Feeling Anxious and Foolish

Tomorrow I am going back to the office for the first time since mid-March. I told my boss I would come to the office twice this week, something I am now regretting.

Last week I felt confident that I could begin my transition back to the office. I acted on that feeling because if I didn’t, I would never go back. I had promised my boss I would come back a few days a week after she let me stay home for longer than she originally intended me to.

I feel foolish for being so anxious about going back. I will see maybe five people at most and be sitting alone in the basement where my desk has sat vacant.

So what is there to fear, if I won’t be having conversations with my coworkers because of social distancing? What am I so afraid of, if I will be alone in a basement like I am alone at home most days?

The only thing I can think of is the fear of leaving the comfort and safety of my home. My house has always been my safe haven where I can be myself. I can wear my pajamas, eat all the snacks I want and have my pets by my side. At the office, I don’t have any of those things.

Even before COVID and quarantining, I had trouble leaving home. Something I never ever thought I would struggle with! I had to push myself to put on my shoes and get out the door. So COVID happening has only made it more challenging.

In my previous post, I wrote about having an anxiety emergency kit to help me cope. Looking at it now, I feel like nothing could help my anxiety. That it will swallow me whole.

I try to tell myself that it’s not a big deal. I’ve been working in an office full-time for years so I can do it again. Right?

The difficult part about mental illness is that it doesn’t always respond to reason. Sometimes my depression or anxiety can be quelled with reason and facts but this time it’s not cutting it.

Maybe I will get there and I will be fine even though I’ll be shaking all morning during my drive to the office.

This isn’t the biggest challenge of my life but it sure as hell feels like it in this moment.

How are you coping in this climate? Have you had to make any big changes recently? If so, how did you cope?

Anxiety Emergency Kit

This coming week I might be returning to the office for one or two days. I don’t want to go but I know the longer I put this off, the more difficult the transition will be. To help with my transition, I am going to create my own anxiety emergency kit for my mental health.

Essential oils and diffuser – Nobody wants to sit in a musty basement and breathe in all the smells of a basement. To be fair, this basement is pretty clean and well kept but that’s not the point! Essential oils help me relax and put me in a better head space.

Adorable stress ball – I got this little stress ball that is a chubby dog in a yellow hoodie. It’s adorable! I will bring him to squeeze and lift my heart with his cuteness.

Good food – Who doesn’t love good food? I will bring some good snacks like almonds, crackers and hummus and something chocolate for a sweet treat. To take some of the burden off of me, I will order out for lunch. Packing a lunch can take a lot of time so ordering a take away is one less thing for me to do.

Happiness playlist – As a millennial, I love 00s pop and hip hop. Anything that was playing at a middle school dance are the jams that make me smile. Oh and of course I have to have my favorite k-pop tracks in there too! Have you listened to “God’s Menu” from Stray Kids? So good!!

Support plushie – I’m not ashamed that I am an adult that still enjoys plushies and stuffed animals. They’re soft and can make uncomfortable situations bearable. I think I will bring this BT21 Baby Tata or my hippo from Animal Kingdom. Decisions, decisions.

I hope that these few things will help me mentally handle this coming week.

How have you been mentally during this time? I wish you all health and happiness!

It’s Been a Minute!

Hey everyone! I’m still around and existing on this planet with you all. I haven’t posted because I honestly haven’t had anything to write until now.

Over the past few months I’ve been spending almost all of my time at home which has been relaxing for my anxious mind. I don’t have social anxiety because I don’t see anybody outside of my small circle of family.

But now life is beginning to go back to normal (despite COVID still being very present in America). I now begin to worry a bit more and more each day about returning to work and going back to my frequently anxious state. I was supposed to go to work on Monday but I asked if I could stay home a bit longer.

I had been so anxious about going back that I couldn’t eat. When my eating habits change, that’s when I know I’m really not doing well.

Getting out of bed has also been a big challenge. Instead of getting up to face the day, I just lay around with my cats hoping that the day will be over by the time I decide to get my ass up.

As times moves forward, I will be posting more about how I mentally handle going back to regular life. I want to prepare myself with an anxiety emergency kit that I can bring with me.

I will make a post about what I decide to put in my emergency kit. It will likely include a stress ball and essential oils but I need more than that to survive.

Are you struggling as life goes back to normal? How has your mental health been over the past few months?

Am I Annoying or Is it Anxiety?

I’m not sure exactly where this feeling stems from but if anybody says that I’m annoying it automatically throws me into a pile of guilt and anxiety.

I ruminate on what I should I have done differently to not be so annoying.

“I should have kept to myself,”
“Why didn’t you take a hint that you were being annoying before it got to this point?,” and
“Of course you are annoying people, Megan! Nobody likes you so why would they want to be around you/hear from drivel?”

