Working Through It

Today I started work and I was panicking. I don’t know why, as I get spikes of anxiety for no reason. It’s like I think something is going to go wrong, like this impending sense of doom. It makes me easily irritable, and I cry at just about anything. It’s completely irrational. And it is so embarrassing. No one wants to see a 30-odd year old adult crying for no reason. But then I feel ashamed, and that makes my anxiety worse. It really isn’t very nice.

Luckily, in my job, I have the space where I can just go to a quiet area and work myself. Give myself a little breathing space. It also gives me the chance to focus on my work, a chance to be distracted by something that isn’t my own over-active imagination. If the area I am working in gets to busy, I have the ability to move somewhere else. And it is actually really cathartic, sometimes. Today, I have been able to focus on what I was doing. and it has really helped.

It doesn’t always work, as because my job is monotonous, it’s very easy for the mind to start to wonder. And times like that, it’s like I can’t do anything right at all. The silly thing is, what works one day, might not help the next day. And it is so frustrating. In the UK, if you are off sick, your first 5 days are unpaid. Which means, that people are forced to try and work through issues that they would maybe be better dealing with at home.

It can be really hard, but every time I make it through a day, which has been riddled with anxiety, I feel a wee bit proud that I did it. Even if no one else does.

Busy Bee

Everyone has those times, where you get so busy and hectic, that you get completely overwhelmed. It is something that happens to me regularly, and I find that it can really trigger my anxiety. I start losing my temper, start panicking, I overheat and I get upset. The worst feeling is, that I get the idea in my head that I am only overwhelmed because I am useless. A good person, who could actually do things properly, would never have got so worked up about it. And, thinking like that, can start a cycle of demeaning myself, and feeling worse and worse.

These days, I know that if I power through, things will calm down, and with that, my anxiety will subside. And then, I can just focus on my job again. Which is such a relief. Whilst it is good to know that I can get through being overwhelmed, it is frustrating that it still happens so regularly. Anxiety, for me, feels like I lose control of my emotions, something that adds to the feeling of intensity. It is exhausting.

Although people who see me get worked up might disagree, I am slowly getting better at dealing with this. I try to simply focus on what task is directly in front of me. Usually panic attacks come on, because I see all the work I have to do, and I feel bad that the pile is ever-growing. And that pile of work, is just a badge of dishonour, letting the world know that I can’t cope. In a calm mind, I know that a work list getting bigger, is not necessarily an indication on my abilities, more the situation which is outwith my control.

Usually, at home, listening to music or a walk in the fresh air, work as tactics to get away from any panic I feel rising. So I can go off on my own, collect my thoughts, and come back and attack tasks with a fresher mind. But, in situations not at home, none of these solutions are possible. If I can stay focused on my task, sometimes I can just focus on what I am doing, and blank out everything else. But that isn’t always possible either. I have tried to hum or sing to myself when I get into situations that can trigger my anxiety. That can help. But, I get nervous of someone judging me for singing a silly Disney song. I am trying to get over that.

Not so long ago, if I was busy and got overwhelmed, I would just leave the situation completely. That sometimes meant leaving work early or cancelling on friends. I don’t do that anymore. I do push through it. I just need to deal better with what happens when I have to work through stuff. But, that takes time.

Still Here

I feel I should appologise. The last few posts on here have been really negative. Mostly because I seem to suffer mental health issues in waves, and sometimes it’s like the tide keeps coming in till I am drowning. And at the last possible moment, where I can feel myself suffocating, I take a last gasp, and the waters slowly go away. Slowly. Sometimes the tide come right back in again, but sometimes it goes right away and I can stand on my own two feet again.

But, clumsy metaphors aside, I have been plowing on. Not that there is anything else that you can do really. But, I am getting there. Every time I feel like I have a good grasp on things, a curve ball is thrown, and I am all over the shot again. It’s annoying, but the more it happens, as things develop, I guess you have to change how you deal with such issues as depression and anxiety. The good thing is, the more I have to adapt how I act when feeling low, the easier it gets. Okay, maybe ‘easier’ is not the right word, but I feel like I am able to cope a little better, which is always a good thing.

My new coping mechanism is trying to give myself a day to meltdown if I need it. A day without feeling the need to hold everything together. The last few Sunday’s have been spent by me staying home, having a cry and feeling generally crap about myself. At the time, I did feel really bad about wasting an entire day, but by Monday I was feeling like a huge weight has been lifted. So I didn’t have to feel bad about it, and that made me feel really good. And that having one day where I can be an emotional wreck, is a theraputic thing.

Feeling really motivated, so hopefully that continues. 🙂

Try Hard

The last post I made here, I was in a bad place. I was feeling lonely, and a bit lost. Which is becoming normal, unforunately. My moods have become more like a see-saw. Just ups and downs, over and over again. 

I have worked hard to try and deal with the ‘downs’, almost like having a cushion on my imaginary see-saw to help the downs not feel so bad. There are times the ‘cushion’ doesn’t work, and i feel like I am back at square one. But that is something that will change in time. I mean, the difference in my own head this year, just by changing how I deal with the crap, is crazy. I am trying to help myself more, rather than just wallowing. I say trying, because sometimes things do get the better of me. 

And it is times where I do feel my lowest, that I am grateful for things like work. Whilst I may complain about my job, the routine, and the feeling I can make a difference does help. It helps me find purpose. Doing a single task, can help take my mind away from whatever mental roller coaster my brain is taking me on. 

