wE'Re AlL mAd HeRe

Anxiety, Social Anxiety, Panic… and the rest!

Tame the bull

First of all I’d like to thank everyone for all the lovely comments I received on my engagement, I was really touched. I’m sorry that I haven’t had chance to respond individually, but I can’t tell you how much they meant to me. So thank you, you’re all very kind.
Last week was a frenzy of happiness! Everyone at work was greeted with “LOOK AT MY FINGER!” Followed by a massive hug (often against their will.) Yep, I was ‘that’ girl. Even the poor postman didn’t escape my clutches!

I have a problem with anger. Not in the criminal or ‘you need to join a group’ sense. Although in many ways ‘management’ is the correct word because I do struggle. Many people who have anxiety have difficulties in managing negative emotions and anger is one of them.

Do I anger easily? The truth is, it’s entirely dependent on the situation. If I’m happy, calm and having a good day then it usually takes quite a bit to rile me up. However, if i’m tired, ill or distressed, (this is key, but I’ll discuss later,) then even the slightest bad look can send me into a frenzy. Another easy way to spark me up are comments such as these; I’m really surprised that you don’t know that Claire OR I’m busy all day so don’t bother ringing and I certainly don’t need anything ‘explaining’ to me. People huh? In fairness, my words may’ve also caused (unintentional) offence. Or maybe some people are just arseholes. What can you do? DAM YOU ALL!! Ok, I’m done.
The anger bubbles in my gut and burns through my chest with a blaze. I can’t think straight and all I want to do is lash out (not physically.) This could be very dangerous. I often worry that during such a fit I might say something unprofessional or just plain stupid. Dan bears most of the brunt at home and for this I feel guilty (unless he deserves it.) Just the other day I snapped at him on our way to Sainsburys. I was tired and very stressed, not that this is an excuse really. I apologised afterwards. I always make a conscious effort to say ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. You did nothing wrong’ because I think it’s important. People should apologise more than they do.

It’s interesting to note that one of the key characteristics of anxiety is feeling ‘irritable.’ When we think of anxiety we associate it mainly with fear. However, anxiety isn’t just worry, It’s the tendency toward negative emotions and anger is naturally one of said emotions.

There are a lot of changes happening at work at the moment (oh dear) and it all feels chaotic. Fortunately I really like my job and I’m happy to shoulder extra responsibilities. But, I also have to be realistic about how much my body can cope with.
For the last three days I’ve been stressed or ‘wired’ for sixteen hours straight. Even as I type this now I can feel my stomach tensing and my chest tightening. I’m struggling to breath steadily and I can’t concentrate. (seriously it’s taken 12 minutes to write one sentence.) I’m also filled with an overwhelming rage and I want to shout at everyone. I’m actually dreading someone talking to me because I don’t trust myself!

But as I make a conscious effort to breath slowly I wonder what the root cause is? I need to break it down to understand.

Issue:

  • I really like my job and I have ambitions.
  • I want to prove that I can do the job, so I’m pushing myself.
  • I’m taking on too much at once.
  • Nobody releases how much I’m doing.
  • I have so many ideas but I can’t think straight, so they stay in my head.
  • I feel overwhelmed and extremely tired.
  • This makes me feel anxious – causing negative emotions to circulate through my brain.
  • Rather than dealing with the problem at hand I’m focusing on these emotions, which is pointless.
  • To help me cope with the fatigue and stress I’m drinking too much caffeine, alcohol and eating bad food.
  • Vicious circle!

Solution:

  • Change the cycle.
  • Get organised. List all my tasks. It might take a while, but I’ll feel better.
  • Schedule them in relation to priority and importance.
  • Don’t be afraid to say NO. I want people in the office to like me, but not at the expense of my health.
  • Take tonight off 100% – NO CHECKING WORK EMAILS AFTER 5:30pm.
  • Eat a healthy meal tonight. No bad food or drink for the next 48 hours.
  • Tell Dan that you need some ‘me time’ this evening.
  • Take Rigby for a long work to burn off adrenalin.
  • Have a bath before bed.
  • Have an early night.
  • Go for a run tomorrow morning and Friday. You haven’t done any jogging in weeks you lazy cow!

Feel free to adapt the above to suit any of your own problems. The truth is, I wish that I could just ‘calm down’ and relax naturally. But we all know how hilarious that idea is!! So instead I must bite the bullet and draft a solution on paper. I feel a little better already actually.

Anger is another primitive form of defence. Feeling trapped, overwhelmed or exposed are some of the easiest ways to provoke a reaction. The brain will kick into action to protect itself. Unfortunately you can’t really protect yourself from an email… unless you smash the computer with a sledge hammer. But tbh, I’m not sure how that would come across in a HR meeting… or for that matter where you would even buy a sledge hammer these days. So it might be better to tackle the problem in another way.

Happy Valentine’s Day for Saturday. I’ll be celebrating up North with my best girl-friends

Categories: Anxiety

Tags: , , ,

2 replies

  1. Hahaha it’s good to see I’m not the only one who has this issue… and the same coping methods of pizza coffee and chocolate 😂 my main trigger for seeking help was when at work I totally unprofessionally went a bit ‘bull’ at a very senior member of our biggest customer due to the amazing pressure he was putting me under… Properly scary times! I apologised almost straight away and thankfully no damage had been done but you can imagine how it still flys around my head how stupid I feel I was !
    This post has certainly cleared up a few things for me though on how my little anger outbursts are not just me being an arsehole (hopefully…maybe) and a common part of my anxiety. Thank you again Claire and belated congratulations! ( as you can tell since yesterday afternoon I’m working my way through all of your posts from top to bottom ) stu

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