wE'Re AlL mAd HeRe

Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Panic… and the rest!

The dreaded list

Lately I feel as though I’ve been fighting an uphill battle. I’ve mentioned previously that struggle with guilt, but this has morphed into a whole new monster.

I’m tired, really tired. So apologies in advance if this post doesn’t make much sense!

I lay in bed last night exhausted, but completely wired. Rigby helped to calm me down eventually, but it took a good hour.
When did this happen? How did everything become so hectic? To be clear, I’m talking about my life and the volume of things that I have to do. (I know, stop moaning right?)
As a modern independent woman I’ve been long  accustomed to the art of juggling the different aspects of my life with the precision of a brain surgeon. But over the last month I’ve been slipping. The endless list of duties taunt me on a daily basis and I feel like a failure.

Off the top of my head I currently have the following:

  • New day job (I’ve never had so many tasks in my life.)
  • Social aspect of day job – mandatory after work meetings, apparently we need to ‘mix’ on a regular basis.
  • Appearance – and ensuring that I look ‘perfectly well presented’ each day.
  • Reading all the 2015 Jan –June titles that we’re publishing, (expected to do this in spare time)
  • Reading potential manuscripts, (expected to do this in spare time)
  • Spending quality time with Dan (this means actually leaving the flat and talking, rather than watching TV in silence.)
  • Rigby care (walks, toileting, feeding, brushing, bathing, playing etc..)
  • Phoning/texting/emailing family
  • Phoning/texting/emailing friends from home
  • Organising to visit home (Bolton)
  • Phoning/texting/emailing friends in London
  • Organising to meet up with London friends regularly
  • Blog and Anxiety related charity work
  • Cooking tasty but nutritious dinners
  • Housework (washing up, cleaning, hovering etc.)
  • Budgeting (e.g. making lunches for work and calculating weekly spending.)
  • Gym (at least twice a week.)
  • Headspace (meditation)
  • CBT exercises
  • Upcoming weddings (and all the planning that comes with them)
  • Birthdays

Reading back over this I instantly feel a huge pang of guilt because it’s mostly stuff (and people) that I love. I like my job and I’m lucky to have it. I obviously love Dan, my family and friends and I couldn’t live without them. Rigby is my heart and I’d never be neglectful of her care. So writing in a way that implies such things to be a burden makes me incredibly uncomfortable.
But I’m starting to think that these feelings of guilt are part of the problem. My desire to be the ‘perfect’ everything also doesn’t help, (I’ve definitely mentioned this before, so apologies for repeating myself.) Perfect girlfriend, perfect daughter, perfect friend, perfect professional, perfect bloody domestic goddess! None of these issues are particularly new, they have been addressed by women all around the world. I’m certainly not the only one.
I’ve been waking up thinking about all the things that I need to do this week and I go to bed adding more. This constant juggling saps all of my energy and I rely on coffee to keep me going. Recently I’ve been experiencing a kind of fatigue that I’ve never felt in my entire life, (seriously at one point I thought I was pregnant!) It’s truly bizarre.. but I think it all boils down to anxiety, (it usually bloody does.) Seriously Dan has had to practically drag me out of bed over the last week, which isn’t like me at all. I just can’t face starting the day and want to crawl under the covers. This then triggers negative thoughts such as; You’re pathetic, you’re a lazy cow, everybody else is coping, what’s wrong with you? –  The thoughts make me feel stressed and I strive to tick more things off my list – But I’m tired and struggle to keep up, and when I come home all I want to do is sleep – which makes me feel guilty. DO WE SPOT THE CYCLE HERE?

I’m sure that things will improve soon. The pressures of starting a new job and having a busy social calendar are probably taking their toll. But I’m struggling. Basically, I need a live in housekeeper who doesn’t charge. Anyone interested?

Sometimes, I wish that I had someone else who I could talk to about it. Someone who completely understands the irrational guilt and fatigue and won’t say something infuriating like “stop being so negative, count your blessings” – I DON’T WANT TO FREAKING COUNT THEM RIGHT NOW, I WANT TO MOAN AND BE MISERABLE!!! A woman at work, (the mother hen of the office and genuinely quite nice,) never stops complaining about her life, seriously you’d think she fought in Vietnam or something. I made the mistake of being overly nice to her during my first week and now EVERY morning I have to listen to a twenty minute monologue. When will I bloody learn? ‘Be more of a bitch, it’s for your own good!’ But as soon as I join in with the moaning session I get a response like; cheer up. You’ve got nothing to moan about, you’re young and have no responsibilities. (WTF? Have you seen my freaking list woman? You spend half of your day on the Daily Mail website.. oh yeah, I’ve seen you.)

Anyway, I seem to have gone completely off point.. but while I’m here I’ll say this: I want to spend an entire day in bed. Seriously, I want to sleep for 24 hours.. it’s becoming a fantasy. Rest the body and the mind without hating myself. Maybe I’ll wake up to eat pizza (stuffed crust naturally.) Then have a glass of wine, read a few chapters of my book and go straight back to sleep. So let’s say 22 hours of sleep time. SORTED.

Back on planet earth I need to find an actual way to improve my situation. The way that I’ve been trying to tackle things lately clearly isn’t working; (attempting to cram loads of stuff into the day in order to conquer the list.) So instead I’m going to take a more laid back approach for the remainder of this week (ohh this makes me feel anxious already.)

Therefore I give myself permission to do the following:

  • Not ring my grandma
  • Not ring my gran
  • Not email my work friends daily, through fear of losing contact
  • Not focus on planning my best mate’s hen do, (I’ve already done loads this week.)
  • Not worry about going to the gym
  • Not worry about the state of the flat
  • If I want to get stay in bed until 10am on Bank Holiday Monday, then I’m freaking staying in bed!

So let’s see how I get on. FYI: If anyone can’t get hold of me on Monday then please don’t worry, I could be in bed with a pizza!

Disclaimer: None of my family, friends or Dan expect anything of me. I put all the pressure on myself.

Categories: Anxiety, Panic Attacks

Tags: , , ,

4 replies

  1. I’m sounding like a stuck record here but again, I’m exactly the same. I’m starting to realise it’s that perfectionist pressure I put on myself to do everything. You’re not alone 🙂
    To try and stop the whole list buzzing round my head, I try and limit my concentration to what needs to be done ‘right now’, what needs to be done today, and forget the rest. It does help when I manage it.

    • Thanks Jennie.. you’re not a stuck record at all. It’s always nice to know that somebody else feels the same. Maybe we should try and be the most imperfect women ever! (Or will that make us more anxious?!) 😉

  2. I’m surprised your surprised Clair! With a dreaded list like that + less than two weeks since ‘You’re Not Alone’, I’m burnt out by the mere thought of it all!
    Give yourself a break and stay in bed on Bank Holiday Monday, it will probably be raining anyway!

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