It does take a lot of effort, a lot of work and hell of a lot of trying, to get to this stage. I do still get days, where I don’t want to deal with anything at all, so lie in bed most of the day, which is sometimes helpful. But having something that I can’t get out of, like work, does motivate me. And, yes, i do have to think that I can’t get out of it, because if I don’t, it becomes way too easy to phone in sick. 

But, that has taken time to learn. That whilst having a day off may seem to help, it doesn’t actually solve anything. I still feel crap, and the thoughts, that caused me to pull a sickie, are still in my head. The quickest way to deal with them, is to just muddle through. Try and do something. Try and make yourself feel better. By trying to do that, it has helped me understand more about myself and my mental well-being. 

Which can only be a good thing.

To-Not-List

I have talked regularly on here, about what helps me get motivated. Because it has been something I have struggled with for years. One of the big things that has helped, has been writing ‘to-do’ lists. It is a simple way to methodically work through anything that is needing done. And the best thing is, that if you are feeling that little bit under motivated, you can make the items on your list. Like it seriously helped me tackle my anxiety, and I’d have days where I would have ‘put on socks’ and ‘go to bathroom’ on my list. But when I ticked them off, I’d feel motivated to get more of my list done, and I’d actually achieve something on a day where it would have been easy to do nothing.

But sometimes, a list doesn’t work. That happened yesterday. I came home with a huge plan of what I wanted to do. I wrote up a list, mostly chores, but also things like ‘tea break’. I came home, lay on my bed, and didn’t really move. I watched a movie, and then watched all the extras on the disc. Including commentary. And that was it. Nothing. So, when I woke up today, I thought about how to do an alternative. I needed to do something that would keep me going. Inspire me to do the tasks, like housework, that I don’t think anyone really wants to do.

But I came up with something that worked.

I filmed it.

I know that sounds silly. But, I just used my iphone and filmed wee clips as I got on with my day. And I did get everything done that I wanted to. And I even went out for a walk, and filmed bits of that too. Something that was really just me bumbling around doing what I needed to, ended up leading me to want to do something a bit different. It was a nice night so I went for a walk. It is amateur as anything, as it is all on my phone, but it was fun. I uploaded it online cause, I can. I like anything that leads me to express myself, and I ended up inadvertently doing that. The video is below.

I guess the point of this is, that sometimes what you may use to cope with any anxiety may not work. It hasn’t happened to me very often. I guess, the important thing is to stay calm. There is no need to panic, just know what it is that normally calms you, and just look at a different angle. All I did, by videoing my day, was record what I did slightly differently. And that small difference, made a huge difference to both my anxiety and productivity.

Just Keep Swimming…

So the other day, I wrote an entry on here, which was probably the most personal thing I have written on here in a long time. I was emotional, and was rambling A LOT. But it was honest, and that is what I am trying to be a bit more of. More honest with myself, about how I feel and telling people how I feel. These are things that I struggle with. Which is why blogging is something that helps me so much. I can try and think about what’s in my head, and be honest about it, without imposing it on the folks around me. I mean, people have their own stuff to deal with, they don’t need my pedantic rubbish forced on them.

Anyways, after posting my blog on Monday, I just went to bed. I had been crying a lot, and that makes me tired. Plus, I was sick of Monday, by that point, I just wanted it to go away. So, I went to bed and fell asleep pretty quick. Which was probably the best way to deal with feeling that crap. Because if I sit after feeling like that, I can start to feel worse. I could be sitting watching TV, but my brain has different ideas and seems to just make me feel worse. So, I expressed all the negativity, and then just attempted to switch off from the world. I am actually surprised that it worked, to be honest. Just close the day off, as a disaster.

On Tuesday when I woke up, I didn’t want the day to become another mess, so I just wrote myself a to-do list and focused on each bit one by one. I had a plan, and felt focused. There was nothing else I could do about how I felt the day before, so I attempted to make Tuesday better than Monday was. Usually, this kind of thing doesn’t work, and I end up dwelling on whatever negativity has happened before. But, before I could back out, I put on a 90s pop playlist on Spotify and before I knew it, I was tidying up whilst dancing to Faithless and Britney Spears. And I became so determined, that by the end of the day, all the rubbish I have been hoarding for years was in rubbish bags, and the floor had even been hoovered. Sounds like nothing, but I have been needing to do that for months.

I was so upset on Monday, because I felt like all that planning to positive in 2016 had crumbled at the very first obstacle. But, that ended up not being the main focus, for myself. It is that I moved on from it, and then had a successful and productive day. And it gave me a bit of hope for the next year ahead. Maybe I won’t do everything I aim to do, I am not perfect. But, if I can learn how to cope with the failures,in a manner like I did this week, then maybe 2016 will be better than 2015.

Just have to have faith in myself.

Just Deal With It

As a person, who documents much of her life online, as mentioned before,  I have the habit of being a complainer, rather than a do-er. The same passive stance I feel that many other people experience, things happen but I just talk about it and do nothing.

In some sort of continuance of the last few posts, I am still going to speak about change. Which is something that happens, no matter what your situation. The world isn’t something that sits still and waits for people. Things happen, and a person must learn to ‘roll with it’ or face being left behind, and be left out of life.

So, I guess my point is, that if you have a problem, deal with it. As mentioned previously, it may be change that is forced, which is harder. But by accepting the challenge you are faced with and adapting to change, you can open up the world of oppertunity. Rather than being resentful, and looking negatively at the situation, look at it with a chance to improve things. You can’t complain about your situation, if you are unwilling to do something about it.

Every obstruction which may cover your path, always comes with a diversion round it. Yes the path may be difficult, it may be different, but it will get you back to where you want to be.