It’s Saturday morning. My two youngest are in town and the house is still asleep. I’ve got running to do and bagels to eat so I crept out of the house to head to my bagelly haunt. There’s a table in the corner filled with the other “regulars” and a small line is building at the counter. I’ve already scarfed down my two bagels.
I usually eat them quickly as I have precious little self-control when eating something I enjoy. I haven’t consumed them so quickly, though, in some time. See I’m feeling stressed this morning, more so than in the recent past. I am a stress eater and if it weren’t for that building line I would probably get back in line and order up two more of whatever the freshest bagels there were.
Why am I stressed? Well, thank you for asking, friend.
It’s no secret that I spend most of my days feeling “less-than.” Always feeling like other people are better than me at this or that. Smarter than me. More attractive then me. Fitter than me (not a stretch so much on this one). It’s one of my prominent opportunity points I’d like to work on. In truth I think I have been working on it and my medication has been helping me feel more able to do so.
That is until yesterday. It started early in the day with a phone call from one of my stores I cover for work. I didn’t answer because, well, I just didn’t want to talk to anyone. The voicemail wasn’t very clear but asked about a discrepancy in something that I thought was a settled matter. Not very significant but called into question my thoroughness. I sent a text message to the person who called and let them know I was unavailable to talk but here’s what I think you meant.
I expected a message back along the lines of “Oh OK” or asking if I had more info to shed light on the matter.
I had already felt the first pang of “less-than” when I saw the caller id, part of the reason I didn’t answer. Unplanned calls from work scare me. I am, after all, “less than” and at any moment my boss will discover it. Then when I saw the voicemail I started to spiral. My work was being called into question, regardless of how miniscule the question was. By the time 30 minutes had passed without a text response, well I was in borderline terror mode.
The day started to close in on me. My periphery vision seemed darkened. My focus blurred. Sleep, I needed to sleep. Run away and hide.
I did sleep, and it didn’t help. I started to try to think of a way to not go to that store next week. How can I tell the store about new things that need to be done when I’d proven so incapable with past activities?
It’s now 24 hours later and my mood has only gotten worse. It’s crept into other areas, not just work related. There’s no way I can complete my run this morning, I’m “less-than.” Dieting is futile, I’m “less-than.” How am I going to be a good dad this weekend when I am so clearly “less-than?”
All of life seems bigger than me again. I do have hope that this is temporary. And I am trying to convince myself that this will all melt away when I go to that store next week and get more information. Make no mistake, though, I am in no condition to try to make a phone call and clear it up before then. I am after all…