After my acute episode of social anxiety at the retirement party last Saturday, I was more than just a little freaked out at the prospect of returning to work on Monday. I wondered if anyone noticed me acting frozen in fear and hardly being able to talk or him being weird and randomly disappearing. I guess I was just afraid of the aftermath, since my experience was so intensely crappy!
Once I crawled into my bed that night, I reached for my worn out copy of Hope and Help for Your Nerves by the late Dr. Claire Weekes. I was emotionally exhausted but my head was still spinning with thoughts, so I was very glad I keep this little book on my nightstand. It did help me sooth my weary head and get a grip so that I could rest a little.
(If you haven’t read Hope and Help, here is my full review of the book.)
The next day, in preparation for returning to work, I brushed up on the facts, because I know that knowledge is power. I armed myself with the knowledge that people are mostly kind, and even if I had an off-night, no one that really matters was judging me or wanting me to fail.
I also know that people are way more interested in their own perceptions and aren’t actually focused on me.
This process of re-educating myself and getting back to equanimity was such a relief. Heck, just being level-headed again was such a relief!
I also went back to my routine- of morning mindfulness meditation and actively keeping focused on the present.
Staying grounded in the here and now is truly the place where peace resides. Now that really felt good 🙂 It felt like coming home again after straying off into the wild wilderness. While in the throws of my angst, I was so caught up in my head, I lost touch with my inner peace.
When I walked in to work Monday, I stayed laser focused on the present and being happy. And guess what? It was fine. People were chatting about the party here and there, remarking how nice it was and how fun. A few people said they wished I had stayed and one girl I like said she hoped Bob was feeling better (everyone at work knows my husband has Crohn’s and was pretty sick last year).
And the 2 mean girls were there loudly carrying on about all the pictures they posted on Facebook. I just smiled and minded my own business. I even permitted myself to feel kindness towards them. The old proverb “Forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace” is true wisdom.
It’s a few days out now and everything is back to normal with me. I am back to myself. I feel peace, I feel happy. I feel grateful to be in anxiety recovery and to be doing well today. I am grateful that all bad things pass.
And I am very grateful for you, my dear readers, who lift me up when I am low, and with whom I feel blessed to share my hardships and triumphs. 🙂
I wish you peace,