When Self Awareness Is Really Rumination

Many have complimented me for my self awareness, my ability to understand my personal growth challenges and identify my weaknesses. However, what many do not understand is that not all of my musings are a result of self awareness, but rather rumination.

Like a cow chewing its cud, I regurgitate my thoughts and turn them over and over in my head. Unlike a cow, I can never seem to fully digest them. They keep coming back up to haunt me. While I have done this for almost as long as I can remember, some periods of time are worse than others. My obsessing over various topics has kept me awake at night, trapped me in bed in the morning, and made me late or absent to scheduled engagements. Sometimes I can distract myself long enough to be productive; sometimes I can’t.

In trying to dig to the root of my struggle, I think I may have begun doing this as a self-soothing tactic to remedy my loneliness. I know that my thoughts are not logical, so instead of communicating them to others, I allow them full reign in my head. I don’t really think of it as anxiety as much as a means of comfort, much like a child sucking on her thumb.

I have tried to process these thoughts with people I am close to, but what I have discovered is I reason them away. I may acknowledge that they are illogical feelings, and almost apologize for them to the people I talk to. In recent reflection, I realized I still talk to my friends about the same thoughts and feelings I was having a year ago. The obsession is relentless.

So what do I do with all that? I have tried reasoning my feelings away, because I am a huge fan of being a person of reason, but there is no reasoning with feelings, no matter how convincing the argument. I think what I crave more than anything is for someone to enter into the worry with me, to cry with me before helping to bring me out of it. To help me realize that my feelings, however illogical, are valid.

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