I honestly don’t know how to start off this topic, because a fear, a doom has hung over my head the past few days. A dark cloud of defeat. Defeat with work, with new arising problems, with life.
I’ve found that regardless of my attempts at combating these challenges, there was a deep despair of the future. So much so that even weekends and time off work were ruined by this could hanging over my head. The present surrendered and forgotten in the face of fearful future, of ‘will’ or ‘could be’ in my tricky work situation. It sucks from me relaxation with myself, my attentiveness and power to focus presently.
Anxiety makes me unproductive, a higher likeliness to make mistakes is present and overlook certain facts on situations and be generally more forgetful. My brain reduces as the amygdala takes over, and I’m not myself. Trying to smile and have ‘normal’ conversations with people without coming across as strange. I try to fake it, but at work it’s too difficult to hide, my co-workers know me too well.
Frustrated, I went for a jog today as a recent injury meant I couldn’t go kickboxing, but I needed a bodily outburst so I sprinted hard and fast until I could barely take another step, and collapsed under a tree in the park.
Heaving in the silence amidst a backdrop of chirping birds, and wandering conversations, I watched a particularly large tree with branches shading above the pond, huge green clover leaves spread out like a thousand hands. It was here that everything I’d been trying to ‘fix’ the past few days came pouring out of me – money stolen from my account, beating myself up for not being able to go kickboxing, blaming myself for being overlooked at work and not doing enough about it, and a string of other things. I wasn’t ok. It was the first time I’d admitted it to myself. Furthermore, I accepted that I wasn’t, not just mentally but feelingly too.
I closed around it and owned it.
I left the park eventually and went home, feeling more peaceful than when I had entered.
The anxiety and fear lingers and no, I don’t want to go back to work – you know why? Because I don’t believe I am capable of handling what I’ve been given to do. Because I think I’ve compromised myself by not being on my own side there and not practising self-compassion. Because I don’t think I coordinate with my team members when I should because I lack courage in the moment, because I overthink.
It was the one really helpful thing for me to do today – to be ok with not being ok. To give myself the space, mentally and emotionally, to admit and house that. To face it as an adult and treat it delicately, not like a disease.
To own it wholeheartedly.
I don’t profess to know the best ways to combat anxiety, but I know that it festered more due to my rejection and chosen ignorance of it.
Accepting oneself as human I’ve seen, is critical to confidence development and living a full life.