Note: I had written this blog in May, during one of the peak episodes in my anxiety. I felt like if I recorded my day, it would give some clarity to myself and help me understand my anxiety a little more. It did. Since May, I’ve looked back at this blog (which I had saved as a draft) and debated publishing it. Today, on the 23rd of July, I just bit my tongue and hit publish, for me. I am working on a couple of projects which involve mental health awareness and understanding it, so publishing this blog was a big step for me in accepting that it’s okay to not be okay, and to share it with the world in the aim of expression.
I wake up. I spend around five minutes tossing and turning in bed, thinking about the day ahead. I keep snoozing the alarm that repeats every 60 seconds, whilst trying not to keep a hold of my phone and open up all my social media apps. I’m aware of the negatives of beginning your day reacting instead of acting, and allowing what you see on social media within the first woke moments of the day to dictate to your emotions. So, I battle that impulse, and I pull myself out of bed.
I head straight to the kitchen, down a pint of water, which was still warm as I didn’t wait long enough for the cold tap to ultimately do it’s job and provide me with cold water. I pore myself a bowl of cereal (today’s choice was coco pops, the old faithful) and debate whether to make a coffee. I decide not to, which in hindsight was a terrible decision.
I ate, I drank, I took my morning medication, I showered, I dressed, I packed my bag and I began my morning commute. Which, luckily for me, is only a short 15 minute walk to the office.
But, first, I have to enter the lift, and head to the exit of my building.
I’ve entered the lift. Not to my surprise, but definitely to my discomfort, it was full with people.
After I stepped in, the daily inner monologue begins and the anxiety begins to make itself known.
‘I look awful today You don’t care about that, though. That is why your hair looks like that – you don’t do anything to it. That is why you don’t like your plain outfit – you committed to minimalism.’ ‘Why is everyone in this lift looking at me. Who is going to walk out first. Who is going to hold the door on the way out. Where will I stand amongst these people? At the back hopefully, it feels like they’re all watching me.
I get soaked on my walk to the office. My white T-shirt quickly becomes grey and skin tight with the water, adding to my discomfort. It’s north England, so the temperature outside is still pretty warm despite the storm, so my glasses are steaming up any my forehead and palms begin to sweat. Although this is likely a symptom of the voice in my head, as I start to violently question:
‘Who the fu*k invented offices and why do I have to leave the comfort of my home and go through all of this to go and sit in one.’
I reach the office. I do the ‘good mornings’, I grab a coffee, and I sit at my desk.
There isn’t a great deal to comment on at this part of the day. Other than the standard things:
- Apprehension, anxiety and sweaty palms whenever the phone rings or someone needs me.
- Thoughts of being sacked whenever someone senior asks to speak to me.
- Defensive fight or flight responses
- Little walks up and down the office to satisfy the ADHD urges.
- Little breaks in a quiet space to focus on breathing and calming my busy mind down, so I can focus on not needing to have little walks to satisfy my ADHD urges.
I always make sure I take my lunch. I try and get fresh air and go for a walk. When the dogs are in the office I spend as much time playing with them as I possibly can.
Back to work. More caffeine.
I try to use my mornings to get the mundane and admin tasks out of the way and save my post-lunch, carbohydrate and caffeine induced mind for all creative tasks and strategies.
The clock strikes 5. Suddenly, the office clears and it’s just me, my laptop, Elton John in my headphones, and a few of the post 5-o-clock club.
Now, the debate of ‘go home and back to comfort or take advantage of the peace and quiet and get back into the flow’ begins.
If I’m honest, 9/10 times I go for the latter option. This is something I’m proud of, as my bed is extremely comfy.
I spend this time, after hours, working on any ideas or projects I have that aren’t extremely urgent but that I enjoy doing.
By 8 pm, I’ve usually gone home from the office, cooked food and switched off from work mode.
By 9:30 pm, I’ve done the dishes, cleaned the apartment, been to the gym and worked out, and am now back at home.
I’m lucky to have a lounge area in my apartment, of which I feel comfortable in, so I love nothing more than heading there after a long day with my laptop and my headphones. This is my creative time and my absolute favourite part of the day. I sit down, no social media or talking to anyone, and just do whatever I like, while listening to the music I love. I usually spend this time blogging, video editing, drawing, designing, or working on any of my latest weird and random projects I have swirling around my head.