To try and get through life, I always look to make some kind of ‘action plan’ for the week. This gives me some kind of calm, as sometimes when I don’t know what is happening in the future, I can get very anxious. And if I am in a certain frame of mind, I can have a panic attack, which is a completely awful experience.
I always have a struggle when plans are changed. For example, maybe I regularly meet a friend for coffee. Something that is a nice part of a routine, is something that comforts me. It sounds silly, but it is hard to explain. Anxiety is something that occurs to me, when I can feel things slipping outwith my control. When I have really struggled with anxiety, I have normally felt lost, and that ‘lack of direction’, can really leave me feeling alienated from everything around me. And, if you have never experience that before, it is not a very nice feeling. And it is a feeling that can exacerbate other conditions, like depression.
So it really can trigger me when plans that I have, change unexpectedly. I always try to have a list of things that I can do at any one time, so that if plans change, I can try and move on to something else. It helps me feel like I am still in control, despite the fact that changes have happened outwith my control. It is something that I have been working on for years, but sometimes there are moments where I do still panic when stuff gets cancelled without much notice. For example, I was due to meet a friend for coffee the other week, and they cancelled. Their kid was sick, so they had to become housebound. Nothing I could do, but I got stupidly paranoid. I got this idea in my head that I had done something wrong, and that it was my fault that my friend cancelled. And no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t get past that thought. I couldn’t focus on anything, and had a few emotional breakdowns as a result. It sounds completely stupid now, but it didn’t feel like that at the time.
But have a constant list of alternative activities usually helps. It stops the doubt breaking into my mind, and it can help me stay angst-free. Mostly. Now, although it doesn’t work all the time, I know a lot of people who suffer from anxiety. And it really is something that can seriously effect your life. So I would recommend to anyone who suffers from anxiety to write up a list. My list includes things as read a chapter of a book, go for a walk and watch something on netflix. These are temporary things, but they keep my mind occupied and stop me from panicking. So I hope the idea might work for others too.