So, I’ve had a good breakfast, a good workout burning off calories and stress. Talked a thing through with my partner. Kept hydrated and thinking about what to do for lunch. I am seeing friends later and treating myself to a takeaway.
Thoughts are creeping in. Tomorrow is looming, I have a doctors appointment about my mental health and I have to walk back into work after my breakdown last week. This afternoon I have a bunch of friends over to watch anime and this always splits my mind in two.
So I have the blessing of having a lot of friends in several different walks of life. Work friends, gaming friends, anime friends and other interests. I appreciate every one of them who takes the time from their lives to spend with me and appreciates my company. I also spend a lot of time wondering how they manage it, how I don’t drive them up the wall and how they could possibly enjoy spending time with me. For awhile I even ran an event so I got a lot of face time with people, I’ve stopped that now, I just had to reduce the responsibility in my life to something easier to manage.
But it comes with its own set of social anxiety, some of which I have already hinted at. There are those moments when despite having your friends around you and enjoying their company it becomes noise and that noise feels painful and you want to shrink away from it. This can come and go during an event, sometimes it stays and I just have to give in to it, sometimes I can hide it away so people don’t notice.
Yet if I give in to this social anxiety I would feel isolated and friendless. So I know I have to fight it. Friends will be here in an hour or so and I am really looking forward to seeing them and sharing what has become one of my favourite hobbies, watching anime. Yet, I worry about those moments, about where my mind will go… it is never just free and easy and I hate it.
It also makes it a grey area of self-care… what is the best route for looking after myself? I’m not sure yet, but I don’t want to neglect or lose my friends either.
Something that a lot of us deal with is anxiety and stress at work and the potential for burnout. I’ve hit this or so close to this it was scary recently, I got to work last Monday and all I wanted to do was cry, curl up and hide away. I just didn’t want to face the day. So I for once in my life did the smart thing… I admitted it. I sent an e-mail to my boss and HR that I was exhausted and hadn’t been taking holiday because my part of the project was behind and I would feel too guilty about looking after myself. BAD SELF CARE AWARD RIGHT HERE.
I spoke to my boss, I was on the edge of tears feeling frantic and tense. He told me work wasn’t worth doing it to myself and they would find a way to cope. So did my colleagues who I spoke to when I went downstairs again. The same colleagues that saw my anxiety attack the week before and knew what I was going through. I don’t hide it but I don’t make it official, make sense? There was a few people I trust with my inner thoughts at work and dear god where would I be if I didn’t. I don’t know if they’ll read this, but thank you, I needed you so much this last week or so. I got my arse kicked right back up to my boss to take the holiday he has said I’d needed. I have a follow up meeting to see if I need more support. I’m suddenly not alone on the ocean without a paddle. You know what happened?
Within an hour of these events I didn’t want to cry, I could focus and get on with things. I had a deadline of the end of the next day to hand over my work as best I could while I took the rest of the week off to kick off some self care. I couldn’t get into the Doctor until the week after but in a way that just means I get a more well rounded set of ideas to present them with.
I am anxious… my shoulders are tight and sore because of it despite the work out. Though my shoulders feeling like this are pretty much a common occurrence, even 5 minutes after a nice relaxing bath or a massage from my amazing husband.
My head feels a little fuzzy, I can feel tension on my scalp and I know that at some point I’ll get that sensation of feeling whoozy and the fuzzyness will escalate to hearing the blood pounding through my head. This could be from physical activity or just a thought that stops me in my tracks and believe me it only takes one.
I have to talk to the doctor tomorrow and I don’t even know what to ask for, what would be best for me right now? Do I ask for an upping in my medication? A change to a different drug? Do I call the mental health facility in my area and get myself back on the waiting list for more cognitive behavioural therapy? Will this blog, the blurt foundation, the self care project and the other activities I am kickstarting in my life atm be enough to not need that?
And then I have to drive to work, hoping I don’t get another person up my back end the whole journey making me irritable and angry… hope no one does something idiotic that makes me use my horn or scream at them even though they can’t. I hate driving so much, it is one of my more stressful experiences in a day. Believe me I have been polite just know, there would be a lot more expletives if I wasn’t being careful.
Finally I have to be in work… find out what has happened while I have been gone… try and put right the mess I have made of myself and my workload these last few weeks. Try to think about what I can do now and not what the company will do if I fail. It isn’t realistic but I know I put the future of the company on my shoulders even when I am just a tiny cog in the machine.
Thinking of self care… I need to stop and drink, make my lunch and try and relax, to let these thoughts and feelings drift to the back of my mind so I can be in the moment and enjoy my afternoon. Allow myself the chance to wind down and nourish myself so I don’t feel depleted and empty come morning for my next trial.