After so many many months of daily managing of anxiety, it has subsided for the last few weeks. And wow does life look and feel different. Smoother. Freer. Sleeping more soundly.
I made the risky decision to halve my business and reduce staff, and that helped a lot. Less pressure on me, fewer things that can go wrong, more control over projects, more attention to detail as my attention is not split. Just less to tempt worry thoughts.
I couldn’t keep going, I ground to a halt inside and outside. Never imagined that would happen. Thought I was invincible. Felt an obligation to others over my own wellbeing. I was so locked into the habit – it’s been 15 years I’ve been doing this.
It’s still stressful, there’s problems to solve, mistakes to fix and pay for, money to juggle, tax and bills to pay, but it’s manageable.
No amount of nature walks, mindfulness practice, eating well could help me sustain that stress level for a minute longer. It’s been building for years and years.
So now it’s new territory again. I’m still in recovery and resting a lot, doing pretty much what I feel to do every day and very little forcing myself to do anything. Such freedom I feel tremendously grateful for.
I have no idea if a much smaller business will be enough to pay me a salary, that I’ll have to see in the months to come. I feel optimistic though, and watching the figures on the accounts carefully. Reducing expenses. Not spending much. Downsizing. This is what it looks like.
I’ve noticed the last couple of days that I’ve completed some long overdue tasks, mostly boring paperwork, that I’ve put off for months. That has been my default setting during this stressful time, constant procrastination. It just added to the low level background stress of knowing the tasks were still sitting there on the ‘to do’ list.
And of course no desire or urge for my couple of gins in the evenings. Remove the cause of the stress and there’s no need to self medicate the anxiety away. On day 12.
This no alcohol experiment has given me an opportunity to stand outside an activity that the majority engage in regularly and to consider the effects on us all, on society of a self medicated population.
The more I’ve been open with people about my high stress level, others have shared that they are also very stressed. It’s the norm out there it seems. It explains the self medication going on with various substances.
So I’m full of curiosity to see where this new phase takes me. Aware of the old self sabotage habits when life gets better than I’m used to, and the fear of happiness. All very interesting.