Well hello insomnia

Funny thing going back to the day job after a glorious couple of weeks off is the rising tide of panic and belief that I can no longer do the job.

Thanks brain you really are super special.

My anxiety and its best pal the Fear were in tag team super force last night as I tried and failed to sleep seeing midnight, 1.00am, 2.00am and 3.00am before losing conciousness for the alarm to wake me at 6.30am.

I could do without the insomnia but it has become a pattern that when I am due to go back to work it will kick in with a vengeance.

This leaves me in a less than optimum state for doing stuff at work the following day and completely wiped out.

I wish there was a way to calm self.  In the rational light of day I know I can do my job and well.  I also hate the fact that this has become a pattern. Will have to work on my Sunday night-itis.

On going to a Convention by myself

I have done something for the first time. I have booked to go to a convention on my own.

Of course now I am a little bit terrified, but I did expect it.

The con in question is Bristol Con and I understand it isn’t a huge one but I am fearful and excited in equal measure.

My main motivation of going is to see Emma Newman talking about stuff. But that is only part of the day. There are hours where I’m not sure where I’ll be going or what I’ll be doing and I won’t have a friend to keep my spirits up. I know I will enjoy myself but the shyness I feel or the overwhelmedness I experience in new places on my own will be quite the battle royale.

In order to give myself the illusion of control I will be all over the programme like a rash when it is published. I will read inwardly digest and then plan my sessions like a german train timetable. I will no doubt invoke the power of the spreadsheet and then I will feel like I have control.

The biggest fear is talking to people. Once you know me you cannot shut me up but I need to feel safe in order to be me. Nineworlds with its clips for please talk to me I’m shy were great but at this event there won’t be any and I’ll have to try and save sanity chips in order to not be a complete doofus. I am incapable of small talk, even the phrase makes me tense.

The other worry I have is that large rooms full of people talking is one of the hardest environments for me to cope with. I’m not sure if I’m going a bit deaf, or whether I just struggle filtering out the wrong noise, but there are times in loud rooms where I rely on being able to see people’s mouths move at the same time as they are talking.

I will be there though, and I will love it and you are going too say hi and wave because its nice meeting fellow geeks.

Anxiety and other demons

It might tell you something about me state of mind in recent months if I reveal I’ve been trying to write about this since the beginning of June.  I was going to talk about why I’ve not been writing and blaming it on the job and yes that has been part of it. However, there is always more to any given situation.

I think everything I have been dealing with can be linked with my anxiety and THE FEAR. It needs the emboldened capital letters it is that much of a thing.

I suppose I have always had a little bit of anxiety, it all rather came to a head last year when I had some physical health issues coupled with a job where I was taken for granted somewhat and that toxic cocktail culminated in me getting signed off with anxiety.  I hadn’t realised that the nagging voice that was in my head or the procrastination or the other multitude of things that I distract myself from being present were related but they are and basically it is THE FEAR that generates them.

So in the last eighteen months I’ve become more aware, I’m aware that the anxiety weasels are agents of THE FEAR and they are there to stop me doing what I need to do.  That doesn’t mean I’ve got them beaten, in fact the last four months or so I’ve managed to tie myself up in knots again so much so that I’ve been unable to do much creative at all.  I’ve been hyper-focussed on work because a lot of things fell to me this year and my success rate if I’m honest while mostly positive have been mixed.  But aside from that, I haven’t blogged, I’ve managed to crochet but I’ve not been able to write and I have been frustrated by my own inaction.

So what’s changed?  This is my third blog post this week have I licked it this time?

Well no, but I’m changing my approach.

Last week I needed to get my hair cut.  I didn’t want to travel anymore to my old hair dresser in my home town, I needed to find a new one.  I polled friends and finally decided on which hairdressers to try to make an appointment with.  I hate talking on the phone to people I don’t know so I decided to call in.  It took me hours of distraction to get me out of the house, it took me longer to get to the salon and make an appointment.  I am thirty-five years old.  I wasted hours trying to do what it takes a non anxious person three minutes to so and I was angry at myself.  I mean I did it eventually but it was genuinely hard.

And I guess writing has been the same for me. I want to write some fiction and I have what I think could be good ideas but I can’t sit down and do it. Why? THE FEAR. It is distracting me with shiny things and tempting me away from just getting the words out of me.  I’ve felt utterly utterly blocked.  I haven’t been able to see a way out of this at all. Meanwhile I have been getting angrier with myself because the rational part of me knows I am being ridiculous and yet I’ve not been able to circumnavigate these blocks.

I had a conversation with a friend.  She knows anxiety of old and she knows of THE FEAR and she has given me a couple of strategies that I am trying and I’ll report back later when I’m sure I’ve made progress.

First off I am negotiating with THE FEAR, I’m letting it know I know it’s there.  I’m acknowledging it and politely asking it to step aside while I get things done.

Secondly I’m trying to be kinder to myself.  I am attempting to stop beating myself up for being rubbish, that is THE FEAR and the anxiety talking.  I have to work on getting myself to accept my own boundaries and doing things because I want to do them. Not because its FEAR making me.

I have a way to go, I need to regain some confidence but small steps and this blog is one of them.  Getting to the gym is another and I’m working on it and I’ll be continuing to work on it.