My intention was to write a blog based around my triggers as the next post, but this week saw me do something fairly big, and I wanted to write about that in the hope of it making sense to myself.
Recently, I’ve been dealing with anxiety by being open with people, and one of those people is my boss. Over the last few years as anxiety developed, he’s sniggered at me, forced me into situations through lack of understanding, and generally made it difficult without realising he was doing so. In my review, I was very open and frank about my anxiety, my struggles, my triggers and my limits. We agreed that I want to continue to push myself, and he wants to support me.
Together, we went off to do a presentation to a client. I know these clients pretty well, we’ve worked together for a number of years and I’ve met with them several times before. I was nervous, but I thought this is a good place to start. We got to the building, and all sorts of ‘what if’ thoughts fly through my head, triggering my anxiety. I dealt with it in the best way I knew how, I felt terrible, but I was dealing with it. An hour passed and I was still there, still coping.
This next bit even seems ridiculous to me, but those with anxiety issues will hopefully understand my thinking..
While the meeting was going on, I began to feel the need to go to the toilet (number 1!). I held on for a while thinking the meeting will end soon, but it didn’t. I waited, and waited, until I thought to myself ‘I’m going to have to go!’. By this point my stomach was In agony, I couldn’t sit properly without it hurting and I was fidgeting all over the chair. I wanted so badly to ask and go, but the client was in full flow of conversation, and I felt rude interrupting, so I persevered.
Then out of the blue, I had the worst pain in my back, I assume my kidneys, and I thought I was dying. I was so uncomfortable, my whole abdomen at this point was aching something chronic. Now I know what you’re all thinking, ‘just go to the toilet’, but those who give presentations or have meetings know it’s not always so easy to do so, but my god did I wish I had.
In the end, I couldn’t take it any longer, stopped and asked to go to the toilet. By this point my anxiety was all over th place, I was red hot, I couldn’t barely stand, my back was aching so bad. I got up and left the room (not before turning the lights off accidentally instead of unlocking the door). I got to the toilet, did what I needed to do and came out.
Then all of a sudden, a cold sweat ran over my body, my legs were jelly, I felt sick. My main reason for anxiety is a fear of fainting triggered by the physical symptoms caused by anxiety, so this was my worst nightmare. I began to panic, wiped my forehead with tissue, talked my way through it, and did what I needed to do. After a few minutes wandering the corridor, I decided I had to go back in. I looked and could see they were getting up to leave and I was so relieved. I walked in, got my stuff and left.
Now because of this whole scenario, I’ve got fresh thoughts and triggers that I didn’t have. I know to avoid relapse I just have to keep fighting, and I will, but sometimes it may be that it’s too much too soon…