Staycation

I have just began a two week break from work and have already received 22 messages from my boss, one of my staff and various upper echelons. This is unacceptable, when I’m on holiday I’m on holiday. I have ignored them all. None of it was urgent anyway.

I’ve wrangled a fortnight off due to the stress and me going into work crying daily. Not that my bosses were sympathetic, it was very grudging and I’m expected to go back three times better and unbreakable. Great. I know stuff doesn’t work like that but for now I need to focus on relaxing and enjoying this time off. I’m hoping for a mental reset.

Just gotta hope nobody fucks me up while I’m off work.

 

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Exercise helps

Doing a quick burst of exercise seems to help. Yes, news just in, exercise can help relieve anxiety and stress shocker!

I just forced myself to dance (more like running on the spot but who cares) as hard as I could for 4 minutes to an uptempo song and the physical feeling of exhaustion has almost totally overriden the anxiety feeling. I could have gone out and did the walk around the block like last night but going outside gives me anxiety too so yeah I tried this instead.

The anxiety is still there but the physical pit of doom is lessened. Result!

 

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A brief antidote

Tonight I’m off work and my anxiety has been building. No discernible reason, just the slow bubbling cauldron got it’s heat turned up and the tar began to boil over a little. Nothing could shake it, and ordinarily a nice long 3am fast drive on empty roads would have helped but my car is a little dodgy right now, I think it’s the brakes. It’s going in on Monday anyway. But tonight I was left with the bubbling cauldron getting worse.

I’d read over the last few days that anxiety is a fight or flight response. I love chemical breakdowns of why stuff like this happens. And with anxiety, there’s rarely a fight or flight to have to see it off. So, midway through washing up I decided to go out in the rain at 5am and walk as fast as I could round the block and home again. It only took me 6 minutes but I do feel a little better. It’s about the only exercise I feel able to do… oh no, now thoughts of how useless I am for not being able to exercise are creeping in. I’ll wrap up and distract.

 

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A very bad episode

I’m currently mired deep in a very bad anxiety/depression episode. I should go to the doctors but it seems like such a herculean effort to even get an appointment that I don’t even pick up the phone. Plus I have zero confidence they’ll help anyway. The last time I went all I got was “oh you’ll be fine in a couple of weeks!” and sent on my way.

It seems that every single time in my life I’ve reached out for help I’ve got zero in return.

Today I broke down in tears in front of my boss shouting “I can’t cope!” and almost vomiting with the amount I’m crying and all I got was “What do you want me to do about this?” Utterly dismissive. I want to quit my job and drop down to a lesser position without all the current stress and nobody will even entertain the idea. I’m too good to lose, apparently. Which ought to be heard as a compliment in my ears but all I see is that they can’t grasp that I’m drowning here. They’re closing their eyes and ears and hoping I’ll shut up and calm down but I’m spiralling badly.

There’s nobody out there that will help me. When people say “Reach out!” it’s bullshit.

 

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Do something

For myself, I’m finding snipping the negative thoughts as soon as possible is usually successful in turning them around. If I find myself thinking “I’m useless” and I go do something I am really good at, I feel the achievement and that overrides the negative.

It’s not always possible though. Circumstances or just being too deep in anxiety mean I simply can’t seem to get up and do anything.

Two weeks ago … or was it only last week? I can’t remember. But whenever it was, I was physically unable to get out of this chair and attack the weeds in the garden. This week I’m perfectly able, willing and ready to get out there. I’m just waiting for it to get light now. That’s another issue, I don’t like being in my garden during normal daylight hours. I have some very nasty neighbours who have destroyed my confidence in so many ways and they’re my Achilles heel right now. But that’s a thought for another day. Today I’ll celebrate doing what I can.

4:22 am , 23rd May 2018

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A good day

After yesterday’s bad end I feared I’d get no sleep due to negative persistent thinking. Fortunately I slept soundly, albeit for only 5 hours. This is nothing new, in fact it’s my norm these days, so I was content with that. I really feel typing the thoughts out onto here helped.

I had the night off work, but I stay on the same routine of sleep in the day and awake at night as it’s not viable to keep switching every couple of days. The switch takes its toll on me more and more the older I get and the longer I do nights for. Besides, a night off is a treat. I have the world to myself. Well, I have my town to myself and the odd truck driver.

At 2am I went a drive to the 24 hour grocery store and filled up my trolley with healthy foods. Juices, fresh fruit and vegetables, coconut milk and yoghurts. I came home and ate a good meal. Instantly I felt happier.

I find it easy to forget that good food produces good moods and helps your body to be healthier. It’s so obvious. But when I’m feeling anxious, depressed or insecure I’d rather reach for junk food first. I won’t fix my unhealthy relationship with food that easily, but for today, I feel better. And that’ll do for me.

8:25am 22nd May 2018

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Car accident

About an hour ago I had my first ever bump in the car. I reversed into a council vehicle that was stationary. Some workers parked up trimming the bushes at a nature reserve. The only damage was a cracked rear mudguard on their trailer and a little crack on the back of my car near the wheel and a bit of paint took off. I gave him my details and it’ll go through my insurance.

I have no idea how any of this works, I have nobody to ask and no experience. Do I just wait to see what happens now?

The worst part is in my own mind from this moment on. I already know this will stop me sleeping for days. Endlessly thinking in circles about it. Why did it happen? Why am I so useless and stupid? Why can’t I turn back those few seconds and just not reverse quite so much? Then those thoughts turn to every single incident where I’ve messed up. And soon it becomes clear that I’m an absolute failure at everything.

Which I’m not, but that’s the brain that takes over when a small incident like this triggers it. I’m hoping that this blog will be the outlet. Post those negative thoughts here and now, while it’s still fresh.

I’m useless.  — No I’m not. I’ve been driving for two and a half years now and this is the first incident and it’s so minor it’s laughable.

Why didn’t I reverse more carefully? — I didn’t, but I can learn and practice doing so a bit more. This was my gentle lesson and nobody got injured in the process.

Why did I say to go through my insurance when it’ll cost more to do so?  — This is actually a good way to learn how it works when truthfully it’ll cost very little and I can afford it anyway, I just secured a pay rise.

What about all the other times I’ve messed up in my life? — What about it? Everyone does and these tiny things that bother me when I can’t sleep are mostly meaningless.

It’s ok. I can ignore this situation until the insurance contacts me, right?

Seems my default is extreme insecurity.  Now I feel useless that I’m insecure. So so easy to spiral downwards.

 

I’ve just read something on insecurity here that made me think and stop for a moment.

Can you learn to like yourself even when you are not doing well?

I like this. It makes me feel like mistakes, failures and other messes are acceptable.  That may just take the pressure off myself.

I’ll see how today goes and if I can sleep at all.

11:31 21st May 2018

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