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I’ve been there, so i know…

‘I’ve been there, so I know’ ‘You should be on tablets because its been a long time and you’re still like this’ ‘You’ve got to get a handle on it’ ‘You need to sort it out already’

These comments were from a colleague earlier.

At a glance they might not seem that negative. But the fact is her tone was harsh and impatient.

That and they also think you can cure it (they think I should be better by now was the result of the conversation.) I left them to serve a customer and said I needed to get some more stock. They got moody with me because they had just started to wash up.

I told them I was going, visibly upset and didn’t want to admit in front of a customer that I was really struggling.

I went into the warehouse, and cried.

I just broke down. My hand wouldn’t stop shaking, my breathing had sped up, and cried.

I’m not proud of it. Nor do i want sympathy. God, how i don’t want sympathy.
But it happened all the same.

When i came back to the department (with stock i did actually need) i explained to them what happened and apologised for leaving them so suddenly.

Those comments were just a sample of what i got in return.

My struggle is not something that will disappear over night. Has it been a long time since the symptoms became overwhelming? Yes!

Have i been suffering since before that? Yes.

Does that make me less deserving of understanding and a little compassion? No. Although it certainly feels like it.

I just want a little understanding and for people (who think they know but actually don’t have a clue) to give me some support. I’m not asking for special treatment, thats the last thing i want, but a little understanding here and there wouldnt go a miss.
I managed to calm myself down and have been subdued ever since. Subdued, but relatively ok.

Fuck this life and fuck people. Thats what situations like this make me feel the most.
Well, aside from the sadness.

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Positivity doesn’t seem sustainable…

I had meant to post a couple of positive posts. After all, I’d felt a little better at the weekend and had actually started to feel a positive shift in my thoughts.

As usual, they were temporary and I was far too harsh on myself for that.

Whether that’s the sole reason this low mood started or not, I’m unsure. However, I am sure that it started Tuesday.
I was worried about seeing the girl at my writing course after turning her down for a drink 2 weeks ago.

And the anxiety of such a meeting drove me to feel nauseous and even upset my stomach. I had a pain in my chest and my hand wouldn’t stop shaking.

But then I actually got to the class and saw her on the way in. I spoke to her and apologised if it insulted her to which she laughed and said it was ok, in a nice way.

So that cleared up that. But on my way home I started to worry about work the next morning (yesterday).
I worried about my poor treatment and the turmoil around the management change. I worried about the potential shift changes and then paranoia set in about any leaving swipes my current manager might take out of spite.

It may sound like silly things to worry about, and they are in the grand scheme of all things, but the truth is I’ve been treated so poorly the past 7/8 months that I’m now in a position where any little act by certain people just sets off my overthinking. Some of my colleagues have been great. A few specific ones especially. But sometimes even they can be overwhelming.

And recently I’ve felt overwhelmed more and more. I’m not sure how to stop it and become frantic when it happens. My head feels like it’s being pulled several different ways and i can’t seem to find stable ground!

It’s exhausting.
It’s demoralising.
It’s depressing.

Frustration, still on auto pilot…

So, the past couple of days could have been better. They weren’t awful, and they were not the worst days ever. But they were pretty rubbish.
That said, so is my attitude at the moment.

I’d been doing quite well, keeping positive where I could, trying to acknowledge and release invasive thoughts, trying to let go of things that bother me (especially those that have no relevance to my overall life).

I’ve still been doing all of that, but the past few days it’s not been enough. And I’ve gotten frustrated and angry, at myself, far too often.

Take today for example… I was worried about something at work. An issue that was not mine to worry about, but like a lot of issues I worry about them because I feel like no one else does. And I am passionate about doing a good job. (There are other issues that compound my worry in these types of scenarios but I will not list them right now as I have gone over them before).

Anyway, so a colleague asked me to stop worrying as it wasn’t my place (in a nice supportive way) and showed me the reason my worry wasn’t warranted. I was thankful to her, but within a split second, I was overcome with frustration and anger towards myself for worrying like that.
Then I realised those emotions and tried to calm them, to be kind to myself.

I got upset and then two colleagues came over and started asking if I was ok. That overwhelmed me and I started to tear up.

