You wake up just before the alarm goes off, realise you have a couple more minutes of blissful unconsciousness, and fall back asleep.
This is pretty much the perfect start to my day.
Sometimes, the day continues in this wonderful way; suns out, bus is on time and gets me in town early enough to actually eat something before I start my shift. Could a woman ask for more?
The shift passes in it’s usual way… there’s customers, feet need measuring, explain what the sizes mean, get sneezed on or coughed on by a few kids, all pretty standard. Even the returns and insole fittings pass fairly smoothly. I’m meeting my target – everything seems to be going well.
You know me by now. Can’t move for some kind of anxiety overload.
Someone says something, a customer, a co worker, the cashier when I pop out for lunch. They’re not happy wit how I’ve fitted the shoes, they were measured this at the other store, you’re holding up the line, you’ve done/not done this and you need to be more aware-
And dooooooown we goooooo
into the whirlpool. I’ve been here a lot. It’s not a fun whirlpool.
Someone’s told me I’ve done something wrong. Usually in a work sense, though really, the only important part is that, for the spiral to happen, somebody else needs to be inconvenienced by what I’ve done wrong. If it just effects me, I usually couldn’t care less. Remember, at the heart of my anxiety is the need to not be a bother to anyone else.
Right. So I’m worried about this wrong thing I’ve done – let’s say, I’ve forgotten to take the bins out like I said I would and one of my housemates did it instead.
I’m anxious because I told them I would do it, and I didn’t, and they probably had way more important things to do but they’ve had to stop doing them to take the bins out because I’m a lazy sod who doesn’t do anything and what if I don’t do enough around the house, I mean, I probably do but what if I don’t, and my housemates secretly hate me because I don’t do anything, and if I go out and bump into one of them, they’ll bring it up and be really mad with me I should really just stay in my room, but then I’m not doing any chores, and they’ll hate me more, and they never like me anyway, they just felt sorry for me because no one really likes someone who doesn’t do what they said they were going to, and they must be upstairs now talking about how much of a terrible human I am –
By this point, I’m either mid way through a panic attack, or I’ve wrapped myself in my duvet and don’t intend to move for the whole day. I’m sorry about the lack of punctuation, but there’s more important things to think about when spiralling.
What’s more frustrating, is that the problem can usually be solved by doing something simple in the first place! Then the anxiety is worse, because you know there’s no real reason to feel anxious. This is the whole cause of anxiety disorders; being anxious about things you have no reason to be anxious over.
It’s easy to say this looking back, but at the time of a spiral, the cause of the anxiety is deathly important, and is something to get worked up over.
And that’s the thought process. It’s not pretty, but I hope it makes sense.
Also, FYI, this is how my spirals go. It likely won’t be the same for everyone, but then, I haven’t been inside everyone’s head.