In April of 2017 I experienced a major anxiety attack in the middle of a shift in the job I was in at the time.
Panics, incoherent sentences spoken, and images from the mind full of the worst case scenarios would all play a part from start to finish of this period.
For the next two weeks, I would finish the day job and go straight back to the flat, and to bed, and I wouldn’t eat until 11PM, forcing something down.
This ended when I snapped out of this by talking to a few people, and re-shaping how I was planning certain things.
There’s been a couple of moments since then where I’ve felt some of these thoughts try to rise to the surface again, but I’ve had coping mechanisms to deal with these and they disappear.
It came close to coming back fully yesterday, but again, it subsided. I wanted to talk about that.
It began with the above text message, something I had been waiting for, for the last fortnight. After half a minute of thinking when I could pick it up, a lot of thoughts suddenly occurred:
- ‘Can I afford this?’
- ‘When is money coming in?’
- ‘But I need to buy things for Xmas..’
- ‘How do I even do this?’
- ‘Why am I even doing this?’
- ‘Why am I not writing right now?’
- ‘Have I made the right choice in leaving a full time job?’
And so on. Regardless of my failsafes of writing the realities down, and the pure facts where they all essentially gave two fingers to the above points, it still felt as if they were being relentless in putting their point across to me that everything was unachievable, starting with this iPad.
At the time, I was in a Wetherspoons on the MacBook Air, and after a half hour of trying to listen to music and videos in trying to subside these thoughts, it didn’t work, so I left and went back to the flat.
It was only until talking to the partner that it had gotten better. Admittedly, some of these thoughts had been swirling ever since I left the day job, but I knew that it was the right decision. And it still is. Commissions are still in progress, and others now published that I’m being paid for. Hell, I received a confirmation this afternoon of one payment arriving next week. The money I gained from selling my old iPad hadn’t been used for anything else, and it was always the plan to have it towards this new iPad.
The end of the story is, I bought the iPad Pro today, and I love it. Also, everything is going good, and I’m happy with how things are in all aspects in my daily life.
So why am I writing this now?
Plainly, because this is the first time since April 2017 that I felt it was as close as it could have been to a repeat of that time, and in no way is that happening again.
I also wanted to share this incident, to let you know that if you’ve been in something similar, you’re not alone. It can happen to anyone. That moment of extreme panic and terrific terror, with dramatic thoughts telling you in their own way; you’re a failure, everything occurring now is pointless, it’s all converging to you achieving nothing and being evicted from where you’re living.
It’s as if the brain has just been dunked into ice cold water and it’s feeling the shock of just how cold that water is.
The best thing is just to be honest with yourself, and to talk about it to others. The worst thing is to keep it bottled up, and the second worst is to only use a social media of your choice to express it by. It’s a big difference when you have someone looking at you, listening to you with undivided attention.
Do whatever you enjoy, know you can do it, and if in doubt, talk to someone. Avoid social media when its at its peak, and overcome it. As I’m sure you will.
You’ll be fine. Keep it going.