As the crunch set in, and as I began to feel it, I randomly downloaded Candy Crush on my phone. I proceeded to quickly become obsessed with it. This, I understand, is the nature of this sort of beast, but I was taking it to obsessive candy levels. I was staying up until midnight playing the game...I was seeing candy in my sleep. I was mentally matching up patterns in carpets for god’s sake.
I noticed that the second I got home, I was getting right on the game and ignoring, well, everything.
The more I tuned out and into the game--until literally hours passed--the more my anxiety was heightened. I was using the game to numb out in the hope that I would be able to relax, when in reality relaxing was no where on the menu. Oh, and I stopped meditating for a couple of weeks and skipping workouts like crazy. I mean, who has time for that crap when you are busy obsessing over little throbbing candies and trying to rid the world of chocolate?!
I laughed as I relayed to my therapist that I was officially addicted to Candy Crush. Then I told her how I was sort of becoming obsessed with the little things that my husband was doing...or not doing. I rattled off a list of the things I was obsessing over him doing, for instance, getting signed up for fall classes. I said to her, “If only I could line these things up for him!”
She says, “It’s sort of like a real life Candy Crush!”
And I exclaimed, “It’s Husband Crush!” Oh. My. God. I was Candy Crushing my husband.
Seriously, though...how many of us have engaged in "the husband crush" when we are feeling pressured?! It’s funny how when things get a little crazy we have a tendency to apply pressure to someone else in an effort to distract ourselves. I can harp on anything when I’m feeling stressed, asking questions interrogation style--so that it really hits the point home.
All the time, I think I’m helping by asking, “Have you called Wilmington College? Have you set up a meeting? Did you talk to your boss? What is your schedule tomorrow? Did you eat lunch? Was it healthy? Are you planning on working out today?” But in reality, I’m probably buggering the hell out of my husband who is a grown man perfectly capable of managing his own life.
I catch it soooooooooooo much earlier now than I used to, thank god, which means I can pull myself back from the edge. One way I do this is by shifting from being a maniac who must control the world back into a normal human being.
I have broken this down in steps because, frnakly, addicts work well with steps and since I am admitting I have a problem (Candy Crush + Anxiety = Husband Crush) I know that this ail work for me.
Step one: I meditate. Religiously. It’s amazing what breathing will do for me.
Step two: put down the Candy Crush and do something actually relaxing (not numbing) like reading a book or cooking or reorganizing the laundry room (yes, reorganizing the laundry room is relaxing to me....)
Step three: Self monitor like a biscuit. So, when my husband comes home I say to myself, “I am going to ask him how his day was. I am not going to try and solve any problem he might have had. I am going to tell him I proud of him and that I love him.” And then, get this, I am actually going to DO IT!
Step four: repeat steps one through three as often as possible.
Within a few days I had stopped crushing candy for hours on end (although I still enjoy it and can I say, I’m pretty good at it) and more importantly, I stopped crushing my husband. Magically, he still accomplishes all the things he needs to, and I think he enjoys me more when he's not being lined up and crushed like a bunch of little computerized candy pieces.
So tell me, do you crush your spouse when you are feeling the crunch? Share it with me in the comments section below.