Never Go To Bed Angry


“Never go to bed angry” is one of the earlier pieces of advice I heard, or read, or somehow acquired.  Who knows where from, or what it was for, or why, but it’s advice I have occasionally worked quite hard to follow.

Tonight is an excellent example.  Tonight I am feeling very put upon and sorry for myself – to be honest, I have been for most of the week, because this week has been awful, and I feel like I’ve been dumped on by people who should be trying to relieve my burdens, and by people who I felt should have recognised that.

I have been sick.  Not sniffles sick, but full on fever, vomiting, delirium, the works.  This will be the fifth day.  I still have a fever.

On top of that we’ve had no power to our hot water cylinder, which I’ve been tasked with finding a resolution for (long story, no one wants it to be their fault, I JUST WANT HOT WATER).

The dog had a really bad hotspot and needed to be seen by the vet.  That same night my friend’s dearly beloved cat and companion took a very sudden turn for the worse, and when I met her in the emergency clinic, it was decided that she would not be returning home with us.

I had a nurse’s appointment, then a doctor’s appointment.  An exam.  Still no hot water.

My lovely human (who I will gently address this with) said with a stern voice “we have to do something about this food in the fridge, it’s all going to go off!  We’re going to have to give it away!”  Except his tone of voice meant that I was the one who would have to do this, along with everything else.  “I can smell the dog, you’ll have to clean the cushions after this,” while I’m lying on the couch, unable to keep more than toast and honey down or stay conscious for much longer than an hour.

I am exhausted.  Tonight I mistook the dog’s medication for the cat’s medication, so off we went to the after hours vet clinic to have vomiting induced (which didn’t happen … until we got home!).  I even had a little cry in the waiting room while everything just hit me.

So I’m feeling very sad and put upon.  And not without reason, either, it’s been a catastrophically shit week and it just doesn’t seem to want to end.  It’s taking a lot of effort not to mope and sulk and be petty.  It’s when I feel like this that I know I’m at nope point and I need to take some time to relax.

A bit of music goes a long way, so while I’m waiting for my cat to be a bit more conscious, I’m chilling.  Then I will sleep!

Social Anxiety


Today my mind is racing.  Yesterday I was invited out to a social gathering by a neighbour.  They have dogs.  I have dog.  There was going to be a big dog meet up nearby with a walk and a trip to the cafe.  At the time I thought it was a great idea!  So I said I’d probably see them there.

I got home and panicked.  I slept badly.  Now I’m sitting in my house, hours past the meet up, wired up and anxious and trying to figure out where it all went wrong.  My mind is pulling up all sorts of excuses – my dog wasn’t too bright this morning, I slept badly, I couldn’t afford the coffee (I’ve just over-extended myself sorting out two very very large bills), I’m not feeling well …  at the end of the day, I suspect it’s a mixture of social anxiety and an element of too much sensory input.

It’s even harder when you don’t have their number to say ‘hey sorry, anxiety is really bad today, I’m going to camp it out inside’ and you actually have to go over there and say so.  Which I will do this afternoon.  I have found people are a lot more understanding when you say ‘I have anxiety and today is a bad day’ or ‘I have autism and need a quiet day’.

But as a result of all of this anxiety, I’m shut down today, down to emergency services only.  I don’t feel up to cleaning, I don’t feel up to doing anything except wrapping myself up on the couch and watching TV.  Which is compounding my stress a bit because I have things to do and I just don’t have the energy.

So I’m going to tell myself it’s okay, wrap up warm, put on something nice, have a cuppa tea, and we’ll try again later this afternoon.  The world is not going to end because I didn’t vacuum this week.

(In writing this I’ve calmed down considerably, and now feel like I can relax.)

Today Was Not A Good Day – And That’s Okay


The day started out wrong – my phone had reset during the night and my usual alarms didn’t go off.  Instead, I was woken by my partner’s later alarms, and couldn’t quite figure out what was going on.  So I hauled myself out of bed (admittedly after a bit of prodding – mornings suck) and pottered through my morning routine, which all went well, and I was off to work at a good time.  I just didn’t want to do anything, I wanted to be an amorphous blob, right from waking up.  I just didn’t care.

Nothing really bad happened at work.  We found a couple of old things that really should have been done a year ago (left over from the person in my role previously), and discovered a frustrating error that’s been repeated across a number of projects from someone who’s long since gone … and this may actually be a problem for this project.  It’s all gone up the chain and greater minds than I are deciding on things and will handle it.  Nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing I haven’t handled before.  And yet, by about 11.00am, I was silently panicking.

So I was panicking and I didn’t care.  I was sitting at work, in a job I know, around people I love working around, in a safe environment with two wonderful bosses who never get angry when I mess up, are always quick with praise, and who I get along with … and I was panicking and I just did not care, I did not want to be there, and I hated my job.  I got the frustrated fidgets – what can I do to get ahead, can I get another job on top of this one, what can I sell to get a bit more liquid assets, how can I maneuver myself into a position where I don’t have to do this anymore.

Instead of resisting the feeling and getting grumpy about it and saying I have no reason for it, like I always do, I took a moment to go home for lunch, sit down, and go ‘no, this is okay.  I am having a shit day, and there is no real reason for it, and that is totally okay.’  I felt a little better.

I went back to work, sat down, and within 30 minutes I was nearly jumping out of my skin again.  There was a cacophony of voices in the office – it’s all open plan, and we have a few Capable of Outside Voices Only people there – and too much auditory input is one of my major panic triggers (which I usually put down to the fact that I can’t filter any of it out).  I put my earbuds in and listened to a few minutes of white noise rainstorm, and that gave me just enough headspace to breathe, to sit back and let the noises wash over me, instead of slam into me.  It gave me just enough headspace to go ‘no, this is okay, accept this feeling, stop resisting it’ and really feel it.  It gave me just enough headspace to relax my stomach, my shoulders and the muscles in my face.

I checked myself at least 5 more times in the next few hours between lunch and home, reminding myself ‘I am having a shit day and that is totally okay‘.  By the end of the day my skin felt tight, my chest felt strangled, and I just wanted to scream at the sky.  I resisted the temptation – it’s rather alarming for people in the surrounding area – but that feeling stuck with me until I got out to do a bit of manual labour that evening.

That, along with listening to podcasts, helped flush out the last of my negative and anxious thoughts, and while I’m still feeling the after affects of an anxious day, I’m beginning to relax.

I will say that admitting ‘I’m having a shit day’ and then saying ‘and that’s okay’ made the usual frustration fidgets a lot less severe.  While my brain was turning things over, it wasn’t the usual desperate churn, and I never once felt physically affected by the desperate need to do something, but also do nothing, and be anywhere but here right now.   Definitely something to continue working on.