Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Anxiety and anger. Next steps

Another day at the office. Another day of anxiety. I'd say crippling, but I got there. It's horrible though and it's doing my head in. 

I think I'm lots of the right things, yet this one thing hangs on. It's making me very angry, which isn't a good thing.

This morning, thinking the amount of time I had between getting up and going to the office was giving me too much thinking time. So, I did some work before leaving. I did a couple of guided meditations on anxiety too. 

No change. Still heading to the toilet three times. Still a jumping gut and racing mind all the way there. 

Again, I'm doing the right things. I'm looking at these things as inappropriate physical responses to a wrongly-hyped hypothetical fear. I'm challenging that fear, asking for evidence of anything to fear, rating the likelihood of something bad happening. I watch my breathing and if neccessary count for equal and slow inhalations and exhalations. 

No change. 

OK then. What now? 

I'm struggling to think that this is a bad routine and in large part I'm going to stick to it. 

An attractive thought at the moment is that I am anxious because I expect to be anxious and I prepare for anxiety. 

I also haven't challenged myself enough about going out more generally. I do walk every day, though not the actual route I use to get to the office - why would I? It's not very pleasant, I go to the park. 

Perhaps that's what I need to start doing. I can easily make that the first part of a circular walk and try that a couple of times a week. Nothing bad happens and I feel less inclined to be anxious when I do it for real. That's the plan. 

It's ridiculous and that's what makes me so angry. I walk exactly the same walk on the way back from work, in the dark, when any theoretical danger is much greater than it is at 9am and I don't feel a thing. I've done the walk dozens of times and gone through long spells when I fair skipped along with a song in my heart. I can't pinpoint anything that's changed between then and now.

That's what makes me think it's a routine thing. I stuck to the Bad Mantra - a hateful grind through my most painful and resentful memories every morning - for months if not years. I'm so used to going through routines that I click into the behaviour even when I hate it. 

So, I've got a bit of a plan then - some challenges to make. We'll see how it goes. 

In most ways, life continues to improve slowly and surely. In most ways I'm better than I have been for years.