Anxiety Level: Critical

Dear Reader,

I can’t sleep, I am too on edge, I’m freaking out over stupid things and its driving me crazy. It’s really horrible how realising you have so much to do can make a person freak out so much. You see tomorrow is my day off, and I have a list of things I need to do. But this list has only contributed to another list anxieties which has turned my anxiety level from moderate to critical in a matter of minutes.

So this list that has made everything skyrocket, is annoyingly frustrating and full of one of the things I hate most, tomorrow I have to make some phone calls, I am absolutely petrified of phones, I hate answering them, I hate using them. I shake violently and find it difficult to breathe before I make a phone call. I should clarify that I don’t have this problem calling everyone, my friends, family and partner I can call without that reaction. It’s the more official kind of phone calls, or my extended family. I get terrified. I struggle to make conversation anyway, so I hate that, I forget what I am talking about and I stutter and say “um” a lot in everyday conversation without realising. Anyway, today I have to make 3 phone calls, one to my bank, one to my gym and one to my doctors surgery.

I need to change the phone number on my bank account, I have said before how it drives me crazy when people ring my house phone looking for me. I’m never really at home so it’s a silly place to look for me, but also it makes my parents ask questions. Yesterday the bank called my house, I assume it is about the fact I accidentally locked myself out of my online banking account and emailed them to get it fixed. But I’m still worried. What if I had gone bankrupt? What if someone has stolen all of my money? What if there is fraud on my account? What if its not really the bank and I give them my details willingly and they steal my money? See, this is not what I want to be worrying about before I try to sleep! I will make that call after my parents leave for work about 1:30. I like to be alone, so I can make these calls, in peace without any eavesdroppers. I am terribly scared of my family eavesdropping on ANY conversations I have, with anyone, friends, other family members, companies.

I have to call my gym to cancel my membership, I just don’t have time anymore. Writing has become a much more valuable use of my time and I am losing more weight now than I was when I was going to the gym. And in all honesty, I don’t care about my weight, I am not skinny and I don’t want to be. I’m fine as I am. But, I’m sure they will ask 100 questions. And so I will tell them about how their personal trainers are trying to get people to join the “Herbal Life” pyramid scheme which costs over £100 a month to get some crappy Slimfast milkshake crap, some multivitamins and some green tea. My friend took on a reduced £65 version of this when we first started our gym session. She was told she would get weekly appointments with the persona trainer, she got one and he got £65, then he disappeared. It may have happened 8 months ago, but still, it’s annoying.

And then I have to make a doctors appointment. I have a terrible short term memory, according to my dyslexia assessment my auditory processing and memory isn’t very good. Which means people tell me to do something and then 10 seconds later I have forgotten what they have said. It makes me look stupid a lot. But because I get so anxious on the phone I have to write out everything I want to say to make sure it gets said. So I had to make appointment suggestions, dates, times, days and then write down what I am told because if I don’t write it down I forget and have to ring them back and look stupid. I know I shouldn’t be embarrassed by my disabilities, but sometimes they do make me look stupid.

Tomorrow is my day off, this is probably a good thing because I doubt I will sleep from all the freaking out. I’m worrying about other stupid things as well. I’m going to have to take a Zopiclone.

I need to remember to go out tomorrow as I had arranged to meet some friends in the evening. But I also need to go to the town center and pick up some other stuff. Hair wax to keep my damn fringe from making me look like Chewbacca. I need to buy biscuits and drinks to keep me alive on Friday. Friday is my next day off and I have no plans, which makes me happy. I intend to stay in bed, write and eat too much junk food, including a nice big pizza. All for myself.

I need to feed my lizards tomorrow because I’m scared they are getting sick, even though they are fine and are probably just confused by the temperature change and time change. They don’t come out in the day anyway. So, I have to wait until it’s dark to see them. But they look a little grumpy. Their temperature is fine. I hope its the time change.

I got my pension statement through today, this is an even stupider thing to worry about. I‘ve only been paying into it a few months, but I’m freaking out that I am going to be broke when I retire because it’s so empty. Do I save for my pension? For a house? For things I want? For clothes? For holidays? I hate that life is so complicated. God damn it brain. Why do you do this! I just want to be normal.

I don’t want to go back to work on Thursday, I can’t face seeing people. I’m getting anxious about everything. I think I need time off. I think I need to take my doctor up on his offer of time off work. maybe I should wait until after christmas. I can’t lose a weeks worth of pay. Money makes me freak out. Not having money makes me freak out more. Letting people down freaks me out. I let everyone down all the time. I can’t do it. I’m starting to feel a little bit like Atlas holding the weight of Uranus on my shoulders. It’s funny, most people think Atlas held earth on his shoulders, he did not. But, I wish he did. Because saying “I feel like I am holding Uranus on my back” is just begging to be turned in to a joke.

As Always,

The Elephant in the Room

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13 thoughts on “Anxiety Level: Critical

  1. Wow that is a lot to handle. I can empathise with the phone anxiety – you should see how I panic when my phone rings, or when I need to call anyone who isn’t my relative. To get through it, you could try writing the three calls down (Bank/Gym/Doc), and then force your way through them one at a time (sometimes I pretend I’m like a military general inside my head saying ‘DO IT NOW’) and have the satisfaction of crossing each one off. From what you’ve written, you may be doing something like this anyway.

    I hope the calls go well. And worrying about your pension isn’t stupid – it’s an important part of your future! But your anxiety levels need to give you a break, it sounds like it’s adding up to a lot.

