This is what a bad day of anxiety feels like to me but without sensible reasoning behind it. Like if I forget to call a customer back at work and feel that flutter of butterflies in my stomach then I can sort of justify an increase in pulse.
But when I feel an overwhelming sense of not being good enough or worried that something bad is going to happen without any rhyme or reason to it, it’s quite a desperate hole you fall into.
The thing about anxiety is that it’s still your mind but a little bit broken.
I once read an eBook years ago that likened a broken leg to a broken mind and it discussed how when the leg is healing in place in its cast, we don’t put weight on it because it needs to heal. Additional pressure would only make it worse.
But when I start to feel anxious, what’s the first thing I start to do?
Put pressure on myself.
I start to scramble my thoughts; frantically searching for answers as to why I feel this way and how I can get out of it.
And each time I come up from that black hole I say to myself it won’t happen again because I know better.
And I do know better but it’s so much easier said than done. It’s not as though anxiety sends me a text before it strikes or adds itself as an appointment in my iPhone calendar.
“Heads up babes, I’m coming to fuck your day up on the 8th!”
Most of the time it takes something to happen for me to realise I’m in this head space like a bombard of awful thoughts or a reaction that’s out of the norm.
Then the challenge is on; get out of this headspace Emma before it owns you and the day is ruined.
So we go to battle.
Some days it’s an easy win and I don’t even entertain it. I just didn’t get enough sleep the night before or I know a workout is coming and I’ll sweat my troubles out. Other days it destroys me and I’m exhausted to the point that my bones ache.
And all this because of a thought.
The thought that I’m not good enough.
Anxiety really is a funny thing. If it were a person I actually imagine her to be the exact image of me because really, if we think about it, there’s no one else up inside my little head apart from me.
Perhaps the next time I feel anxious I’ll simply say hello to myself and give me a hug.
I’ll say “You’ll be ok babes. Just get some food in you and leave yourself alone for a bit”.
Or perhaps I’ll say “Stop being a bitch!”
I dunno. I’ll make the decision at the time I guess.