So I backed off and asked them to leave me alone for a few moments (as politely as I could in that particular moment) whilst I calm myself down.

I stepped away and tried to regulate my sudden speedy breathing. I did and eventually calmed myself down.

But the frustration stuck with me all day. Other things piled onto that throughout the day and i tried to accept and move on. It didn’t work.

It’s so frustrating when i get cross or annoyed at myself. Especially when I’m trying so hard to be kind to myself. It feels like a punch in the gut from my own brain. And it hurts like hell.

Emotional See-Saw-ing

My emotional state, as ever, seems to be resting on a pivot point (much like that of a seesaw) so thin, that even the slightest comment or thought seems to throw out its balance.
I’ve been so up and down, that it’s both sickening and yet somewhat familiar.

At work yesterday I started off in a sleepy, low mood. That mood did not improve as the morning advanced. Yet, sometime around midday, my subconscious realised i was nearly done with my working week. And i got a little boost. And, at first, i started to feel like i could smile without feeling guilty or comment on something without worry id somehow upset whoever was listening. It was almost freeing.

As the clock ticked closer to the end of my shift i realised my brother was picking me up and that i wouldnt have to rely on a 45minute bus ride home.

That helped me think a little more consistently. And it was nice. To smile and laugh at jokes with a few of my nicer colleagues (Saturday afternoon is nice in that the people working are nice, polite, and don’t seem to judge me. At least not to my mind).

It was all going well. Until i started to sweep the floor and run down the clock. To be honest, i don’t know what caused the sudden emotional change. I started to overthink things and thoughts of my ex popped up. And before i fell into the inevitable spiral that usually follows such thoughts, i practised some mindfulness by trying to focus on the sweeping.

I started making note of the crumbs and tried to figure out what they were. Cheese? Ham? Poultry? (I work on the delicatessen – so that is a normal crumb ingredient list)..
I thought it was working, it certainly killed the time. But as i left, saying goodbye, there remained the buzzing in my head that often follows my anxiety/overthinking. Almost like the whirring of an overheating computer.

It was difficult and not knowing why it suddenly kicked in unsettled me.

I’m now here, enjoying a more subdued sunset than Fridays, trying to make peace with my usual Sunday induced low-mood.

This constant seesaw-ing of my emotions is tiring and quite frankly it’s getting old, fast. But not knowing what causes things, even after all this time still frustrates me.

Writing, talking, and messing it up…

Ok. Where do I begin?

I feel like I’m holding it together pretty well.

At least I think so, considering there’s a swirling vortex of confusion in my chest.

And it’s fuelled by my overthinking, frustrated mind…

Tonight’s class went well. It was all about setting and if there’s one thing I know how to write about? It’s setting. So it was fun. And I got two short(ish) pieces of fiction out of it. Which excites me as they’re fantasy rich and not so much science fiction.

That said, after the class I walked down the road with one of the ladies in the class. Last week she asked me about my writing preferences and I didn’t get the time to ask her about hers. That annoyed me as I felt rude and thought she would think that of me.

Tonight I got to ask her about her preferences and writing style and I felt like we connected and bonded a little over what we said. Which was a strange sensation for me. Because I didn’t feel the anxiety until after the conversation ended. It was a moment I was very happy with.

However, she did ask me if I wanted to get a drink.

I had to decline, because I have to travel more than an hour to get home (and having a potentially stressful and anxiety filled day tomorrow – at work) I decided it best to decline.

She then said it was because she had to wait for a cxab but we could maybe do it another time. I agreed and said we definitely will do it another time as I’d like to. We smiled and off we went in separate directions.
Seems harmless enough.

But instead of just getting on with my journey home I’m struggling to keep in the anxiety and frustration that’s building inside me.

You see, I feel terrible that I turned the invitation down. It’s the best thing for me, but in doing so I may have hurt her feelings. I don’t want to have done that.

I know that I could have offered another day to cement my interest but didn’t. Because I got flustered she asked me in the first place!

So now i feel bad.

But I also feel like it was a missed opportunity to talk with someone who was nice to talk too. Not to mention I have to wait a whole week to see her again and then explain about wh I said no.