    Anxiety level: critical, or Anxiety level: Critical BUT manageable ?

    Thinking of you x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. On a good note I just had pizza for lunch, and now feel a little drowsy, ate too much:)

    Sorry to read your feeling like this.

    Phone calls can be a worry, but your doing the right thing in writing down what you want to say, so if you stick to that you’ll be fine.

    Can you cancel your gym membership online? writing is better theraphy I think

    Anxiety just sucks, and difficult to get out of the cycle of worry, have you thought of breathing exercises or yoga to help ease your symptoms a little?

    I think taking some time off work would be of great benefit for you, and will give you much needed space.

    Take care
    Cay

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  3. I think, as far as the telephone calls are concerned, you should try putting on a persona. Try acting. Not acting all tough and confident and such. More like faking it until you make it. This should be easier with the more “formal” phone calls, like to the doctor and the bank. Not easier for you, necessarily. But if you pretend like you can do this, and you have a plan beforehand, you should be able to get done what you need to without excess worry.

    What I mean by that is if you say, right away, from the outset, that it will take you longer to complete the call because you have to write everything down, you will have given yourself license to do just that. Nobody will question you as to why. And, if someone does? Just ignore the question. Your reasons are yours. They have nothing to do with the reason you’re calling. If the call is a little unpleasant for the person on the other end of the phone…well, that person is getting paid to answer phones and solve problems. Their discomfort is not something to worry about.

    You’re probably right about the gym; whenever you call a business to cancel something, the people on the phone are just annoying as all hell about trying to get you to keep your business where it is. You might just outright lie. “I am moving out of the country and cannot keep my gym membership for any reason, so cancel it for me please.” If lying would help make the call less unpleasant and end it sooner, I say just lie. Give an excuse that eliminates the possibility of any deviation from the thing you want.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will lie in that type of situation to avoid being bullied by that type of place too. The people at the gym are not your friends. You have no obligation to tell them your reasons for quitting. Their job is to cause you so much anxiety over quitting that you will just stay. That is pathological. So i would not feel bad making up a story to get out of the contract. Your mental health is more important than their commission to me.

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  4. I would schedule your day with the times when you are going to call and whom. You could practice your written speech of what you are going to say and come up with some responses also if you know ahead of time what they might be. Don’t forget, places like the gym coach their staff on how to turn a “no” into a “yes” so don’t let them phase your determination or ability to continue the conversation.
    You could also Google “phone phobia” as there are people who have written articles on this topic. I have the same problem so I totally understand. Good luck with your calls.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So as I’ve just read this and I’m hoping u got through all ur phone calls. It’s a cliche but the more u do it the easier it becomes. The idea of writing out what u need to say is what I do at work, I hate the sound of my own voice and think people are laughing at me so I write out my script and things they could ask me so I can just stare at it while I’m talking. Have u tried recording things to help u remember, voice memos on ur phone or an old fashioned dictaphone?!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “But because I get so anxious on the phone I have to write out everything I want to say to make sure it gets said.”

    I can totally relate to this. I absolutely loathe predetermined conversations. If I have an appointment on Monday and I have to wait the weekend, I spend that time creating fake conversations in my head. I script the meeting before it happens, trying to develop any and all answers for questions and/or situations. I immediately forget all of this at the start of the meeting.

    I become out of breath during the conversation because I can’t seem to only talk in small sentences. Very frustrating.

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  7. =( I can empathize. Having too much on my plate is a definite trigger for me. I stress out which paralyzes me. Then I feel inadequate and worthless. Then comes the hopelessness… it really sucks! But it’s hard to bring in all in on focus on the most important things ’cause in our minds… IT’S ALL IMPORTANT… Lol… but I do hope (three days later) that things went well for you. And if you only got one thing done then bravo! You have made an achievement that deserves celebrating =)

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  8. I’m having an episode very similar to that right now, but I’m not freaking out. When I lose control of things, in spite of doing my best, my body turns a defense mechanism on. It’s called Fuck It All. And then I don’t care about what happens. It happened last week, so I spent all my savings, about $1200, and bought an iPhone 6+. My previous phone, an iPhone 4S, was perfectly fine. But I did it anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The terrifying part of this comment is that I am just spell checking a post where I talk about how I have surpassed critical level and reached “fuck it” level. I totally understand what you mean. I do that all the time. If it wasn’t so uncool to say YOLO. I would admit that I often walk in to a store and spend money whilst thinking “well, I only live once.” 😐 anxiety can make you wreckless.

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      • But what good does it do? I’m thinking about the months I spent working to make that money, staying up all night, sitting crooked on a computer. $1200 is a big deal in Pakistan. I didn’t even need an iPhone 6+. I could’ve gone for 6 instead of 6+, or an iPhone 5S which had everything I wanted and was way more elegant than this 6+. Before this, in the same week, I took a trip to another city where all my cousins were, for no reason at all. I’m not the fun kind, they are. I sit quietly while they jest and joke. I sit quietly in the back seat when they have fun while driving. They talk to each other and I just observe. Why did I go? I have 3 ebooks to ghostwrite, way past my deadline, and this could’ve been avoided if I hadn’t gone. I have a 5 start rating on oDesk, and I might just be screwing it up now. Read the latest post on my blog, if you can, and tell me what you think. For a reason unknown to me, I’d like to hear what you think about it. But no pressure, don’t read it if you can’t or don’t want to.

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