If you’re around my age or even a little older you might remember using AOL or MSN Instant Messenger (IM) to chat with your friends and strangers in the 00s and beginning of ’10s before Facebook created its own IM system.

Since I’m working from home I have to communicate with my coworkers via email and Google Chat (it’s IM). In April I was IMing one of my coworkers who I would consider a friend. She and I would message throughout the day chatting about all sorts of things.

Recently she stopped messaging me. I messaged her last week and didn’t get a reply. So I’ve been reflecting on that, wondering if it’s because I am annoying.

God this sounds like I’m in middle school but there’s no buddy icons or cool sound effects!

For the second half of last week I kept beating myself up about it. On repeat I told myself I shouldn’t have been messaging her on such a regular basis. If she wanted to talk to me, she would have reached out on her own!

I imagined in my head that she must have been so annoyed with me. Asking why I am wasting her time, why I am always bothering her and why I can’t take a hint.

Maybe I’m just an annoying person who hasn’t learned to keep her mouth shut.

Why Does Productivity = Self Worth?

I had a little meltdown tonight. There were no tears or shouting but my thoughts were speeding down an icy road ready to slip off a cliff.

I have been feeling so lazy lately. I just don’t feel like putting the effort towards much. Today I ran the dishwasher because, you know,  I ran out of forks. The dishes are still sitting in there as I type this.

I feel guilty that I am not keeping a pristine house. I feel like a whale because I haven’t been making healthy food.

The recycling center is closed so there’s a mountain of recyclables on my side porch. I was supposed to put them in the basement. Have I done that yet? Nope.

These dumb chores taunt me. They tell me I am lazy and because I am lazy, I suck.

Yes, the plastic bottles tell me I suck! What is quarantine doing to me?

Why does productivity change the value we see in ourselves? I’m really not sure what the answer is so please leave me a comment if you have an answer!

Is it the drive of perfectionism?

Is it the expectations people have put on us whether it be past or present?

Since I have been feeling like shit, my therapist in the past has had me say some positive things to change my mindset.

3 things going well:
– I spoke with 3 clients on the phone for work even though I was really nervous about it
– It’s snowing outside and I like snow (does this count? I say it does)
– With the stimulus check from the government I am able to save money I wouldn’t have had otherwise

3 things I can do to make myself content/okay/happy this weekend:
– Enjoy the snow while it’s here
– Take time to read
– Do my makeup

3 things to remind myself:
– Your value is not in the number of dust particles you clean up
– You are important to your cats and dog
– It’s okay

Sending positive vibes your way!

A Tightness in my Chest

It has been week number something since I’ve been working at home, it’s really not that bad. Since I am not interacting with any of my coworkers in-person, I have had fewer social dilemmas which has been nice. And by social dilemmas I mean asking myself whether I should talk to somebody or if they expect me to have a conversation with them. #socialanxiety

But during my time at home, I have been frequently having this tightness in my chest. Not like I’m having an asthma or panic attack, but like all of the anxiety in my body is tensing up in my chest. I’ve had this happen in the past, it’s just become more frequent.

The only thing that seems to help is doing deep breathing exercises. Sometimes I will go out on my porch to do this. It’s still chilly where I live so I enjoy the cool air, it’s refreshing.

It can be stressful for me to be existing, working, attempting productivity for once in my life then I get the stress in my chest. I feel like it takes many minutes to finally relax so I feel like it’s taking away from my time doing other things.

How do I prevent this from happening? I have been doing yoga nearly every morning this month so it’s not that, hahaha. I feel everybody says, “meditate, do yoga” to fix stress. They are not the cure for everything.

My life isn’t all that stressful and my mental health has been decent this week so I’m not sure what is going on. I’m going to try to have breathing breaks each hour to see if that is helpful.

Do you feel your anxiety in your body?

How Can I Handle These Emotions?

As I’ve written about in my last few posts (here and here), I have been extra emotional over the past few weeks. Today I hit my breaking point.

These are the days I am so incredibly thankful to be working from home. Having meltdown days at work makes overcoming the day feel impossible. I usually feel like I have to blink a hundred times a second to hold back the tears that are impatiently waiting to fall from the corners of my eyes.

My emotions have been building up to this point. It has been strokes of bad luck and mistakes on top of  mental illness, periods, a full moon and COVID-19.

Yesterday I broke my second French press in less than a year. It completely shattered on the floor, I felt so defeated. I had already been feeling depressed and frustrated so having my French press shatter started my day off on a sour note.

I had a bad night sleep last night because my dog was scared of a thunderstorm which was then accompanied by feeling like a fool at work. A new project was announced today, to start a podcast which is something I was originally asked to do. Months ago I had been excited about the possibility of it but voiced concern about not having the recording space or equipment to record on so I didn’t move forward with it.

