Nothing Is Ever Simple: What It's Like To Overthink Yourself Insane
The other night, I went to a bar and met a great guy named Justin. Justin was hot. After we'd been flirting for a while, he casually put his hand on the small of my back.
My brain turned on.
I suddenly saw my future with hot-Justin-from-the-bar. I imagined that we'd share a kiss goodbye, and I'd give him my number. (I don't like to go home with guys I don't know.)
He would text me the next morning, and we'd go on a second date. From there, we would 1) hook up a few times, exchange booty calls and eventually fizzle or 2) date for an indefinite amount of time before entering into a full-blown relationship.
I chose to ride out the second option in my head. Our relationship could end in one of two ways: marriage or a breakup. If we got married, Justin, who is from Connecticut, would have to agree to move to California.
He'd do this happily, because we would be young and in love. But what would happen 15 years down the line, when the excitement had worn off and we had bills and kids to deal with? Would he miss Connecticut? Would he resent me for making him move?
Needless to say, I psyched myself out so much that I had no choice but to tell Justin I needed to run to the restroom.
I planned on never coming back. I mean, clearly this relationship was going nowhere positive, right?!
I know how insane that story makes me sound. I know this because I have thought about it extensively — just like I think about EVERYTHING extensively.
So, if you're anything like me (maybe not even quite as crazy), read this list and take solace in the fact that you're not alone.
You see the end before the beginning.
It absolutely salts your game. You can check out the above story to see how I do this like it's nobody's business.
Sleep is not an option.
Even when the rest of your body is ready for bed, your mind is WIDE awake.
You live on panic mode.
Stress is a common side effect of overthinking. No thought is fleeting; one small worry turns into sweat-dripping, head-over-the-toilet, tears-streaming-down-your-face panic.
You question everyone's motives.
Even when people try to make you feel better about your irrational concerns, you assume they're just trying to make you feel better.
You have a million different thoughts at the same time.
You are never thinking of just one thing. One thing leads to another thing, which leads to another, and on top of that you have about a million other concerns.
Making a quick decision is impossible.
Well, yes, I could have a breakfast sandwich with bacon, like I do every day. But I could also get a vegetarian one with mushrooms — even though I hate mushrooms.
Well, maybe if I force myself to eat them, I'll start liking them. But why would I want to force myself to like them? Are mushrooms even good for you?
I should look into the nutritional value of mushrooms. Eh, I'll just go with the bacon sandwich.
You see 50 shades of grey… in the least sexy way possible.
Nothing is black and white.
Texting is a time-consuming mental workout.
Deciding between “hey,” “Hey,” “Heyy” and “hey!” takes at least 45 minutes of careful deliberation.
Don't even get me started on the three minutes that become three decades of shame and humiliation while you wait for a response.
Deciding what to wear is so much more than just putting some fabric on your body.
But what does this look say? Will I be warm enough? I know it's hot outside, but there's air conditioning inside, so I should take a sweater. But what sweater would go with this outfit and keep me warm?
If anyone says “We need to talk,” you freak the f*ck out.
Those four words are the most frightening in existence. WHAT could we possibly need to talk about, and why can't you just tell me right now?!
Cue the mental montage of every possible reason this person could be mad at you — from the moment you met to 27 years in the future.
You give unsolicited advice.
You've thought about your friend's situation so much that you have more than a few pointers to throw her way.
You become emotionally invested in your friends' problems.
You are physically incapable of separating yourself from your friends. You listen to their problems and stay up all night trying to figure out a solution.
You find a hidden meaning in everything.
Okay, her parents were divorced, and my parents were divorced, AND we both had dogs growing up and irregular periods last month!!?!? We are obviously meant to be best friends.
You get lost in your own world.
Everybody knows that “look” you get. It's when you've left all of us earthlings for a trip into the depths of your own mind.
Life is always on rewind or fast-forward.
You spend a lot of your time looking to the past or the future, but never the present. Not a whole lot of time is spent just enjoying the moment.
There is never a simple “yes or no” answer.
You're more of a “Yes, but…” and “No, but…” kind of person.
Everything is a loaded question.
“How are you?”
Well, how am I, really? Let me think.
“Well, I'm mostly doing well. But something feels weird, and it's probably just the fact that it's Monday, but I also got my period this morning … a couple of days early, actually. Is that normal!?”
You don't know how to save yourself from the rabbit hole.
About 20 minutes into contemplating on how you really are, you realize that you've left Starbucks and the kind barista who asked you the question in the first place.
Every emotion sends you spiraling.
It's more than just shame spirals. It's joy spirals and fear spirals and love spirals and hate spirals. Everything is magnified in your world.
You're stimulated only when you're with other overthinkers.
You need to surround yourself with people who can mentally keep up with you.
You see the long-term.
You're hyperaware of the “bigger picture.”
You can't accept anything at face value.
You read deeply into literally everything. That guy didn't tell you to have a nice day because he wanted you to have a nice day.
He's in love with you! Your friend isn't just being a bitch because she's on her period; she's being a bitch because she hates you.
Your wild imagination is often the catalyst for these thought frenzies.
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