Some Odd Benefits & Ways to Let Go

Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

If you've been reading my blog for the past 6 months or so, you know that I've been working through some anxiety & depression issues.

One of my problems is that I feel like I have to be in charge of all the things. I am the Life Manager of Life. Everything is my responsibility, all the time.

There are a lot of reasons I can come up for regarding why I am this way, but for now, just know that I am that way.

So one of the things I am working on is letting go

Letting go of actual responsibilities, of preconceptions, of negative behaviors towards myself, just letting go.

And it has had surprising results. 

Maybe it makes sense to other people, but it's truly kind of shocked me.

For instance, we cleaned out our garage. And subsequently we had a large pile of stuff to donate to a local charity/Goodwill-type shop in town. As we were packing the car, Hubs said "Oh and don't forget to get the statement so we can submit it for our taxes next year."

This is something that feels like it got shoved on my plate at some point during our marriage without me realizing it. I did actually succeed in submitting these things one year...out of nearly a dozen. But it's not something I ever really cared about or wanted to be responsible for, and part of me resented the (seemingly) flippant way this was assumed to be my responsibility.*

Immediately I felt...anxious? annoyed? worried? Idk, something that didn't feel good.

I didn't want that responsibility and I didn't trust myself to rise to that responsibility.

So I took a deep breath, and said "Babe, can this be something that you take control over? Since you mentioned it, I assume it matters to you, and I haven't done a good job over the past few years with this. I think with the new tax laws itemizing isn't as important anyway, but regardless if you want this can you be in charge of keeping up with it?"

And he said "Um okay, sure." 

And then about two minutes later he said "You know, it's probably fine. It wouldn't make that big of a difference...I won't worry about it."

Which is exactly the decision I had come to, but I don't think it would have been as casual as if I tried to explain that myself versus just handing it off to him and him needing to weigh the responsibility versus the reward.

And this is a really small thing, a throw away conversation in the day-to-day habit of marriage.

But it felt big. 

That's part of anxiety and depression, for me- things get distorted. The weight and responsibility feel magnified, and I'm not good at prioritizing them logically.

I'm also not good at...separating things asked of me from my personal worth.

Not sure if that makes sense, but it's the best I can come up with. I wanted to say yes, because I wanted to help my husband. I wanted to be responsible.

But I knew...I have failed at this multiple times in the past. And to be honest, I don't want to expand energy in that direction. Inside myself, I just don't care about this thing.

So when he asked/reminded me about the statement, I thought through all of that in about 30 seconds. 

Literally as soon as he asked I had the thoughts of a) wanting to help Hubs and respect what he cares about, b) wanting to be responsible, then the reality of c) I failed at this so many times, I'm crap and will just fail again, which lead to d) Hubs is just going to be mad when I fail and I am signing up for a fight at this very moment, and also in there was e) fuuuuuck I do not care about this why should I have to care about this?!? 

I guarantee you that not all of these thoughts are logical or fair. And even if they are somewhat valid, probably not to the extreme that I felt at the time.

So there is a little insight into the way my anxiety works.

But really, the main point here is that I overcame that. And it was simple.

I never, ever, ever imagined it could be that simple.

And yes, part of me was annoyed at both my husband and myself that he dismissed something I had been feeling guilty and stressed about for years in the span of 2 minutes.

But again...I'm letting it go.

Because instead of holding on to a petty "Well that's not fair" attitude, I now get to feel a) validation that I was right to begin with and it wasn't worth spending energy on, and most importantly b) self-pride that I passed on responsibility instead of tasking myself with something that would cause me a lot of personal anxiety (logical or not, it's a fact). 

*annoying reminder because I do have guilt issues and the Internet is bad at looking at the big picture: I love my husband and he loves me and we have a great relationship. I use examples with him because he's the person I'm closest too and therefore naturally he's around while I work through my issues. It's not his fault if he does not know or understand my mental state all the time- that's one of the many things I'm working on, explaining instead of expecting people to understand my thought processes and feelings (since literally no one in my life had any idea about my actual thoughts and what anxiety/depression was telling me). 

1 comment

  1. Are we the same person? Me thinks, possibly so!

    I have the hardest time letting go. Like, it's literally painful in my brain. I have to talk myself down. I have to tell myself that just because someone doesn't meet or exceed my overly high goals doesn't mean they failed and it doesn't mean I need to go behind them and correct it. I can just let it be, but there is so much mental anguish that I typically correct it just so my brain will STFU.

    Also, I'm glad you pointed out that you were irritated at how he so easily dismissed something that he put on you as not important. Because THAT really gets me. If it's not important really, why task ME with it? I know it wasn't obvious, but it doesn't help... and mostly, it helped me feel justified in some of my frustrations, so I appreciate that.