Anxiety hack — do something today, for tomorrow

October 2, 2020 § Leave a comment

I made a small note to myself today: do something today — even something small — that will make waking up tomorrow something to look forward to. I did that today by forcing myself to push through my anxiety and banging out over a 1000 words for a story that needs to be submitted on Monday. This reduced my anxiety significantly in the second half of the day after I typed out those words — my basic story framework is in place. So I have tomorrow to look forward to, to refine the story.

It boosted my confidence that I can continue to be without Trinicalm Plus (Trifluoperazine and some other stuff) which I stopped taking exactly two weeks ago. I still take a small dose of Clonazepam. Of course once one takes drugs like these, one can only count the number of days one has been free of them, if one chooses to stop taking them. The craving for them reduces and over a period of time becomes more of a memory, but never goes away.

Therefore doing things like what I did today help. I wasn’t looking to get to 1000 words. I began by telling myself I’ll attempt to get to about 400 words over four small sessions of just 100 words each. But as I wrote, the ideas began to form and the next paragraphs began to fall into place, and I managed to get to over a 1000 words.

#anxiety #depression #work #anxietyhack

Almost there, but not quite

October 1, 2020 § 1 Comment

Two edit meeting calls were all I was able to do today. Attending them required very little work — speak my piece and otherwise just keep quiet and wait for the call to end. My battle with anxiety and depression isn’t going well, when it comes to work. It’s now a day shy of two weeks since I stopped taking one of two medications I’d been on for nearly three years.

Without the drug, my head feels physically lighter, freer, and my mind clearer, but the day starts with crushing depression, which keeps me in bed till nearly 9 a.m. And much of the first half of the day is filled with anxiety and fear that I’m finding very tough to handle — without the drug to dull it all — and also work. So the work is taking a hit. I’m having to learn all over again to adjust to this new reality.

I’ve a plan to turn my work around, and I’ve been working on the processes I need to set in place to make it work. Will write more about it all, if I succeed. It’ll take a month to hit steady state, but it’s designed to show results earlier. In the interim, there’s an important piece to be delivered on Monday and I did no work on it today, except some cursory internet research.

It was a tough day, on a scale of good, okay, tough or bad. Mostly on account of the work I was not able to do.


Self care

September 30, 2020 § Leave a comment

My therapist wants me to think of self-care practices that I can rely on to cope with my fears. She wants me to come up with strategies to take care of myself on a daily basis, and then practice them for 21 days so they become a habit. They become even more important now that I’m off the medication I was taking for my anxiety and depression.

Trying to find ways to keep my work under control is one of those. Because the biggest reason I was taking Trinicalm Plus (Trifluoperazine and some other stuff) was that I needed to be functional enough to be able to work. So I wouldn’t lose my job. I’m incredibly lucky that I managed to do some work every week the whole of last financial year to find myself just within the bell curve into which employees are fitted for their appraisals.

This year I’m trying to not simply work harder but work smarter. So finding ways of getting my work under control is my first important strategy for self care.

#anxiety #depression #selfcare

Anxiety hack — control only one thing first

September 29, 2020 § Leave a comment

When the anxiety peaks, everything crowds in on me, like it happened this morning. It’s day 11 since I  stopped taking Trinicalm Plus (Trifluoperazine and some other stuff) for anxiety and depression. Without the drug putting me in a gentle stupor, my head is much clearer now and I’m a lot more aware of what’s happening to me.

The flip side is that I’ve to manage the anxiety on my own, without the chemical to help. And it’s worth it for both the clarity of the mind I’m slowly reclaiming and the long-term harmful effect of the drug on my body that I’m avoiding. Of course I’m very aware that once you take a psychotropic drug like this for nearly three years that I did, a part of you is always craving to get back on it.

More of the flip side is that the once-again clearer mind feels the anxiety a lot more keenly when it hits. This can be paralysing and physically painful as muscles of the back or the chest knot up or feel sharp jabs, and the fear plays in the pit of the stomach.

Walking in the evening today, I had this thought that if I could focus my mind on one thing that I can control, and keep it there, it might help. And one of the biggest sources of anxiety is my work, where I have to continuously come up with new story ideas of worth and deliver on them against deadlines.

So I’m trying to think of what I can do to ensure that my work is under control. The basic point of course is that I have to do the work, and that means pushing through the anxiety and the fear, to actually sit down and work. I got lucky last week, when the withdrawal symptoms were very bad, that there was a bit of a lull at work. No immediate deadlines. This week I failed to deliver a feature because I emailed questions, and a bit late, as the anxiety was too much for me to handle phone interviews.

I’ve to come up with weekly and daily plans — write them down in great detail and put them in time tables, or they won’t work — and somehow find the will to actually get the work done. One day at a time.

#anxiety #depression #work


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