If there was ever a question that I have too much stress and anxiety, rest assured, there is no doubt.
I have a shit ton.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reading. A lot. Thirty-eight books in about three weeks. Perfectly imperfect books about love, many complete with delicious sex scenes. And all with happy endings. Not that kind. Wait… yes, that kind. But the other kind, too.
How is this stressful, you may ask?
Of course, I’m going to tell you.
You can’t have a story without conflict. I mean, you can, but it will be significantly less interesting, captivating, satisfying, and realistic. [I use the word ‘realistic’ loosely. If these stories are anyone’s reality, my life is even worse than I thought.] So… inevitably, the conflict comes. It [almost] always works out in the end. Fuck, if it doesn’t, I just ditch that author forever. I can’t handle an unhappy ending. Stresses me out.
But well before the ending, I’m anxious as fuck. The conflict. I’m worried. I’m yelling [in my head, as it is usually the middle of the night or some shit].
Don’t let her go, you fucking coward!
Give him a fucking chance to explain, you bitch!
Fucking tell her how you feel, dumbass!
For the love of god, please do not sleep with that slut, you idiot!
As I’m reading through the conflict, I can feel my anxiety creeping up. I can feel my heart hurting. I can feel my eyes watering. I start to tell myself, “Don’t worry. It’ll be okay. They’ll work it out in the end.” Fuck me if that works! By the way, it doesn’t, so I guess I’m not getting any tonight.
Am I too invested? When I read during the day, I’ve had my daughter ask me what’s wrong because I look so distraught that she’s concerned. I’ve also been caught laughing at, as far as she can tell, nothing. Laughter and tears. That’s normal, though. It means the book made me feel things. Right? Fuck, I cry at the end of Tangled every time I watch it, and I’ve seen that movie easily a hundred times. That may not be normal.
All of this conflict-induced anxiety can only be resolved in one way: I must read to the end of the book.
I’ve been up to see the break of dawn more times lately than ever in my life. I’m not waking up… no no no—I’ve not been to sleep yet. I’m sure it’s contributing to my anxiety because I’m not ‘postponing‘ my sleep—I’m getting less. But when I sleep is a problem anyway, so even postponing likely wouldn’t help.
Last night was particularly bad. Six in the morning. Daylight. I have trouble falling asleep during daylight. Even with the blinds drawn. Woke up at ten. Couldn’t get back to sleep. My head is pounding. Has been all damn day.
My lack of sleep isn’t insomnia. I’m not reading because I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep because I’m reading. I’ve tried to force myself to stop and sleep, but I’m too stressed over the damn fiction I’m reading. Fiction, dammit! I’m going to survive no matter what happens in the damn book. Yet I can’t put it down and sleep until I’ve made sure it’s all good in the end.
On the other hand, I’ve had stories that stress me out so much that I’ve abandoned them. They’re not bad stories. They’re quite good [in my opinion, anyway], but I feel like I can’t take anymore. My god, my heart hurts. I can feel the impending doom. I have to stop. What the fuck? Of course, inevitably, I can’t handle not knowing either. I end up going back to them eventually…
So here we are. The conflict… the loss of sleep… Even something as simple as reading stresses me the fuck out.
p.s. — So much for my assignment. I haven’t posted since 15 June. But… I haven’t talked to the NP since 11 June, so maybe it’s not so bad. But I’m still feeling isolated and lonely, so maybe it *is* so bad. I don’t think I’m getting the desired outcome here…