Today I felt weak, lonely and wavering. My work suffered. I found it hard to concentrate and was dispirited; I had headaches and sudden spells of complete exhaustion. I got things done, but I finished early and gave myself a bit of time off. Time with which I did nothing useful.
This is not the end of the world. In terms of recovery it was still a useful day. I meditated and worked out and will meditate again.
I took my walk on the route to work, part of challenging my anxiety. I think it is location based. I'm prone to exaggerating such things, as befits someone with anxiety, and it's one of the reasons I now stay away from the news - there's no sense of perspective. I don't want anyone to think of mean streets and burned out cars. I go through a slightly less pleasant neighbourhood. There's more begging, a bit of open drug dealing, more kids who should be in school and aren't, more litter.
And it scares the living crikey out of me. It's silly, but there it is. I've always been like this. Always scared of "the rough boys" from the council estate. The same is true of my pretty genteel small town and so it is of Thin City, just as it was Mom City and Heathen City.
That doesn't matter. What matters is what I do about it.
I'm pretty sure I would be diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder were I to go to a doctor, persuade her to refer me to a psychologist or psychiatrist, and await my Citalopram prescription.
I don't want to do that. It's not a road I want particularly want to go down again, though if I need to I will.
So what can I do?
First, I think I'll continue my walking experiment. Down these not very mean streets...
I also need to continue doing what I'm doing - those "right things" I've written so much about. Doing more of them or doing them more often is no bad thing.
I've let myself go a little bit since Mag went away.
I've retreated more into my office. It's the room in which I feel safest, the quietest, even when we had terrible neighbours it felt like my haven. I'm spending too much time in here. I've gone from no smoking in the house, to smoking in the office. That needs to stop.
I've continued to put things off. A phone call I could do with making.
And I'm wasting too much time. I work, I eat and then I watch TV. I then work out and write this, meditate and go to bed.
It's fine, but it's not enough. It's a retreat and I'm not pushing or stretching myself enough.
Basically, it's about something I've done very little of in my life. Knuckling down and putting the work in.
There isn't any self-loathing in that. I recognise that I haven't learned that skill, to react in that way, and I need to start to learn it. So I learn it.
I'm also still prepared to keep some balance in this. I'm still doing extraordinarily well. My life is almost unrecognisable from what it was not very long ago. Things that are worse aren't as bad as they used to be, most things in my life are much better, and some things in my life are the best they've ever been.
I am sober and recovering and very grateful for it and ready to make the changes needed to have more of it.
If you spent it, thank you for your time. Please leave a comment if you feel so moved, I'd love to hear from you.