Every time I feel myself start to spiral downwards, the first person who notices is my mum. She tells me I need to take time off, she encourages me to seek help and she’s there for me in the early hours when I struggle to sleep. But yet, almost every time I ignore her advice, I push on and I don’t take time out.
“If I’m creating this problem in my head, then surely I can stop it?”
I do this because I refuse to accept that there is anything wrong with me. My head is clouded with thoughts such as: “If I’m creating this problem in my head, then surely I can stop it?” And “I’ll be fine, there’s nothing wrong with me.”
Now I am aware that this post completely contradicts all of the advice I gave in my post on dealing with daily anxiety, however I know that the advice I gave is easier said than done, and it does take time and practice.
“Sorry I can’t come in today because I don’t feel up to it”
One of the main reasons I always feel this way is that, I don’t know how to tell people. If I ring up work in the morning and say: “Sorry I can’t come in today because I don’t feel up to it”, I feel like they would say that’s not a valid excuse. I want to point though that my work have never said this, this is just a fear I have in my head. But the anxiety of not know what to say, forces me to come into work everyday and pretend I am OK.
I had sick on my shoes and down my leggings, but I still made it into work
My last bout of bad anxiety was in October 2018. I had been feeling down for a couple of weeks and then insomnia hit. I didn’t sleep for more than a couple of hours a night and my head was all over the place. However I continued to come into work. I remember one morning my anxiety was that bad, that I threw up in the street on the way to work, I had sick on my shoes and down my leggings, but I still made it into work and I sat all day, unable to concentrate with a lingering smell of sick in the air. When I got into work I only told one person, but the rest of my colleagues were totally unaware.
That week I also kept taking breaks and crying in the toilets because I couldn’t hold it together. The day I decided enough was enough was when I finally was so worn down due to lack of sleep, I couldn’t even move quick enough in the morning to get myself ready for the day. I emailed my manager and took the day off.
The next day I went to the doctors, if I’m honest I can’t remember what I told her because I was so hysterical, but she gave my an anxiety drug called Propanolol and signed me off work for one week. This was the key to my recovery because I accepted I had a problem, but in the back of my mind I was thinking when should I really go back to work?
I spent the time hiding under a blanket and feeling guilty about not going to work
I’d love to be able to tell you that I spent those days meditating and doing things that help anxiety, but I didn’t. I spent the time hiding under a blanket and feeling guilty about not going to work, because I wasn’t visibly ill. My mum always tells me when I say that to her, that she wishes she could tie a bandage around my head so that I could appreciate that I was ill.
What I will say about the time I took off, is that it did help me. It gave me time to try and relax and it gave me time to let the medication work it’s magic. I know everyone doesn’t agree with medication for mental health, however I always see it as a short term solution to get me back on track.
I returned to work three working days later. I felt that I had, had long enough off and any longer would result in me spending too much time with my own thoughts, I figured at least at work I’d be distracted.
Two weeks later I started to feel like myself again. What I will say though, is that if I hadn’t taken that time out, I’m certain things would have gotten a lot worse, so I recommend this to anyone who is feeling the way I was.