Why do positive things happening to me make me terrified?

This is going to be the epitome of an uncomfortable blog for me, and that’s saying something considering the traumatic things I’ve written about. But this blog is more about one of my deepest fears that have developed after those traumas…

I’ll say why I find this uncomfortable up front, because I think it’ll help me write honestly. But, basically I hate writing in a way that outs me as a person with a negative mindset, cos I’ve spent so long building my personality around my ability to take the negative and stay positive.

When I’m honest about my negative spiralling mind, I feel very “woe is me”, like I’m asking for pity. Which I’m not. But it’s hard to talk about tough feelings without people feeling bad for you and that makes me feel icky.

Which is a convo for my therapist, but with that, I’ll start.

I’m a very unlucky person sometimes.

I’m also a very lucky person. Until recently, I’ve never noticed how often I win little raffles or am given things or am the recipient of kindness to the point that I probably never need to worry about homelessness or anything.

I think the luck distribution comes in a very balanced way tbh. But it doesn’t stop the bad luck tunnelling into my subconscious and sitting there like “don’t forget me!”.

Humans are very good at pattern recognition. It’s an important part of human evolution to stay alive. Like, if you get wildly sick after eating red berries, you will just stop eating red berries, even though it could be a coincidence. They might be fine, but you’ve made the mental connection that it made you sick, so you’d just avoid them.

I think this has happened to me, but the pattern is that anytime something good happens to me, something terrible happens.

It has also happened with making goals. And buying plants.

It’s unfortunate, because if you have as much “bad luck” as me, then almost anything can seem like a correlation. But quite honestly, my bad luck literally seems to tie really closely to really specific good things/goal making etc to the point it’s like I created Covid just by having something happen in my life.

Yes guys, I’m the main character and you’re all just dealing with the effects of my positive life events.

Doesn’t sound like a god complex at all 🙄

I’m writing this because something good happened to me recently and I’m currently a wreck.

After 8 months of unemployment, isolation and depression, I got a job!

it’s at a place that I wanted to work. Doing stuff that aligns with what I wanted to do. It started pretty chill, but my role kept changing to have more responsibility very quickly. They seem to want me to stay with them and want me to find relevant work within the company to make that happen.

Tell me why this makes me feel physically ill and terrified.

Not cos of the job changes/responsibility, but because I’m actually happy!

To explain this, let’s go to the start of the year in February where I opted for redundancy from my job of 5 years to go for a big career change to get more face-to-face people work (lolllllll).

I took a 3 week break to relax and not apply for any jobs. See some of NZ. Enjoy myself.

Then after that time, I decided I just wanted some casual bar work to tide me over while I figured out what the rest of 2020 would looks like.

This was in March. We were not concerned about Coronavirus in NZ yet.

I essentially got a bar job at one of my fave craft beer bars pretty quickly from a social media friend. All I needed was to send my CV on Saturday so they could see my experience and I was sorted.

That was THE Saturday that everything escalated in NZ. Since I was high risk, I moved into lockdown earlier, but we were all in lockdown by Wednesday.

I could see how fast we were going to spiral so instead of sending my CV, I had to send an email saying that I had to go hide in the country, also knowing that the bar would probably close down anyway.

Thus the beginning of my big career change stopped the day it was supposed to start.

Fast forward a few depressing months to when we opened up again and I began a course in Manukau – it was a precursor to doing a course to become a peer support worker. Basically exactly what I left my job for.

I went there and it’s maybe the best thing I’ve ever done in my life, I’ve never felt so seen or understood by people who I wasn’t paying to understand me.

Please tell me the likelihood after my last story, that the GRADUATION DAY of that course. The day that I should have been doing my final class and celebrating with my new fam. That THAT was the day we went into our second lockdown in Auckland and we missed it.

I eventually technically finished it over Zoom classes, but never collected my certificate because they moved the classes into in-person only during Level 2 so I couldn’t go in cos of my health issues and I felt so hurt and abandoned by that, I never went back.

Good times.

ALSO! After the second lockdown moved to level 1, I applied for a bar job in an awesome cellar door and the day my phone interview was planned for was the day we had a Covid panic in Auckland and the city shut down for the day.

I really thought that it was the sign I was going to get the job and we’d go into our third lockdown and I’d lose it that day.

Luckily I didn’t get the job 😂

If you’ve ever felt personally victimised by the timings of Covid-19 lockdowns, raise your hand 🙋🏻

Like, I KNOW that it’s just two/three unfortunate coincidences. Rationally. I do know that.

But someone please tell my emotional mind that over 8 months of going in and out of isolation and deep depressions, the 3 times something awesome almost progressed my plans, we had lockdowns or Covid scares. LITERALLY.

