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  • Maeve Waite

    Maeve Waite

    24 year old work psychologist, mental health advocate and future dachshund owner. occasional writer, baker and photo taker. posts have been featured on time to change and mental movement magazine, and I sometimes like to write all lower case.
    Oxford, UK

    Even the little things are terrifying when you have anxiety.


    Recently, my anxiety has been fairly high. I’ve started a new job in a place I don’t really know, I don’t know anyone in my office, and I’ve had some massive changes to my personal life that will take a long time to adjust to.

    It’s meant that my general anxiety levels are all over the place, relating to things that don’t really make sense to me…if that makes sense. My brain is a bit all over the place, and I’m only now starting to calm down enough to think straight.

    My anxiety has been creeping in on the everyday. By that, I mean that I’ve even had anxiety to go get a glass of water. Not paralysing, crippling anxiety (most of the time), but enough that I’ve felt self-conscious about doing it, so I’ve convinced myself I don’t need it, and so I don’t go.
    It might seem completely ridiculous to a lot of people – believe me, I know that, and I feel ridiculous writing it. Even deciding where to go to lunch has been a struggle, so I’ve spent most lunchtimes in the Pret-A-Manger literally opposite my building, where I’m fairly sure the staff have begun to recognise me.

    It’s very, very easy to find yourself sticking to a comfort zone – even a temporary one – when dealing with anxiety. I know I want to socialise more in my office, but because my anxiety levels have been high for the past few weeks, I’ve tended to close myself off. Which isn’t good if you’re a remote worker.

    I can’t really describe what’s going on in my head when I shy away from certain things. I think it’s because I’m already going through a lot of change at the moment, so my brain is like, ‘STOP’ and desperately trying to find some sort of routine to keep me calm. This sounds very much like me. Even the simple things like getting some water can make me anxious, because my illness is telling me I’ll embarrass myself because I didn’t have a proper office induction and I’ll look like a moron rummaging around for mugs and the dishwasher etc. I know how ridiculous this sounds, but that’s what’s happening in my head! It’s hard to ignore when your mind is already racing more than normal. I don’t expect everyone to understand these anxieties, but when you’re alone in your mind they can become much, much bigger than they actually are.

    I’m aware that I’m getting into patterns – I don’t really want the Pret staff to recognise me, to be honest – so I’m having to force myself to do something different on the days I feel ever so slightly better. Today, I went to another café down the road and ate on the grass on the sunshine, reading my book and listening to music. It was very nice. I also spoke – albeit briefly – to other people in my office today. They were very nice. I also went and made myself a drink without being told where anything in the kitchen was. It was fine.

    As uncomfortable as it is – and it really is – it’s helping me combat these anxious feelings. The more I’m stepping away from my comfort zone, the more confident and happy I become. Some days I definitely will want my routines, and I’m letting myself have those days. I don’t expect this to go away overnight, and slow progress is still progress. I’m making it my mission to explore more over the course of the year, and as everything in my life calms down, I’ll calm down and things won’t seem quite so unfamiliar anymore.

    M x

    Recently, my anxiety has been fairly high. I’ve started a new job in a place I don’t really know, I don’t know anyone in my office, and I’ve had some massive changes to my personal life that will take a long time to adjust to.

    It’s meant that my general anxiety levels are all over the place, relating to things that don’t really make sense to me…if that makes sense. My brain is a bit all over the place, and I’m only now starting to calm down enough to think straight.

    My anxiety has been creeping in on the everyday. By that, I mean that I’ve even had anxiety to go get a glass of water. Not paralysing, crippling anxiety (most of the time), but enough that I’ve felt self-conscious about doing it, so I’ve convinced myself I don’t need it, and so I don’t go.
    It might seem completely ridiculous to a lot of people – believe me, I know that, and I feel ridiculous writing it. Even deciding where to go to lunch has been a struggle, so I’ve spent most lunchtimes in the Pret-A-Manger literally opposite my building, where I’m fairly sure the staff have begun to recognise me.

    It’s very, very easy to find yourself sticking to a comfort zone – even a temporary one – when dealing with anxiety. I know I want to socialise more in my office, but because my anxiety levels have been high for the past few weeks, I’ve tended to close myself off. Which isn’t good if you’re a remote worker.

    I can’t really describe what’s going on in my head when I shy away from certain things. I think it’s because I’m already going through a lot of change at the moment, so my brain is like, ‘STOP’ and desperately trying to find some sort of routine to keep me calm. This sounds very much like me. Even the simple things like getting some water can make me anxious, because my illness is telling me I’ll embarrass myself because I didn’t have a proper office induction and I’ll look like a moron rummaging around for mugs and the dishwasher etc. I know how ridiculous this sounds, but that’s what’s happening in my head! It’s hard to ignore when your mind is already racing more than normal. I don’t expect everyone to understand these anxieties, but when you’re alone in your mind they can become much, much bigger than they actually are.

    I’m aware that I’m getting into patterns – I don’t really want the Pret staff to recognise me, to be honest – so I’m having to force myself to do something different on the days I feel ever so slightly better. Today, I went to another café down the road and ate on the grass on the sunshine, reading my book and listening to music. It was very nice. I also spoke – albeit briefly – to other people in my office today. They were very nice. I also went and made myself a drink without being told where anything in the kitchen was. It was fine.

    As uncomfortable as it is – and it really is – it’s helping me combat these anxious feelings. The more I’m stepping away from my comfort zone, the more confident and happy I become. Some days I definitely will want my routines, and I’m letting myself have those days. I don’t expect this to go away overnight, and slow progress is still progress. I’m making it my mission to explore more over the course of the year, and as everything in my life calms down, I’ll calm down and things won’t seem quite so unfamiliar anymore.

    M x
    . Friday, 25 May 2018 .

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