Its almost the end of August. The past couple of months have flown by in a blur of stress and emotion and anxiety and frustration, and things are about to get real here, so bare with me. I have bailed on projects and shifted commitments. I have gone through the most stressful situation that I think I have ever had to go through in my life and am now just coming out the other end.
To make a long story short I started having panic attacks that would be triggered by the smallest of things. Any time of the day, I would need to hide until I could compose myself. It had gotten to the point where I felt like a failure. No matter what I tried, nothing could get me out from under the cloud of feeling less than. Getting help was scary. The thought of being medicated was scary. Would I still be me? Anything was better than how I was feeling. Finally, after months of my inner turmoil I sought out professional help and talked to my doctor. She prescribed me anti-anxiety medication and instructed me to reduce as many of my stressors and stimulants as possible, including caffeine (WTF – give up my coffee!?), or else I’d be on sick leave.
So this is what I’m working on. I’ve accepted the fact that my panic attacks were caused by underlying stress and that the panic attacks themselves were not the issue. I’ve accepted that I wasn’t able to complete things on time, and vowed to get them done when I felt I was ready to. I’ve accepted the fact that I don’t have to do all the things, even though I want to. This is an ongoing process, and one that hopefully over time will become easier.
I am 100% willing to let go of something if its becoming “too much”, or starting to cause anxiety because my health and sanity aren’t worth the stress.
I am learning where to spend my fucks and totally okay with having zero fucks for something – see previous sentence.
I don’t like to fail – I’m sure not many of us do – but this process has taught me to not overbook myself, to only take on what is manageable at the time, and that its okay to say NO. Because I’d rather say no than disappoint someone.
And so now is the time where I rebuild myself, slowly. I still find my heart pounding and mind racing when I lie down at night, but I’m working on slowing down. Focusing my energy on projects that are important, and not ones that are spur of the moment. Taking each day at a time.