“Use a planner” they said, “Make a list” they said: these may be helpful for others, but it was the exact opposite for me! CONFESSION #1: MY NAME IS MELISSA, I’M AN OVER-THINKER, AND I HAVE A LIST MAKING PROBLEM!
Overthinking has, consistently, hands down, been my biggest obstacle to overcome. I have spent countless nights desperately wishing for just 30 minutes of sleep before the alarm clock starts blaring because the past 6 hours have been wasted, wide awake, falling further and further down a continuous cycle of rabbit holes, each as unproductive and useless as the one prior. Once my mind hones in on a topic, a question, anything that begs an explanation, I am mentally unable to move on until I’ve either discovered the answer or exhausted all efforts in doing so.
I found that writing has always been an outlet of mine, and while researching anxiety, I found that making lists had helped many people focus and stay on topic. I was excited and wanted to get started like, yesterday! You may be asking yourself why I am writing this on #WTFwednesday, so let me show you why.
The picture above is from the floor of my bedroom, showing SOME of my “organizational” materials. “Use a planner” they said, “Make a list” they said: these may be helpful for others, but it was the exact opposite for me! One notebook wasn’t enough, I needed to color coordinate so I knew what topics were in each. Then I decided that having a bunch of notebooks was too much of a hassle, so the 3-ring notebook idea came to life. Yes, those are tabs in the notebook, where each idea would be neatly organized and categorized. Of course, each section needed its own “idea” page, so I searched to interwebs for the perfect (but free) printables. Your eyes are not deceiving you: the first section literally as a list of lists that I could make.
The same problem occurred with journals! I had one for the nightstand, one for the car, one for the kitchen, one for my purse, one that stayed at work and, I hate to admit this, but one for the bathroom as well. Then came the planners, oh how much time I wasted searching for the right planner. There are THREE planners in that picture, none of which have a single plan recorded. And, in case you’re wondering, there is absolutely, 100% a handwritten list with another list attached to it. I admit it: I HAVE A PROBLEM!
I want to share personal stories simply because I am still struggling with a number of symptoms. I am not writing this blog as a psychological expert or as someone who has mastered the art of living with anxiety or depression. I am writing this to share my struggles and give a small glimpse of a typical day. I am still learning new information each day, and I look forward to hearing from you as you share what you’ve learned.