Hearing today that my coworker at the branch office is starting the agency podcast made me feel strange. I questioned myself over and over, asking, “did I slip up?,” “was I supposed to be working on this all along?,” “did I let my boss down? is she disappointed with my inaction?” and “am I a total fuck up?”

What broke me was the announcement that Bernie Sanders was dropping out of the race for president. I have been a supporter of his since 2016 so seeing him throw in the towel was the last thing I needed to hear this week.

While reading his announcement, I started crying and crying. Not solely because of him dropping out but everything that had happened recently.

After I clocked out I ate a lot of ice cream, watched “Catfish” on Hulu and took my dog for a walk. I am feeling calmer now so let’s hope it stays this way for a moment.

Feeling a Mess

If you read my recent post I’m Cranky, the too long didn’t read version of this post is: I’m still cranky.

Being so cranky that I annoy myself is me at my worst right now. Some days I am totally fine while others, I am one clumsy move away from flipping the fuck out. Today was one of those days.

I am at a trifecta of bullshit at this very moment. There’s a full moon this week, I’m about to start my period and the quarantine situation isn’t getting any better. All of these things are making every small thing a trigger.

Stress and anxiety are boiling under my skin so rapidly that it’s palpable. This has made me be rude to my mom (on her birthday too!), snap at my dog and give everyone at the grocery store the stink eye. Ok that last thing I don’t regret so much.

It’s small stupid shit that is setting me off.

Today my body was tired because I have been exercising more frequently than in my normal life. I skipped my morning yoga and wasn’t going to take my dog on a walk due to my fatigue.

She loves her walks so much that she wants me to take her every day. I’m happy that she enjoys them and is getting the exercise she needs but sometimes I don’t want to go.

She was bugging me all afternoon to take her. Nothing would satiate her desire! I snapped at her saying, “Fine! We’ll go on a walk! Happy?” I bitterly took her out even though it was the last thing I wanted to do.

The walk was fine, she was happy so that’s what is important.

I have always had trouble keeping my anger in check so right now I feel out of control. I hate feeling like I will flip at the drop of a hat.

Does your anxiety translate into anger? If so, how do you cope?

Why am I enjoying this?

My introverted self who prefers to self-isolate in general is enjoying quarantine. It scares me a bit though. Shouldn’t I be miserable or something?

Yesterday I asked my boss about whether everyone would be heading back to the office next week since many of us were working from home for the last two weeks. She said staff can go back on Monday and she asked if I wanted to return.

My heart sank. My brain screamed, “I’m not ready to go back!!”

Thankfully with this boss I feel comfortable being honest with her. I told her for the time being I would like to keep working from home since there isn’t anything at the office I need. Which is true, everything I need to work is on my work computer.

She said it was fine which made me glad!

But what was alarming to me was my immediate fear that I would have to return to the office. It’s not that I dislike my coworkers or my job, it’s the social anxiety that continues to plague me. I thought I was doing pretty well socially at work before I began working from home. Now I’m back to square one.

I have really been enjoying the time I am able to take for self care each morning. I get up usually feeling well rested then choose to either read, write, learn or exercise. Beginning the day in a positive way has been great! It’s usually the best part of my day.

I don’t get up dreading the day because I know that I have something I enjoy waiting for me when I get out of bed.

Should I not be so content about being locked up at home? Is this normal? I really don’t know but making the best of any situation always seem like a good option.

I’m Suppose to Have Goals?

On Thursday I spoke on the phone with a financial advisor to discuss, you know, finances. They asked me all sorts of questions about how I spend my money, if I have savings/IRAs/stocks/properties/etc. and what goals I have for the future.

Almost every time they asked a question about the future I said, “That’s a great questions, Christy. I honestly have no idea though.”

She asked questions about what my 3-5 year plans are and what I hope to achieve in 10 plus years. I was dumbfounded. I wracked my brain and had absolutely nothing to share with her but vague answers.

Of course I want to have enough money saved to live off of when I’m ready to retire. Of course I want to help support my parents when they get old. But beyond those basics, I have no idea what my life will look like or what I want out of this life.

In high school and college I could give you my plan. I would tell you the details, how many cats I would have and where I would be living and working.

Today I can’t tell you what I think the rest of 2020 will be like for me so how am I supposed to have an idea about the future?

I get really anxious that I don’t have a map for my life set out. I feel like I am behind, that I am failing because of this. But whenever I sit down to think about it, I still have no fucking clue what I want!

My career journey hasn’t been what I planned so I don’t know what I want to ultimately do anymore. I still live in my hometown which is something I never foresaw for myself. I always thought I would move away right after graduating university but that didn’t happen because of student debt.

Does the future overwhelm you like it does me? How do you set future goals for yourself and not get super anxious?