I woke up in a right old pickle today. Actually, I was woken by a text message that I then got into a right old pickle about before I was even fully awake. The message was from a guy I did some gardening work for the first time yesterday. His message was simply to ask what I had got done. The message was simple from his side. From my side, it panicked the hell out of me.
I immediately thought ‘Oh God! He thinks I didn’t do enough work. I must have done a rubbish job. I am going to get fired after just one day.’ Even though I was knackered from my gardening yesterday and was trying to get some sleep before I had to get up for my gardening job today, I could not get back to sleep for worry.
The thoughts about what I had done wrong, or not done enough of went round my head so fast I could power my flat if I ever figure out how to harness anxious thoughts into electricity. Then I started to justify myself about what I had actually got done. I cut down a tree, removed a whole load of ivy from a wall, raked and bagged leaves, weeded flower beds and rather heroically saved a tree from the creepy creepers from a neighbour’s hedge.
On the one hand, I felt I had done enough work to earn my pay, on the other hand, I thought ‘The lady dost protest too much.’ In the end I got up and wrote an email to say what I had completed. Almost immediately, I got a message back saying ‘Cool, when can you come back?’ All that worry for nothing.
Then I wondered why the heck was I panicking? I am not particularly stressed or anxious about anything at the minute, so what gives? Then I thought that maybe that is exactly ‘what gives.’ Anxiety and I used to hang out a lot in the near gone past. Perhaps it is because it has had so little to go on recently that it latched onto the text message out of reflex, or in a similar vein to muscle memory.
I am picturing my Anxiety as an actor that has only got one line in the entire play and is determined to ace it. Naturally, in it’s excitement and desire to stand out, it comes on stage before it’s cue and completely fluffs it’s line. Or as a rubbish super-hero who has fallen on hard times and is trying to force it’s way back into popularity.
Picture the scene. Anxiety Man smashes through a wall and loudly declares ‘Have no fear, Anxiety Man is here. Who needs me?’ No-one needs you Anxiety Man. You just make things so much worse and often for no reason.
For every up there is a down. I am reminded that anxiety and depression have not gone, no matter how well I think I am managing them. Constant vigilance it is then.
Take care buddies,