Suffering with Anxiety
I don't remember experiencing an actual panic attack, as in an attack; the anxious feelings were there constantly. I'd consume alcohol and the feelings subsided. This was the only way I could cope with them, it worked for years. Eventually, not even the ludicrous amount of alcohol was enough and was probably making things worse.
Finding it difficult to walk into a public place?
Prefer to stay in your comfort zone?
Constant pressure, worrying about maintaining your possessions?
Become physically unwell, due to situations in life?
Here we go again.
Being awake most of the night. When the time came to get out of bed, to go to the office. The thoughts of here we go again, I know how it's going to be today, would enter my mind. I'd already lived through the day before it had begun. I was so stressed by the time I got to the office it was ridiculous, I'd walk in and half-heartedly say morning. On edge, attempting not to say anything that would upset someone. Not asking that question, or for help, because I already knew what the reaction would be.
Working with a member of your family can be an enjoyable experience, or extremely difficult, it can also be both. Being in a partnership with my father and two co-workers, we had been employed with in a previous company, when I'd left school. At first sounded like a fantastic idea. I'd decided when I started working alongside my father in this previous company, to hide my surname and introduce myself using my Christian name.
Now though, it was obvious to me, being involved in our own business, customers wouldn't take me seriously and I wouldn't have any credibility if they knew who my father was. Anticipating the comment, oh your father gave you a job, was an absolute nightmare. These feelings stayed with me throughout my time in the business. In my mind it made no difference whether I'd proven myself competent to a customer, I'd never truly get away from that fact, this would just keep happening.
Just a handful of people.
The thought of standing in front of a room full of people, customers or suppliers, was something that added another dimension to my sleepless nights. It didn't matter if I'd spent time preparing, I'd be writing notes all night, going over and over what I was going to present. It was irrelevant if I knew more than the people I was presenting to, in my mind they would know more or argue that they did and criticise me.
In reflection, not sleeping, worrying and furiously writing notes in preparation, was pointless. If I didn't know what to say or do by then, it probably wouldn't have had any positive effect. I was in in worsened position, due to the lack of sleep and anxiety, and I had to get on with it the following morning anyway. It’s very easy to say such things, in reflection. The experience, was very different.
This had happened on one occasion where the software didn't work in the same way as the customers old software, that software being manufactured by a different software manufacturer. If I had a training course or presentation approaching, after that. I would be worrying before it had started and after it had finished.
I also had feelings that I wasn't being supported by people within the business and eventually that I was being undermined. This with everything else that was going on, made things extremely difficult.
A little worry.
We all suffer from anxiety, an exam, or a driving test, going to the dentist, are all examples. We spend time worrying about the outcome, these feelings are relatively mild, normal, once you know the outcome calmness sets in. You're no longer overthinking, and you return to your resting state.
When worrying becomes uncontrollable, constant, when you're overthinking everything over prolonged periods, it effects your daily life and health.
Being consciously aware of your anxiety, means you are focusing on it. By attempting to control it, your thoughts, emotions, for example fear in social situations, the problem becomes worse.
Where I didn't care about what alcohol was doing to me at the time, the bleeding was different, it was constantly on my mind. I'd be worrying about it, what was causing it to happen, the worst thing I did in this situation, was self-diagnose on the internet.
A real problem such as bleeding, added to all the other unimportant issues I was worrying about (cars, how much I was earning, when would I get what I wanted, etc) was impossible to deal with.
I had no idea what was happening at the time, I just knew how I felt, and how I wanted to act or react in situations. Feeling this way had been going on for such a long time, it had become my state of being.
After speaking to people, I now understand, how common anxiety disorders and a sense of panic are in society. On researching the subject, it has given me an understanding of it and how the process works. These feelings having been around for thousands of years, this reaction, originally being there to help us.
The problem we experience, is that these anxious feelings and fears, can seem to be so irrational, yet they have the power to emotionally hijack us, changing our whole physiology in seconds.
So, where I mention, I didn't experience an actual panic attack and that the feelings were there constantly.
Obviously, my feelings of dread and 'extreme discomfort'. Being elevated by the thought of having to participate in an activity which wasn't in my normal working parameters, or social comfort zone. Plus the visits to bathroom. Were at the very least a 'reaction'.
Where we all must deal with situations causing acute stress and a little thought, when the whole process becomes chronic and overwhelming, causing anxiety, we must find a way to stop it from happening in the future.
This is something we can achieve, these prolonged periods of anger, anxiety, stress and constant overthinking, can be firstly managed, and subsequently completely overcome.