Frustrating, annoying, and I feel terrible.

Mindfulness… I finally did it? (Once).

Being in the moment, being mindful, is hard for me. In fact, I imagine it is for many people.

All I know is that I find it difficult.

The philosophy is lost on my overthinking and annoying brain.
But sometimes, things work out ok. And tonight I realised that I was being mindful without realising.

I took the opportunity to walk across the beach whilst the tide was low, and in this mist I was able to let my brain over think in a good way. I let my imagination run wild and take in this eerie, creepy, atmosphere. I allowed it to explore ideas for my current short story, as well as those to come.

I let it experience the disorientation of distance in the fog. The lights from buildings and street lamps looked so odd under the low flying cloud.

The thoughts that trouble me, that torture and torment me. The thoughts that drag me down into the pit where they thrive and I recede. They were all still there. I look at the footprints I unconsciously started to follow and wish they were her.

I wished I could here her voice again. See her smile.
Then I realise I’m being foolish and although I realise the negativity, it’s too late. The thoughts are tugging at my shirt and pulling me down into the sand.
So, I turn. Take out my phone, and proceed to capture, as best I can, a 360 degree image centred on me.
It’s like quick sand.

I close my eyes, take a few deep breaths, and when I open my eyes, I’m standing atop the sand. Not buried under it.

One foot in front of the other, at a leisurely pace. And 25minutes later, I’m here, on my bed.

I’m still struggling. And always I feel like I’m fighting to hold on to this facade I show people. Maybe one day I’ll trick my own mind into believing it.

Until then, at least I can say I did it. I was mindful. And it worked.

1 step forward, 2 steps back…

On my way to work, and it’s like my head wants to erupt out of itself.
I’ve always had trouble with overthinking but the past couple days my head just feels full of fog.
It’s hard to find any ‘sane’ or ‘calm’ thoughts. I sit here, on the bus, and I’m already feeling overwhelmed. I’ve not even made it to work yet.

The other day i felt like I was doing ok, i was controlling my overthinking, mostly, and felt a little happier in myself and how I was coping.

Then someone questioned my work process (which is correct because it was by the book) and even though i knew i was right, it made me feel anxious.
Because the thoughts didn’t stop with ‘you dont need to do that’. That was a gateway comment. It made me feel inadequate, like i was doing something wrong.
I fought my corner and stood up for myself. Stating ‘it says to do thus in the book’ and tried to carry on and let it go.

But the thoughts started, and i let them in, because i was so preoccupied with feeling anxious, in general.

Thoughts like: “i hope she doesn’t come back to argue this more”
“I know I’m right, but why does it still annoy me?”
“Why is she being so awkward? She doesn’t moan at me any other time?”
“She’ll probably talk to people behind my back about this”
“Why can’t i just let this go?” And the list goes on… I feel as though the self-respect game is at an all time low, because all i can think of is how much I’ve let myself down by letting one moment like this push me back.

From feeling ok about how i was coping and moving forward, to reverting back to this fogged up, overthinking, anxious mindset.

Now all i feel is anxiety. And worry. About a confrontation that may or may not continue.
I think it hurts too, because the person in question is one of two that know the extent of my anxiety but simply dont care. Or at least they don’t seem too. (Actions and words speak volumes).

I just have to get through today and hopefully i can try and reset my mood for tomorrow. At least, i can try!

From the other night…

The following is something I wrote Tuesday night…

Tonight. I’m frustrated.
I came out in a good mood, sat through my course and kept that good mood going (even though the topic – life writing – was not really my area of interest) and even after the course i kept the good mood.

But now i am stuck in broadstairs, 4miles from my home, because the buses have decided not to follow their usual route home (i assume a road closure is truly to blame here). Slowly, the good mood has begun to crumble. I wanted to be home by now. It’s late, i have to get up early for work tomorrow and I’ve not even eaten dinner yet. I waiting for a call from my brother to ask for him to come fetch me. But until then im stuck here.

My mood has crumbled and im so annoyed for it doing so. I should be kind to myself and yet my mind is so upset and anxious at being stuck here on a street corner I know nothing about that im struggling to let any kind thought in.

