This morning I had a ten o’clock appointment with a benefits advisor, a person who was going to help me, give advice and had genuine concern for my well-being.
I also woke up in a cold sweat, trembling and a mind trying to find any excuse not to go. Make sense? Of course not…
Did I beat off these feelings and symptoms and go to the meeting? Thankfully yes but it left me soaked in sweat and trembling like a leaf yet also with a little bit of a sense of accomplishment.
It’s hard to recognise that a relatively simple task, a 7 minute train journey and an hour spent with someone on my “team”, could fill me with what approximates terror.
Throughout my life I’ve been in way more fear-instilling situations – performed music, poetry and stand-up in front of thousands and more intimate audiences. Been on live and recorded TV, done business presentations and attended numerous job interviews etc etc.
So what’s changed?
It’s a good question and one that the answer too evades me and countless others that suffer from the condition.
I say condition because I’m pretty sure that everyone suffers from anxiety at points during their lives but some more than others, to the point that it affects them every day and requires therapy and medication to be able to function.
“Oh, just grow up!” and “There’s nothing to be afraid of” are phrases often heard, even from doctors and other health professionals. The trouble is we know that, we’re not stupid, yet it’s possible to be totally cogniscant of the reality of the non-sensical fear of the perfectly ordinary but still reduced to a child-like state by the workings of the mind.
Am I looking for sympathy? Are any of us? No, we don’t understand why we feel anxious, we hate feeling anxious and above all we don’t WANT to feel anxious!
Now, where did I put the whisky…?