There are moments in my life that give me no pride. Every time I have an anxiety attack, there is a certain amount of shame that comes with it, usually because someone has witnessed it and I’m embarrassed, or because of some sense that I should have had better control over my emotions and not let them get the better of me. I’m in my 40s. I should know better, right? Well, knowing and being able to do are two very different things.
Small anxiety attacks and the everyday on-going anxiety that I experience are manageable, kind of — rather, I can live through them most days. But then, when you add a whole bunch of things onto the pile, then mix it up with a conflict between work duty and my personal moral compass, and all hell breaks loose.
This is what happened at work on Friday. After a bunch of stuff worrying me throughout the month on a very personal level, I then had a chaotic morning where I was putting out fires and troubleshooting (people, not machines) — I was likely just a powderkeg waiting to blow. Or baking experiment about to blow up all over the inside of the oven.
Add three parts worrying about others, three more parts of putting out work fires, then mix in a conflict between wanting to do my job and what’s asked of me versus not wanting to do what is asked of me because it goes against my personal feelings and BOOM. (Can’t get into details right now, sorry.)
To quote Hudson from Aliens, “Game over, man! Game over!”
Total and complete anxiety meltdown in my workplace. It wasn’t pretty. What’s worse is that my boss walked in as it happened, and while she’s always super supportive and talks me through it, I always feel like I’m letting her down somehow when I can’t keep my emotions and anxiety in check.
That’s likely just more of the anxiety talking, too. Stupid anxiety.
So today, even two days later, I feel kind of exhausted. Like, I got hit by the mental freight train or MAC truck on Friday and I’m still recovering.
Add to the fact that I really wanted to be in my local women’s march yesterday, but I just can’t do it (physically, and maybe mentally), I was kind of a mess yesterday once my errands were run and I got home. Reading about all the marches all over the world was inspiring, but I really should not read the comments in Facebook, nor read much on Twitter about such politically-charged events. Ugh. I know better, yet still manage to get dragged down the rabbit hole. I really question sometimes why I’m still on Twitter, which seems to be a cesspool of negativity most days.
Anyway, I went to bed last night feeling an overwhelming sense of dread about the world and the direction that it’s going as a result. Today? I am kind of numb but feeling fragile.
Some folks who don’t understand would say that I’m a hot mess and need to control my shit. Maybe I am, and maybe I do. But the thing is: I control my shit every minute of every day. I am a high functioning anxious person and I have to be strong every waking moment and fight my own brain. (Do you know how hard it is to fight the monsters off when they are a part of your own brain?)
My biggest problem is that it all builds over time and eventually pops like a balloon that gets too full. Managing those bursts is difficult, and I always pray that they happen at home — but I’m not always lucky that way. But for now, the work situation has been resolved, and the women’s march stuff is out of my control (so I need to stay out of the comments area and try to avoid Twitter for a bit). So, things are stabilizing again.
Today’s post is the start of my “self care” this time around. Getting this stuff out of my head so I can move on. More self care on-board for today includes no news-watching, avoiding Twitter & comments sections on Facebook, and maybe just having a quiet day. I need to pull it in and minimize what I’m managing today. That will help me stabilize again. Focus on routine and basics. Getting dressed. Meal planning. Maybe some art. Let the rest of the world deal with itself for a while and find my centre.