I really wish someone could come up with a quick fix for when my anxiety starts to rear its ugly head. It is so tiring and I spend so much time and energy on something that is out of my control.
This week the anxiety has been brought on by work. I have had so much work to do, and I do what I do best: just keep my head down, don’t ask for help, trying to get everything done to a to a very high standard, I don’t take lunch and then crash in the evening. I had a chat with one of my managers who told me to stop stressing about things, to not sit at home in the evening getting anxious and worried about the work the next day. As long as it is done to a good standard then that is all that matters. This sounds great but it is easier said than done.
A box for everything
I like things done a certain way. I function best when I know exactly when and how I need to get things done. Knowing that I have a lot of things to get done in a day, at no specific times, with all factors outwith my control, really makes me anxious. Give me a time and a place, and I am happy. When things are fluid I struggle. So much so that the evening and night before a day like that is ruined. I constantly think about how to get it all done the next day. I go to bed thinking about it, wake up several times in the night and this is the first thing on my mind each time when I wake up.
This does worry me as I used to always take work home with me, and never switch off. I think that is one of the problems with working as a police officer, that you never really switch off. You also have such a great responsibility; if you mess up then people could die. It is harsh but it is the truth. But people sometimes die despite you doing the best job possible. This is hard to deal with. It would have been great if the management had recognised this and offered support but that is an area where the police fall down: they are busy looking after the public but do not really look after their colleagues.
It is also a reminder that sometimes you do need to speak up, and ask for help. Tell people that you are not coping well. I find that management will just plod along, thinking everything is good as they have not had anyone say anything different. They rarely use their own initiative and actually ask.
I wish I had spoken up, that I had spoken to my colleagues and manager about this. It felt like it was all part of my duties, which is really ridiculous as I am only human.
Different line of work
What I do now is so different, but to a lot of people it is the end of the world if I can’t fix it for them. I put myself under a lot of pressure to get things done, efficiently and to a high standard. Going back to this week, in the end it all sorted itself out as I got help that day for one difficult job, and this was due to his van having broken down. Had it not then I would not have had any help. So life moves in mysterious ways.
When it all just sorted itself out I was so happy. I felt my shoulders relax and thought to myself: why on earth are you worrying so much! Easier said than done. But try. Try not to worry so much. Nothing good will come of it.
I hope you all have a good week, and take care of you and your loved ones.