Do you ever find yourself totally taken over by one thing, one person, one incident, one insult and let it become your entire world?
As an example of this, whilst women are meant to be good multi taskers, I seem to be totally incapable of the art of balance and perspective, and am very easily coaxed down a hollow in search of that elusive something I must have and no other.
Especially since the advent of t’internet and the oh so addictive search engines, I can while away hours, no, days searching for the name of a song I heard on the radio, a pair of boots I saw in a magazine, a recipe for apple cake, a cashmere scarf or a vintage pair of book ends on eBay.
Especially if there are more sensible and important things that need to be done.
Like getting a job or setting up a business.
This handicap of mine also has a more sinister, dangerous side.
Any negative encounter or experience, be it a curt rebuff, a slight, an accident, a let down, a sneer, the tiniest of rejections and my world will suddenly be falling down around my ears.
I can be pootling along, relatively at peace with the world, minding my own business and something will happen, and then that ONE THING will suddenly totally eclipse everything that was OK, good, or downright lovely, and my whole world will be tainted by a horrible, dark, sticky, contaminating cloud of hideousness that will cause me to sink to the ground in despair, then grab me by the hair drag me down said hole like a rag doll.
‘There is no point in resisting’, it silently seems to say, ‘no one will miss you anyway.’
The last time this happened was one Saturday. I was having a perfectly pleasant evening chilling in front of ‘Strictly’ with my cats, when a neighbour caught me unawares and pretty much forced her way into my flat to discuss some outstanding, rather contentious issue.
As you might have guessed, I don’t like people turning up unannounced and interrupting my favourite programme.
Nor do I like this woman.
She has something of the ‘smiling assassin’ about her, and whilst I conversed with her and her lessor-of-the-two evils companion in a fairly amicable manner, by the time she left, I felt defiled, tainted, railroaded and hugely outraged that my territory had invaded.
I let her in! How did that happen?
It happened because of my cursed British politeness of course, and because we live in a shared community, so to a greater or lessor degree, it’s better that we get along with one another.
So when she rang my buzzer, I was not really able to cry down the intercom ‘BEGONE, WHORE OF SATAN!’
But I kind of wish I had.
Because after they left, I slid down a sticky, stinking slope of despair and got really paranoid about it.
She just came in.
Just like that.
Knowing I didn’t want her there.
Smirking and nodding with hatred and scorn in her eyes.
This is MY HOME.
And then I had to drink in order to get to sleep.
So I woke up the next morning feeling really shit after mixing my meds with booze.
These ‘one thing’s seem creep up on me and mess with my world ALL THE TIME.
The other week, some rather odd woman at one of my Meet Ups totally blanked me when I addressed her cheerily, directly and very publicly.
She may have been distracted, shy, or just plain rude, but I felt exposed, rejected and very, very humiliated.
And whilst she is one of the most bland people I have ever met, I made that encounter my all for the following three days and nights when I took to my bed and thought about ways of not being here anymore.
It didn’t matter that I didn’t and don’t desire her company or friendship.
It’s the fact that I’m shit and even she knows it.
My obsessive focus on that one thing, be it to the greater or lessor extreme is extremely debilitating as they stop me getting on and making any real progress in my life, and Aunty C (my counsellor) is always giving out to me about it.
‘Seriously what is that person to you?’ she’ll rail at me in frustration, ‘Do they honestly matter enough to get you in a state like that?’
‘I know it was rude of that company not to come back to you about that job! But would you honestly want to work for someone with manners like that?’
‘So you friend is ignoring you! Get on with your life, and when she comes crawling back, you will be her equal, not some needy sidekick!’
And when I waste time searching for that elusive thing/information/must have item, she’ll accuse my ‘bad parent’ of ‘allowing my child to run riot’ presumably whilst she’s watching Jeremy Kyle, gorging on Hob Nobs whilst swigging gin or something.
But both me and ‘my parent’ find it so hard to prioritise, balance things out and find/maintain perspective though.
So the other day when some stupid twat hit my car, the third time it has happened this year and at NO TIME my fault, I had to chant to myself, mantra style ‘It’s just one thing, just one thing, not everything’ and remind myself of:
The roof over my head (well for this month anyway)
That loaf of freshly baked bread cooling on the hob
The Ceilidh dance just a week away
Those beautiful skeins of burnt orange silken yarn, sat in a duck egg blue shopping bag on top of my dresser.
And that time, at least, I kept the Horseman at bay.
But he waits patiently as his horse tears at the turf restlessly with it’s hooves, for the next opportunity to take me down.
As the next thing is invariably just around the corner.
So I will count my blessings, hold my nerve and above all, try and keep my head.
After all, it’s just one thing my soul maybe feeling….