My anxiety levels skyrocketed last week.
I had a moment of doubt, worried I had screwed something up in a life-changing way and no matter what anyone said, I couldn’t shake the anxiety that came with that.
It is fine. Everything turned out fine.
But I needed help to handle it.
I felt shattered, barely holding it together despite hugs and soothing comments from co-workers and family. It took my good friend to somewhat sternly look me in the eye and tell me that I did good, that it was fine and that if it was a mistake, “which it wasn’t.” I could fix it.
She stitched up the wound. And I am forever grateful for her.
But the feelings of anxiety don’t just go away when you have made peace with the trigger, or in my case it doesn’t.
I couldn’t sit still all week, almost obsessively cleaning and organizing. Exercising to try and calm down.
I had a tea latte and learned that caffeine does not help when I am feeling like this, even though I don’t normally notice the caffeine in tea.
And this is all without an official anxiety disorder diagnosis.
I can’t even imagine what others are feeling.
I didn’t sleep well.
I misconstrued every critique and comment.
I couldn’t handle social media or sad news.
So I bundled up in a cozy sweater and walked outside with my dog and talked to my mom on the phone and disconnected from Facebook and Twitter for a few days. I listened to music and watched my favourite TV shows.
I took time for myself, while the pieces that felt broken healed, and I am going to see my counsellor, who I haven’t seen in a few months.
This is a stark reminder to always be taking care of myself, as a preventative measure so that I can better handle future stressful events.
Because they are coming.
I am human, I am not perfect, I will make mistakes.
We are living in the era of climate change, stressful events like pandemics and forest fires and extreme storms will continue.
Life ends. There will be grief in my future.
These feelings were a harsh reminder that I need to pay more attention to self care and my mental health.
Just because I am doing fine now doesn’t mean I should stop taking preventative measures.
Especially as we roll into the season of rain, dreariness and early sunsets.