I planned on going out this evening.

It’s interesting, if you’d ask me a couple of years ago I’d have said anxiety is something that doesn’t affect my life at all. Today, I wonder if I’ve anxiety in general (I’m not sure whether freaking out has anything to do with anxiety or not) and I think I know I’ve social anxiety.

social anxiety, anxiety, and depressed image

I was planning on going to an evening tonight. I was fully prepared. I spent this morning talking myself through it. Tapping through it (EFT). I never do tapping, yet I did this morning. I tapped on each statement two or three (or four) times

Today can be an awesome day

I am okay always

Maybe I can face scary situations

Maybe I am strong enough to handle it

Maybe I can make a fool of myself and it would be okay

Maybe others don’t think so much

Going tonight would be scary

And I can do scary things

Asking my workmates if I can go, what I need to do, who I need to tell

Discussing it with my workmates seems terrifying

And I can do scary things

I’m strong, I am capable, I am courageous

I am scared to be around so many people

And it’s possible I’ll enjoy it

My workmates may tell me there’s no space for me with them

They may be uninterested in me joining

It could be they’ll be a group and I’ll be left out

And it will be okay

Whatever happens it will be okay

And I will be okay

I am okay

I am stronger than I believe

More powerful than I know

I am okay

I was really okay. I discussed it with my workmates, they couldn’t care less either way. They would be a group, and I decided it would be okay. That I was going to go because in some sense I wanted to. I both did and didn’t want to. Yet, yet yet yet. It didn’t happen.

Because 50 minutes before I’d have to leave I wanted to get into pj’s and decided not to because I was going in 50 minutes. So I did some stuff. And then I saw the time. 55 minutes later. I was late. I was out of schedule. I wasn’t really ready. I didn’t know if I’d really want to go. By the time I’d get there I didn’t know if they would be there or not. Where they’d be sitting. If I’d have to walk through the hall to them. If I looked okay. If I really wanted to go. If I didn’t want to go. I’m exhausted. I’m really too tired to go. It was just, too much. Every minute I spent thinking about it made it later, and later, and later, until it really was too late to go. Well not really too late, but too late for me.

Instead I got into pj’s. Which was a relief. Which I’m glad and sad about. Glad because I didn’t go. Glad because I didn’t want to go. Glad because I didn’t really have the energy for a late evening, really late, and it’d be an evening with people. Glad because I’m not longer anxious about it for I just didn’t. Sad because I actually may have enjoyed it. Sad because I probably would have enjoyed it. Sad primarily because I didn’t choose, I didn’t win. I let the fear win. And I know why, because I’d gotten late. And my body was feeling more than shattered, I know too, that it was my body’s reaction to fear, I know because now that I’m not going my body doesn’t feel as shattered. I spent so long preparing myself this morning. I was busy all day. I was actually ready to go. Yet, I didn’t. It just didn’t happen.

Did I waste my time? Preparing myself if I didn’t even go? I don’t know… I wish I could cry.

What helps you when you’re freaking out?

What are some tools or activities that help you when you're feeling stressed out?

I was going to email my response to this question, but decided to write it out here, especially as it’s so completely applicable at the moment. What tools or activities help you when you’re stressed? At the moment I’m overwhelmed and on the verge of freaking out. Today I woke up with a splitting headache that hasn’t eased up through the day. I know it’s everything building up in my head. So what helps?

There are a number of things that help me when I’m freaking out (and which I’ve been doing a lot of these days).

Journaling (in any form) helps me put things in order in my head.

Writing to myself often tells me what I need to hear – helps me to give myself the words I need to hear.

Colouring, puzzles, or anything that requires a bit of focus but not too much helps since it helps me focus and be present.

I often use grounding techniques. The ones I use most are focusing on my breath, feeling it in my body, and the 5,4,3,2,1 – Naming 5 things I can see, hear, and feel. 4 things I can see, hear and feel. 3 things… 2 and 1. I like to end off with – I can see myself, I can feel my body/breath, I can hear myself breathing/my heartbeat. (I try to do both these at least once a day regardless of whether I do or don’t think I need to).

Something that I’ve been using a lot the last couple of weeks is doodling and tapping on it. That means scribbling whatever I want with whatever colours I want on a blank page – sometimes it has meaning, sometimes I can’t see any meaning in it at all – and then tapping on the EFT pressure points for a couple of rounds or until I feel like I’m done. On a new page scribbling/doodling, then tapping on it again. etc… until I’m somewhat calmer.

None of this deals with the overwhelm, but it does help me from completely spiralling.

I’d love to hear from you, what are some tools or activities that help you when you’re overwhelmed or freaking out?

Love, light and glitter