I hate that this has happened. But i cant change it. And even though I know that, my anxiety keeps building. I’ve seen a dozen cars go by that are the same model as my ex’s and with each one my mind is drawn to a memory of us. And that just upsets me even more.

I feel so out of control right now.

Electric shocks and a little beach fox…

Today has been a weird day.
I suffered an electric shock at work which scared the crap out of me (metaphorically, not literally – phew)
And then the day ends with me witnessing a fox running along the beach looking for food.

Let’s start with the obvious: an electric shock. I’m not talking about static, I’m talking about an exposed wire on a piece if machinery plugged into the mains. That’s a scary thought. And its an experience i never want to go through again.
It felt like a pin being stabbed into my finger, which immediately turned into every muscle in both my arms tightening and burning at the same time. Only this all happened in the space of a second it two. It was awful.
Luckily my arms pulled away from the shock’s source before any real damage was done. The shock didn’t leave my arms. Thankfully.

But it was scary. Really f***ing scary.
I thought that was it, just for a moment.
Luckily I’m still here and just have a teeny tiny blister to show for it. Not a single superpower to show for it…

Anyway, its been dealt with and it was refreshing to see management take it seriously. It shook me pretty good and as a direct and indirect result my anxiety shot up as well. I kept panicking and worried i would have a anxiety attack and that everyone would mistake it for a heart attack, which made me worry about having one even more. But i was too frantic to stop the worry. I got through it ok and I’m honestly fine. But it was bloody scary.

The problems continued with certain people, who laughed thinking it was funny, just another strike against their names in my mind. Some people just are not nice at all.
Some other things happened, nothing of interest though.

An appropriate video, i feel.

So, now the end of my day…
Electric shock aside, my day was the usual mix of up and down.

But, as i stood there overlooking the receding ocean, negative thoughts taking over and tears on my cheek, something caught my eye.
There, on the beach, was a teeny tiny fox. I thought it was a cat at first, but then i saw its little bushy tail.
It looked right at me. Dead in my eye.
Then, it just looked away and off it ran. Occasionally it would stop and push its nose into the damp sand. I assume looking it smelling for food.

I watched it run of into the distance as i walked home. Before i knew it, i had a smile on my face. The tears were still there, the thoughts too. But that teeny tiny fox just took me somewhere pleasant. Just for a moment. And that was enough, tonight at least, for me to push past the negativity and still smile.
It didnt stop the thoygts, it didnt stop the memories making me sad. It didnt stop me wanting that one person.
But in spite of all that, seeing that little fox do what it needed to survive, allowed me to still smile, even with all that going on in my head.

I’ll take that.
Thank you little fox.

A smile can mean the world…

A smile can mean the world.
I struggle on a day to day basis to keep myself ‘level’.
Now, i know level means different things to different people. But to me? To me ‘level’ means ‘OK’.
It means that I’m able to walk to the shop, speak to the assistant, leave, and wall home. All without crying.
Distinction: specifically, without crying.
I’ve not managed that at all this week. Not even on my walks. Not from my course last night.
I’ve cried every chance I’ve had this week
But, I’m pretty sure that’s ok. It has to be ok. Because even though I’m not ‘level’ I’m feeling. Right?!
Anyway, last Saturday and again today, i served an attractive lady (by that I mean I’m attracted to her – she’s attractive regardless of my opinion). I’ve served her a couple times before and on Saturday she smiled at me, as in recognition: she remembered me. Not many words were shared but smiles were aplenty. It made my day, to think someone would even smile at me, let alone a gentle, happy smile like that.
It happened again today. Only this time we joked. And she smiled even more.

I’m not silly. I know its just a smile. But as simple as a smile is, hers made me feel shy and happy at the same time. She made me mean the usual ‘have a nice evening’ i say when saying goodbye to customers. She made me want to look out for her next time because she smiles and i feel ok.
Shortly afterwards i feel happy. I felt genuinely blessed.
It’s hard to describe because the feeling gives way quickly enough to my usual train of thoughts and memories.

But, for a moment, she made me feel accepted. And her smile made me feel good.
Next time you go to the shop? Smile at the person serving you. Say thank you. You never know how theat smile will affect someone. It might just make their day. It made mine.