Reasons I find it difficult taking time out

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.

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4 Comments

  1. Rachel Fearon

    “…she wishes she could tie a bandage around my head so that I could appreciate that I was ill.”

    I really love that! Your mom sounds like a wonderful, smart woman – so true that without some kind of visual cue that something’s wrong, it’s so easy to deny this type of illness the same level of care and respect that physical one would receive.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Julie

    Hi Hanna. How extremely brave and honest you are being discussing mental health in your blog.
    I have endured a long debilitating battle with anxiety and depression and suffer daily.
    My Doctor said one thing that made me stop and think. It was
    Pretend you have a badly broken leg. No one can see the broken bones and only you can feel the pain.
    You are broken and will take weeks or months to mend.
    This is your depression/ anxiety. Treat it like a broken bone!!
    Hope this helps. X

    Liked by 1 person

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