Do you get anxious?
I'm realizing that I do, and it's frustrating because I'm not entirely sure why.
Last night and all this morning I found myself bubbling away with anxiety. I was a little bit scared and apprehensive about going to work. It wasn't crippling - I know many people can become completely disabled when overwhelmed with anxiety. This was just a not very nice feeling that I couldn't shake.
Looking back, I have had anxiety issues since I was a teenager. When I was coming to terms with my Asperger's I would get overwhelmed with social anxiety. It reached a point where I had to leave school just because I couldn't cope. For years after that I had to live the life of a hermit, lest I get consumed by fear and dread. I never socialized!
But, I worked through that. I learned, through a huge amount of conscious effort, to cope and even thrive in reasonable social situations. It's still exhausting! I might behave all zany and loud sometimes, but that's not because I'm a wild and free extravert - it's just my way of taking command of a situation. Taming the beast.
On something more recent, I think my anxiety boiling under the surface was a big contributing factor to the downfall of my relationship. We dove into buying a house together, and I just couldn't help but sweat bullets over all the little details. Buying a house and renovating it is stressful anyway, and me being like that made it worse.
I made some bad decisions, not just bad for the relationship but also bad for me. When my hopes and dreams were starting to fall apart I really struggled. I couldn't sleep well and constantly felt like I was being crushed into little pieces. I still find myself getting consumed by a feeling of dread and fear that, because I failed so badly in that relationship, I can never be successful in any relationship. I miss what I had and stress that I'll never have anything like it again, and it's all my fault.
And now it's my job. Last night I was just stressing about work. I had a dozen non-urgent tasks to get to, and got anxious trying to figure out what exactly I should do - and the seemingly dire consequences for making the wrong choice. My fear is that I'll dive in deep on a job, be half way through then suddenly get assigned an urgent job that will drag me away . It's silly! I know I have options of what I can do in that situation, but it just makes me dread that I'll make the wrong choice of what to do in the morning.
Going to bed tonight? It's not a problem. An urgent job has come up that I'll need to travel to first thing in the morning. It's such a relief! I'll jump out of bed knowing exactly what I need to do, and as it's a priority one job nothing can stand in my way!
Writing about it here? It makes it all seem so silly. I know I'm not going to get punished for making the wrong choice of what to do in the morning, and my bosses have been clear that I've been doing a good job with the work I do.
But I think that's often true with anxiety - it's often irrational! I'll be fine, I just need to stay…
Grounded in reality.