Why Ignorance Isn’t Bliss When You Have Anxiety

There’s a saying: “Ignorance is bliss.” It means what you don’t know won’t hurt you. Suggesting that people are usually happy knowing less information. So if a person doesn’t know that our planet is dying, they won’t be upset about it because they can’t be. I can see how this makes sense for most people; it just doesn’t work so cleanly with me.

When I am ignorant about something- I tend to make up what is happening in my mind. So let’s say, I don’t know anything about my partner’s past. So I imagine all the impossible and awful things of what his past could be. So he can be a murderer, he could have had thousands of girlfriends, he could be a psychopath- honestly, the list goes on. The fact that I do not know anything is what kills my bliss. My mind would make up scenarios that are way worse than what the truth probably is.

Okay, let’s say I apply for a job and go to an interview, but I end up not getting the position. Instead of the reason being there was a better-suited candidate or maybe they already had a candidate picked out before I went, it’s probably because I made a fool of myself and I am the worst candidate they ever had to interview.

My mind doesn’t always allow me to think of reasonable scenarios. My mind goes big and usually not in a good way. It goes negative.

I hear this often from people who struggle with anxiety. When someone at work asks if they can meet with you later in the day – it’s not that you got a promotion – you think it’s probably the fact that you are getting fired. When you partner says that you guys need to talk – your mind goes to that he is breaking up with you not that you guys need to talk about an upcoming vacation.

Once I know what is actually happening, my mind can usually breathe. I have no more knots in my stomach. My heart isn’t beating fast. I can finally be present. But up to that moment, my world is falling apart. My mind tells me all of the nastiest of lies. It has me believing them. It has me questioning my worth and relationships.

Ignorance only causes me agony. It causes me to overthink. It causes me to question my life and what is happening. Anxiety doesn’t allow me to enjoy being ignorant. I need all the information all of the time.

 

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