Let me start by saying this is about me personally, and not everyone with anxiety, OCD or any mental illness will feel the same way. I’m also not making light of mental illness. Believe me, I know just how much of a struggle it is.
But this is a snapshot my day… not every day, but more often than not.
My second from last alarm goes off and I enjoy the 3 seconds of warm fuzziness before my brain kicks into gear and I think, “what have I got to worry about today?” There’s rarely a day that there’s nothing.
I try to rationalise everything, check my phone and then depending on how much sleep I’ve had (or haven’t had) I try to get my ‘5 more minutes’ of warm duvet coziness.
Did I send that form in yesterday?
Oh God, I don’t think did. I’m sure it had to be in by last night.
I’ll have to phone them.
God. No, I can’t phone them.
What should I say?
Maybe I did send the form in.
*Jumps up to check*
I sent the blasted form in.
Now…. 3 more minutes….
Shit! My last alarm (the one I’ve actually labelled PANIC) goes off and I fall out of bed, getting dressed as I rush to the bathroom to get washed and ready. I get the children up and start breakfasts and all the rest of the mornings ‘To Do list’. No matter how organised I am we are always rushing out the door at the last moment. I hate being late – it stresses me out.
Finally, we’ve caught up with ourselves and we are en route.
“Did I lock the door?”
“I did lock the door didn’t I?”
*Asks closest child* “Yes mum”
“Are you sure? Did you see me?”
“Oh well, I can’t go back now. We’ll be late.”
“You locked the door, Mum. I saw you. You definitely locked it”
But then what if I didn’t?
The house will be burgled.
I can’t afford to replace the XBOX.
The kids will never forgive me.
I’ll go straight home.
I’ve mastered the school run without making eye contact with even one person. Oh I tell a lie, maybe one person, that I know well and I don’t feel intimidated by. Once I drop everyone off, I go back through my thoughts to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything.
Better rush home, just in case it’s unlocked and the local burglar is taking everything we own.
Oh God, there’s dog poop/vomit/some other bodily fluid on the pavement.
Wait. I didn’t see that one the way up.
What if we walked in it? What if the kids walked in it?
What if the person it belongs to has some incurable and highly contagious disease?
They’ll be treading all round the school… Oh God, they’ll get ill and probably die.
I’ll clean their shoes when they get home.
Home at last.
I’d locked the blasted door.
I can’t answer it.
I don’t know who it is.
Maybe it’s someone trying to con me into handing over my bank details.
I won’t answer it.
Oh but what if it’s the hospital? Maybe one of the kids or hubby has been in an accident.
I better answer it.
*phone rings off*
Invitation to a ‘really lovely event that you’d love if you wasn’t so socially awkward”
I couldn’t possibly go.
There will be people there.
People who will want to talk to me.
They’ll hate me.
I’ll have to say no.
*Politely declines the invitation*
Oh God. They will think I don’t like them.
What if they never speak to me again?
That’s it now. My career is over.
Arrive home from school run, successfully avoiding the disease-ridden pavement.
Yes, I’m sure I did. I’ll clean everyone’s shoes now, just in case.
Child A didn’t eat much dinner tonight. Well, when they are hungry later they will learn that if you don’t eat all your dinner, you go hungry!
They won’t sleep tonight.
They will be hungry.
Starving. They’ll be starving.
Maybe I’ll make them a sandwich.
Bedtime at last! I’ve just written a detailed list for tomorrow so I don’t forget anything. I can’t read at bedtime as I can’t stop my brain from interrupting. Most nights, I fall asleep pretty easily, but then I’ll wake up around 2am.
Better check on the kids. What if the blankets fallen off and they are freezing to death?
What was that noise? It sounded like the back door.
Did I lock the back door?
I said something horrible 5 years ago. I wonder if they still hate me?
I need to find some work.
We won’t have enough money to eat.
But what if I go to an interview and I don’t know what to say?
They’ll hate me.
I’ll never get a job.
What do I need to worry about tomorrow?
God, look at the time… I won’t get up in the morning.
We will be late!
And then it starts all over again tomorrow
Incidentally, I’m feeling panicky about publishing this post. Hence the first paragraph. My mouth is burning, I’m sweating and I’m about to email a draft to my better half as he is the rational one. My anxiety is far more than just this post, but it is a small insight to the scary place that is my mind. If you feel like this too, you are not alone and talking about it makes more people understand. So there we are.
I’m taking part in Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day In May challenge. I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below: