I’ll preface this with pointing out that anxiety magnifies negativity. The emotions expressed onwards are not proportionate or sensible responses. If they were, there wouldn’t be a problem. Nor are they structured very logically. Also I didn’t get much sleep last night. Bear with me.
It’s all about her again. The Australian Lady. Still. I’ve always had a bit of a weakness for older women (and men, but a bit differently). Not like this though. On my work computer, when I visit Imgur, for some reason it often displays an ad for “mature dating UK” complete with attractive older woman. HOW DOES IT KNOW?
It’s a strange thing to experience both attraction to and jealousy of the same person at the same time. I am jealous of her, of her perfect Australian life, her perfect house, her perfect marriage, of the way she presents herself so elegantly in her expensive clothes and shoes, etc. I don’t get jealous often. Somehow this jealousy has grown gradually throughout periods of anxiety. Like a big plant.
So there’s a double pronged attack on my sanity: 1. I compare myself to her, and 2. I compare myself to someone who could attract her (i.e. my ability to replace her husband).
This duality doesn’t come up in a normal heterosexual attraction. It’s a very confusing experience. These two things are mutually exclusive. Maybe this is why it has a bigger effect. One or the other might be OK. Maybe.
There is a stark financial discrepancy between what she is evidently accustomed to and what I could afford. It is worse that she’s female. If she was male (bear with me…), or maybe just younger, this probably wouldn’t seem like an important point, but rightly or wrongly I suppose her husband to be the one mainly funding her nice house and shoes. Were I in America or, yes, ironically, Australia, I’d be much better off financially, but I’m in the UK where apparently my skills aren’t worth as much. In the UK the current plan for obtaining wealth and security is:
1. Get education
2. Get job
I am currently on step 3 and I’m a bit sceptical. I don’t think my ISA is going to get me to stage 4. Not even through the mysteries of compound interest.
All of this is irrelevant as she’s hardly going to leave her husband for me, but it’s still a depressing consideration. It’s one of those inconsequential points which when encountered during a period of increased anxiety seems like an insurmountable barrier to a worthwhile existence.
I feel like I am wasting my life. It’s not supposed to be about money, but you like expensive things and I want to give them to you. Now, why have I never felt that feeling before, and why am I feeling it now?
Maybe my problem is that I just feel lonely and isolated. I work in a smallish office full of guys who talk about football, F1 racing, beer, curry and TV programs and films I’ve never heard of. I don’t really meet anyone else. I don’t know where to look. Or who I’d want to. How do people have interesting and fulfilling lives? Is it that they continually seek out a series of interesting one off events? Is it a mindset? Where do other people get involved? Where do you meet people who don’t regard “getting drunk” as their main hobby? I don’t get it.
So I could try addressing the obvious fact that I would quite like someone to share my life with, and try going out and meeting girls and/or boys and dating them and all that, but:
1. I don’t know how to meet girls and/or boys
2. I certainly don’t know how to date them
3. I don’t know who I’m looking for
4. I worry I will be too attached
5. I worry I will fail to be attached
6. I worry that I am just not that interested in the vast, vast majority of people
7. Most people seek out companionship because of a genuine desire for companionship, not because they are motivated by a strange anxiety problem that has intertwined a fascination with a woman from Australia
8. I worry that after a while this anxiety will strike for some other reason and I won’t be able to deal with it while maintaining a relationship
So, last night, instead of worrying about any of that I went out in the cold and ran 7 miles on a slightly strained thigh muscle that hasn’t recovered from the last run. It felt ok when I was running, but as soon as I stopped it was rather painful. Like I expected. Walking up and down stairs is a bit of a challenge at the moment.
And I did this…
…Partly because it’s a stress reliever.
…Partly because I want other people to think I’m interesting, active and attractive, and sort of hope it might one day act in my favour if I do ever meet someone who is interesting and slightly more local than Australia.
…And partly because physical discomfort is distracting from mental discomfort. AH YES, the old self harm logic. It works. Temporarily. The next day, however, it just hurts.
And I plan to do exactly the same thing on Saturday. Another 7 miles. I won’t be recovered by then. I just feel a bit self destructive because I find it difficult to imagine a realistic future I that I feel an urge to be a part of. I feel like I’m making a bare minimum investment of personal care at the moment that I might still be in a good position if I ever feel better. In general, running is fun and that’s why I do it. But when you are so inclined, it’s easy to push things past what you feel is safe because you actually want it to hurt.
I wish I was normal. I wish I was Julia Roberts in that awful film where she leaves her stable life and husband to fly around the world, eat a lot and fall in love with someone she doesn’t know.
A few years ago I used to have a number of internet acquaintances who were a few years older than me and used to have a plethora of mental struggles. Now I’m at that age, going through similar things, and I don’t know any of them any more. One by one they sort of disappeared. Where did they go? Did they get better? Did they just accept it? Did they proactively improve their lives? Did they give up? Where did you all go?