Hi there folks, and welcome to part two of what I’m thinking of calling “The Anxiety Diaries”. Part one saw our intrepid heroine pour her heart out into a blog post and share it on Facebook and Twitter. She had loads of supportive messages from internet friends, IRL friends, and total strangers, telling her she was brave and that she wasn’t alone.
Sounds like a happy ending right? And it was kind of happy, I was blown away by how nice everyone was being to me. The following morning I woke up feel pretty embarrassed and worried that I was attention seeking. Do I deserve all these people being nice to me? I don’t think so.
I tried to blame it on the patriarchy. Woman are taught to just get on with it, and to not speak up about who they are. Society is making me feel shame!
In the end I just felt confused and even more tired.
I went to visit a friend and I had fun. I started to think that I had exaggerated how bad I’ve been feeling. Then I lay down to go to sleep, and there it was, that creeping dread. That awful feeling that leaves me feeling hollow with despair and how nothing will be right ever again. And in the morning, a mixture of sadness and panic and fatigue.
I had somehow forgotten that I am friends with some of my colleagues on Facebook, so I was taken aback when I was welcomed to the office with a hug and a “I read you blog” sympathetic face. Which is actually a lovely thing, but I thing that means that work is no longer my safe space where I can pretend that nothing is wrong. EVERYBODY KNOWS and this means I really have to face up to having a problem. Because by writing and sharing that blog post means that things have definitely changed. I don’t regret it, but I don’t think I fully thought this through.
This vulnerability is difficult. I don’t regret sharing, because I was feeling like crap anyway, so this is certainly not any worse. I’ve gone from feeling sad and anxious and alone and isolated, to sad and anxious and embarrassed. And I’ve reconnected with some people I hadn’t spoken to in a while, which is good! But I’m still waiting for my call from the anxiety and depression service with my treatment options, so I’m in this weird kind of limbo state, and that’s making me anxious. But then again, so does somebody asking if I want a cup of tea.