better about accepting that. About showing it. About embracing it.
My house doesn’t need to be perfect.
I don’t need to be perfect.
I’m enough, just as I am… dusty shelves and all.
So take THAT, Anxiety Brain.