Cos my logic and understanding of bad luck isn’t getting through to me.

It doesn’t help when I have a history of “bad luck”.

For example, I’ve signed up for two half marathons (separately, obviously).

Not long after signing up the first time, I got pneumonia and was diagnosed with a lifelong Primary Immune Deficiecy and Bronchiectasis and was bedridden when the run date came.

The second time, I created a full training schedule, and on the first day of it, someone crashed into my car and wrote it off and hurt my knee as I was driving to buy a Fitbit to celebrate.

So yea, I associate signing up for a half marathon with something terrible happening to me.

And now I associate positive career moves with FUCKING COVID LOCKDOWNS.

To add to it, I also associate having thriving plants on my balcony as a sign that one day I’ll get too sick to water them and they’ll all die. Because that always happens. It’s happened like 3 times and it’s always because of something serious, difficult to diagnose, or life threatening. Not like a cold or something.

Literally planting plants makes me think I’m PLANNING to get so seriously ill that I won’t be able to keep them alive.

But people always pressure me to plant more cos they hate my post-illness plant graveyard, so I replant it knowing full well I’m jinxing myself.

Is this your positive queen? Your optimistic oligarch.

Cos I don’t fucking feel like one.

I have many green, happy plants on my balcony, and I have a job with a very cool company, and I just feel like I’m setting myself up.

I cannot tell you how awful I feel right now, considering it’s less than a week to Christmas, I’m trying out a really exciting new role at work in the new year, it’s summer and my tomatoes look amazing.

I’m terrified. I feel physically ill. I don’t want to leave my apartment. And if I do, I want to socialise and have fun like the world might explode if I go back home.

When I’m out and about having fun, I’m too scared to go home and be alone there. It feels like a bad thing to let good times finish because I have this terrible foreboding feeling that if that happens, I’ll either get very painfully sick for months, or we’ll go into lockdown and I’ll be in another deep depression for months.

I don’t want to talk publicly about my job because I have a feeling that if it becomes real, I’ll lose it, or just the above issue again.

So many good things in my life have taken very dark turns very quickly

The patterns are pretty rough. Like, people you love will end up abusing you. Or people you trust will end up taking advantage of you. Setting goals means something bad will happen to you. Planting herbs means you’ll end up seriously ill. Career moves means you’ll become isolated and depressed.

I also feel like if I’m ever not able to breathe properly, or if I limit the food I can eat, that it’ll never end. Like, that’d become the rest of my life till I die…

It’s also hard to explain cos I also am not particularly afraid of dying. I’m afraid of having a terrible quality of life, and it will be my own fault cos I signed up for a 10km run, or cos I got a promotion or some shit.

At this point, I’m definitely living in a fear state.

Fear of ✨something✨

I feel very self-destructive. Somewhat like I did in lockdown 2.0 when everyone was back to normal and I was still self-isolating. But it’s more annoying because NOTHING IS FUCKING WRONG.

In fact, everything is going VERY FUCKING WELL.

A little too well if you ask me.

So yea, that’s my woe is me piece. About how many bad things happen to me when things turn good and how I created the lockdowns by having positive career changes. Sorry about that guys.

I don’t even know the point of this.

Probably the usual – to get it off my chest and hope someone relates.

I really want to believe that good things can happen and won’t be followed by trauma, but honestly, why would I think that when that’s not my experience? Seems silly and ill-prepared to not expect the worst (and yes, I know that’s irrational).

Maybe it’s just the rollercoaster lifestyle of a traumatised person and I have to embrace the ups and downs as entirely separate experiences and learn not to connect them. Cos I honestly do also believe that when things are terrible, they’ll become better again eventually and I’ll be stronger and more amazing, so I do expect the opposite when things are bed…

But I also don’t really want the negative… I’m tired… I’ve had my share… Can I opt-out? Unsubscribe me plz.

I’d like to be fully present in joy and celebrate that things are going well right now and it’s not really my vibe not to be stoked, so I think I need help.

Does anyone have advice to undo the “patterns” I’ve associated by my awfully bad luck and timing coincidences? Have you done it? How did you do it?

Cos I know I know I know that’s it’s all mental. But like I said, my emotional, fear brain doesn’t understand that logic.

All it knows is “feel good, expect terrible”.

So, please help? Thanks! 😌💜

📸 Featured photo by Marko Blažević on Unsplash

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One thought on “Why do positive things happening to me make me terrified?”

  1. Charlie, a psychiatrist friend told me that EMDR is very very good for trauma, this was confirmed by a psychologist friend. Have a Google. I’m looking forward to shaking a monkey off my back.


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