I had an extremely anxious day yesterday. Something happened that just set me off and I had periodic anxiety attacks through the whole day on and off. It wasn’t fun.
I thought it would fade with a nice night in and a good night’s sleep, but I woke up today with an overarching feeling of dread and just general ‘bleh’ness.
No major anxiety attacks but a general black cloud of meh.
As my anxiety is very socially focused and tends to make me feel like I’m not good enough in every aspect you can think of, obviously this has had some affect on how I’ve been interacting with people today.
Everything I say seems to fall flat, people even remotely avoiding eye contact with me makes me think they hate me, the world is a little greyer.
That feeling of ‘am I really paranoid today or did my colleague just avoid eye contact with me when I spoke?’, ‘Was that laugh a pity laugh?’, ‘They’re just not telling me but I hurt their feelings somehow and now they don’t want to be my friend.’ ‘Yep, that must be it. I just think it’s my anxiety paranoia, when it’s really all my fault. Totally.’
It’s exhausting on these sorts of days, but what’s more annoying is the feeling that if people knew more about what you were going through, it wouldn’t even help. It would just make you look weak, or risk some sort of promotion you were going for, or make people think you were faking it. Any of the above and many more damaging thoughts alongside them.
Mental health is a tough topic, and it still hasn’t been properly understood in the general public enough to help people think they can be more open and honest about needing any kind of help.
That fear, mixed with the fear that this isn’t even just a blip. It isn’t just a couple of anxious days you’re going to have to go through till you come out the other side. It’s just how you are now. That’s what scares me the most.
That one of these days I’ll stop being able to pull myself out of it.
But today isn’t going to be that day, I just refuse.
I’ll keep feeling like I’ve done something horrible to people to make them want to avoid eye contact with me, sure. But I’ll also grab a slice of cake or a giant sandwich, something that makes me feel just that minute amount better. I’ll throw myself into work or reading or something that distracts the bad thoughts, even temporarily. And I’ll hold on to that tiny bit of progress through my own personal storm of a day.
It gets better, I’m sure of that. But in the meantime, let them eat cake.