Anxiety and depression seem to be my constant companions throughout life. They are always there; sometimes just sitting in the corner waiting to give me a nudge into self doubt while at other times a crashing crescendo of ever increasing pressure and disturbance. Doubt and worry building to ever higher possibilities leading to overwhelm and burnout.

Over time I have been able to conduct this orchestra by mainly shutting the noise out. Worries are pushed under the surface, muffled but still heard. Not dealt with or experienced in their fullness. But I have been having counselling in order to give voice to some of these anxieties and depression. The main aim for me is to see what the depression is trying to tell me. Analyse the feelings behind the depression, get out of my head and stop the whirlwind of chaotic thoughts that keep me up at night running through my head.

These intrusive thoughts go through my head like a steam train that gets to the bottom of the page and then heads right back up again as if I could forget it, to once again whirl around and start its relentless progress of “what ifs”

Existing on two hours sleep is no good and does nothing for your quality of life. Grumpy and tired with no patience relationships are strained and tested.

Unfortunately for me, I dont just serve them tea but like to offer them a slice of self fulfilling cake and a rather large limiting belief sandwich. Rounding them out and giving them substance. ]

But this is a new experience of anxiety. I have been experiencing anxiety of processing speed. Now I know that this is going to sound like I am a computer. But the amount of time that it takes for me to listen to the question, form a reply and then speak the required answer is very very slow. This often leaves people with the quandry of did she hear me? Does she understand and then finally, she’s a bit slow and doesn’t know the answer. It is worse when I am nervous. I can completely forget my name and if its very bad I can hit burnout and shutdown completely.

I am just waiting for the inspectors and their questions to arrive. I don’t know when and this is building the anxiety higher. I don’t have a list of questions that I can rehearse and possibly formulate answers for that I can use as a rough script. I know I am going to hesitate and have to think through what exactly are they asking me and try not to give an answer that repeats myself or that goes off on a tangent. Usually I go off on an odd tangent. This feels like the biggest challenge of my life at the moment.

I know its similar to interviews and I got so nervous at interviews that I tried hypnotism. I didn’t realise that it was part of the processing that neurodivergent people have to go through which is different to the way neurotypical people’s brains are wired. It’s not that one is better than the other, although in the case of interviews and face to face meetings, I would say neurotypical people thrive on these interactions. I however loathe them with a passion.

I can feel the freight train of crushing defeat and embarrassment making its slow ascent to the top of the hill. Maybe it would be better if someone else did my job, maybe it would be better if I just didn’t go in, maybe they will sack me, maybe I just cant do it. maybe I should get the really big tea pot of panic out and just pour tea. Constant streams of the stuff. Maybe adding a slice of cake defining that it all rests on my shoulders.

Of course it doesn’t, but the panic is building. Building until I cant speak and cant move. Full on panic attack. Looks like it is time to bring out the mask, but that is exhausting.

So what to do ?? How do I stop the nerves. I am capable and I can do this. I get so frustrated at always being held back because of this.

Time to do what I do best …. plan. With stickers if at all possible.

But it has defined my why. It has made me think “why am I doing this” Still, approaching meltdown in 5…..4…..3….2….1…….