wE'Re AlL mAd HeRe

Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Panic… and the rest!

Presentationgate

Ok.. here’s the news that you’ve all been waiting for and yet I can hardly be bothered to type (I’ll explain later.) The presentation was a huge success and I was very pleased with my performance.

In the days leading up to it, I stayed true to my word and didn’t drink. Instead I did lots of exercise, mediation and just plain old fashioned preparation. In order to feel confident I have to know what I’m talking about, so prep is key.

On the day of judgement I was naturally very anxious. I won’t go into too much detail, but I practically destroyed the toilets at Costa Coffee. (I can’t use the facilities at work because there is literally one toilet!) So in desperate times I nip across the road to Costa and commit great sin. I never know what the polite thing is to do afterwards, so I always buy a coffee out of curtesy. They must know what I’m up to by now, I’ll probably get barred eventually.
Anyway, enough of the all the gross stuff. I’m obviously lying anyway.. I have a stomach of steel and besides, girls don’t do that type of thing.

I kept myself busy all morning by printing off information and assembling the packs that I needed to take. Distraction works like a charm for me and it gives my body a rest, even if only for a while.

At lunch time (1:30pm) I had a cheeky small glass of wine to take the edge off.. but considering that I hadn’t drank all week, I felt that this was ok. It certainly helped a little.

By the time the taxi arrived at 3:00pm my body was a dead weight. I couldn’t move my arms properly and my legs felt like jelly. What the f**k was I doing? I couldn’t do this. Why did I ever think that I could do this? The anxious thoughts were relentless and I was felt very scared. However, I accepted these feelings and kept moving. It was ok to be afraid.
To those who have never experienced overwhelming fear, it’s really hard to describe. In that moment you are swallowed by terror and can neither think straight or force your body to stand firm. The only way to deal with it.. is to let it happen. Let it wash over you without reacting, no matter how much you want to.

Standing outside the conference room I was sweating enough to fill a bucket and my heart was pounding. I’m frightened I silently admitted to myself I know, but this is a normal reaction. You’ve got through it before and you’ll do it again this time. I responded. (Yes my brain has actually conversations with itself!)
When the doors opened and I stepped inside I deliberately greeted as many people as I could. Chatting is an excellent distraction technique and it signals to your amygdala that everything is ok.

The first 60 seconds of my speech was incredibly hard. Hearing my voice echoing around the room freaked me out, and I was self-consciously studying it for any kind of weakness. But after that first minute things got easier.. I faced the panic and it started to dissipate. Audience participation was also useful as it took some of the focus away from me, so I asked numerous questions.
I realised that I knew what I was talking about and that my presentation was both interesting and relevant. All in all it was a huge success.

So why didn’t I feel happy? Why wasn’t I overwhelmed with positivity and joy? Instead I went home and climbed straight into bed with Rigby (my bed, not hers.) I was mentally and physically drained. The following day I felt so rough that I thought I was coming down with a cold. It’s the adrenalin come down I told myself and expected it to pass. However, by Sunday I felt what can only be described as numb. I had no desire to do anything or see anyone. I’m ashamed to say that I stayed in bed most of the day and felt worthless.
Why is there always something with me? Why can’t I just be normal? How on earth can I expect Dan to put up with this shit? Depression is a beast that I’m less familiar with and although I don’t think that I’ve reached that level, I definitely feel incredibly blue and aloof. Hence why I haven’t bothered to write an entry until now. All I want to do is crawl back into bed and sleep.
It’s pathetic.

Still… I have to believe that this feelings will pass and tomorrow morning come rain or shine I will force myself to get up early and go for a run. As for today I shall distract myself with easy work tasks and by listening to a documentary on Florence Nightingale!

Apologies, this post is very self-indulgent. Hopefully I will soon have the strength to give myself a kick up the back side!

Categories: Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Social Anxiety

Tags: , , , , ,

3 replies

  1. I don’t have any advice except, I know the feeling. You will get through it xx

  2. Not cool, I know how that feels. Hope you feel better now xx

  3. I’ve been away so I’m late reading this, and (hopefully) you’re already over it. However for me, although it’s the hardest thing to do, I have to get outside and exercise. Even if it’s only a walk in the fresh air it always makes me feel better.

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