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.
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
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
While I’m on my working shift pattern, my schedule is gruelling. 14 hours at work, then commuting, then necessary things like bathing and eating, leave me with a scant 5 hours a day to sleep. No time for niceties like chatting to friends, browsing the internet, watching tv etc.
I’m fine while I’m in the maelstrom which can last between 4 and 8 days, dashing from work to home to work again. Keeping busy silences my mind. It’s only when that stops and I have a day off that the creeping dread has an opportunity to kick in again.
I know getting too little sleep for so long has a bad effect. I just don’t have a way to rectify this at the moment.
8:15 pm 18th May 2018
Should I write if I don’t know what to say?
I have a lot of thoughts, fragments of things that when combined, make up a full on anxiety attack. My aim is to gently pick at those fragments, write about them here and hopefully disperse them in the process.
But today no particular fragment stands out. Just the general sense of dread and doom when I think of the ball of fragments. Like a curled up armadillo.
Today I feel its best to leave the armadillo alone and ignore it. Ignoring my issues is my absolute favourite thing to do, when my brain lets me.
6:39am 16th May 2018
I’ve had 5 nights off in a row, and planned to catch up on all sorts of tasks at home. The garden is a jungle. I’ve still got a bird corpse in the chimney to deal with. I have pictures that need hanging. Training for work that needs doing. Plus all the usual housework- laundry, hoovering, cleaning etc.
How much of this did I get done? Nowhere near all of it. Probably only 10%. And so the unfinished jobs pile up, making my next days off fuller than a bull’s bum and being impossible to complete. And so the pressure I put on myself builds, too. And so I constantly feel like a failure.
When I get an episode like I did a couple of days ago where the anxiety was utterly paralysing and I could physically do no more than sit, staring out of the window, the thoughts of failure are compounded. Why am I wasting time like this? I need to be doing *task*. This isn’t helpful in easing myself out of that state, I know. But logic and reasoning are the tiny muffled voices during those moments.
So for now, I’m giving myself the rest of today off. No need to feel behind today. I shall spend (waste?) a few hours planning my diary for my next few nights off next week and no doubt I won’t complete all those tasks then, either.
5:22am 15th May 2018
I honestly believe getting enough sleep greatly alleviates my anxiety. However, it’s never as simple as “ok let’s get a solid 8 hour sleep no then I’ll feel fine” because who can actually get 8 hours sleep anyway?
Sleep is one of my life’s issues. I’ve worked overnights for the last 20 years, so already my natural body clock is messed up. I choose to work nights so I don’t mind it so much, the nights off are dark and peaceful, just how I like it. But sleeping in the daytime, 11am to 7pm is my window for sleep, is difficult. It’s hot and noisy. I take sleeping tablets, use earplugs, an eye mask, white noise clock and 2 fans when it gets bad. But the length and quality of sleep doesn’t compare to night time sleeping. Add into this days when my anxiety is through the roof and my brain keeps me awake and it’s easy to spiral downwards pretty quickly.
Recently I’ve been getting between 3 and 5 hours sleep a day for about the last 2-3 weeks. I suppose it’s no wonder my mental health isn’t doing so good.
5:38am 14th May 2018