7:00 am: wake up after snoozing 4 alarms and Simon is holding Boss hostage until you get out of bed.

7:05: shower and think about all of the stressful moments that have happened in your life. Have hypothetical conversations that will never actually take place.

7:15: get scared because Simon walked in to hand you your towels and tells you to get moving.

7:30: Simon gets pills for both Boss and you. Thankfully he has never mixed them up. Boss might die if he gets any more relaxed.

7:40: try and go to the bathroom before you leave to prevent having to pull over mid-drive and waste time.

8:00: your stomach is in knots. Your bowels have loosened and you are in serious pain. Time to do the walk of shame into a gas station bathroom. This is nothing new, it’s a weekly occurrence due to your anxiety.

8:30: time for work. Realize that your job is awesome, and is only super stressful on occasion.

10:00: I just realized that I’ve been biting my nails so much that my fingers hurt. I’ve tried so many times to rid this habit- but it’s better than smoking I guess??

11:00: somebody at work is stressed. Did I do something? I feed off of their stress and wrack my brain as to what I could have done. Find out later it’s just them not feeling well. Nothing to do with you.

12:30 pm: lunchtime, but because you were anxious, you don’t feel like eating right now. Thankfully Simon always packs you snacks in case this happens.

2:00: people are whispering. It’s probably about me. What did I do? Am I getting fired? Is it an inside joke? I wish I was as cool as them.

3:00: get stuck in the bathroom for a while because you are stressed from all of the anxiety. IBS is not fun. It’s not convenient.

5:30: done work, but I have an event today. Stress out for half an hour because you have to take transit downtown. Stress out some more because you don’t know anyone going.

7:00: you don’t know anyone here. Look at phone, grab food, text Simon about how much you regret this. Ok. I’ll try talking to someone. Ok phew they’re nice, oh now my girlfriend is here! Crisis averted, this time…

9:00: head home, always being extra cautious at night, not only because of your anxiety, but also because you are a woman and we were trained to be this paranoid. This is where your anxiety is your friend. You’re always on guard for danger.

 

**alternative after work routine**

 

7:00 pm: arrives at Dog Tales Rescue. Phone goes on airplane mode. Only to be used to take cute photos of the dogs. You love the hard work, the staff, and the dogs. You are joyful and positive because this is your happy place.

10:00: you’re home. You hug your husband and dog close. You’re thankful for them. Simon knows how to deal in case you have a level 10 panic attack. Boss helps you fall asleep without melatonin anymore. Sometimes you struggle falling asleep, but it’s been better because of him.

Wake up, and do it all again. Repeat.

 

Is my anxiety this bad every day? No, but sometimes it is worse. This is an average, typical day in my life, living with generalized anxiety disorder. It’s not all glamorous pills and psychiatrists. It’s irritable bowel syndrome, hives, paranoia, and tears. It’s hard. It’s hard for my loved ones, but it’s a part of me. I’m so thankful for my family and friends who have always supported me in this aspect of my life. I’m eternally grateful for a husband who understands, learns more, and even helps others cope with their struggles. Simon; you truly are my hero.

 

 

If you, or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, talk to your doctor. Go to a doctor who is thorough and does tons of tests, as mine did, before starting you on any medication.