Mind

Nightmares DO come true!

This morning one of my nightmares came true. I cried in the office of a superior at work, and was possibly witnessed sobbing and swaying by a few coworkers.

The situation aroused my:
-fear of negative judgment;
-fear of appearing weak or incompetent;
-fear of speaking to colleagues whom I don’t know very well;
-fear of asking for time off;
-fear of losing control … (you get the idea)

I arrived 30 minutes late to work after having a panic attack on the highway. After pulling off the road twice to calm down and evaluate whether I’d be okay to 1) drive the rest of the way to work and 2) work for 8 hours upon arriving there, I finally made it to the office.

After leaving work and stopping by my doctor’s office to discuss how to cope with my surging anxiety, I’m sitting here contemplating the day so far.

I can’t believe I cried at work. Well, okay. I’ve cried at work plenty of times – but discreetly and briefly! (I am fortunate to have a desk tucked in a corner facing a window.) This was a whole new level of getting emotional in the workplace.

I’ve always struggled with anxious feelings. I’ve also succumbed too frequently to diagnosing my anxiety via the Internet and self-help books, finding my symptoms across the board of anxiety disorders. Now I understand that it doesn’t matter all that much what I choose to call or not call my anxiety. Perhaps I will call my anxiety “Sandy.” 🙂

Ah, tomorrow morning. How will it be? Will I make it to work without feeling like I’m going to faint and/or die? Probably.

I don’t know whether I’m excessively self-conscious because I’m anxious or vice versa. But feeling so self-conscious is absolutely exhausting. I wonder how much energy my brain is wasting wondering what other people think of me, or wondering how well it looks like I’m doing my job, or dreading whatever embarrassing moment is bound to happen next.

Ultimately I know today was good for me. It’s like my body decided it has had enough of my fear and my resistance to speaking up – it’s decided to rebel. Whether I like it or not, I will have to learn how to express my feelings, be assertive, ask for what I need, and forgive myself for making mistakes.

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I don’t want to shovel snow today

To press snooze on a snow day still feels divine. All night the smell of burning garlic and onions wafted through the house, disturbing my sleep. Someone had put the slow cooker on high and I woke to find steaming black mush clinging to the side of the pot – the ground beef was suffocated of all its soft pinkness from the night before. I closed the lid. On the patio the snow towered clean and white like snow always does. I imagined heaving the burnt pile of beef and onions out the door to scatter across the milk-colored grass. Next door my neighbors’ shovels scraped the sidewalk diligently. How had they risen to face the cold so early? Did the snowflakes whirling on the other side of the glass door fall from the sky, or did they skate off of heavy branches to dance toward the ground one last time? I carried my first mug of coffee back to my room, closing the curtains before turning on the computer. The Word document glows a dirty white beneath fingerprint smudges and dust. It comforts me more than the icy layers that sparkle outside. I hide inside white walls as the tiny green buds must hide beneath the snow a few days more. We haven’t wings like the bold robins that will fearlessly cut through the last of the winter air. I don’t want to shovel snow today.

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