Did they...?

I'm only 35 minutes into a 4 hour and 15 minute drive back from Telford to Lowestoft. I'm feeling my "next day anxiety", which I expected and now welcome because I know fighting it can cause my head to be too loud and even worse. I've got my Podcast on, I try to focus on that rather than the thoughts in my head, letting them come in and go out without really paying much attention. I then notice my Podcast is talking about something that doesn't make sense, does the story just not make sense? I skip back 30 seconds and realise that my head had drifted onto the anxious thoughts and I'd lost focus of my Podcast. I can't even remember driving those 30 seconds. 

"Listen to the Podcast. Listen to the Podcast". 

It happens again a few more times and at that point I realise I need to change my approach and let all of the thoughts take over. I can't allow myself to do that whilst I'm driving, especially as I'm driving my boyfriends car so need to be extra careful and don't want to keep missing out on my Podcast, so I pull in to the nearest services, thankful that they were there when I needed them and sit and wrote down everything that was coming into my head. 

I felt angry at how these thoughts were taking over. I've not had next day anxiety like this for so long. 

Negative. Negative. Negative.

I try to bring in positive things but nothing comes. 

I'm angry at myself. I really dislike myself. 

45 minutes later. I want to get home. I'm tired. I'm mentally exhausted. I've spent more time sitting with these thoughts than I have done driving. I want to finish my Podcast. I want to listen to the two new episodes of the other two Podcasts I listen to. 

I want to get back to my boyfriend. I want his support. I want comfort.

I focus. I breathe. I drive home.

Did they think I was rude?
Did they think I was unprofessional?
Did they think “She doesn’t look like her profile photo?”
Did they think “wow, she’s put on weight?”
Did they think I looked awful?
Did they expect more from me?
Did they wish I did more? Or less? 
Did they think I wasn’t as nice or confident as I come across on emails, chats or the spaces?
Did they wish I hadn’t hugged them hello?
Did they think “Oh god she’s coming over again?”
Did they want me to leave them alone?
Did they not want me there at all?
Did they feel like their ears were going to bleed when I did the compere announcements?
Did they wonder why I would put myself up for that when I “claim” to have anxiety”
Did they wonder why someone with this voice would offer to go up and announce things?
Did they think I was ridiculous?
Did they think I was lazy?
Did they think I didn’t speak to enough people?
Did they want me to talk to them? 
Did they wonder why I was even there?
Did they find me unapproachable?
Did they think I talked too much?
Did they think I didn’t talk enough?
Did they think I talked too much about myself?
Did they think I didn’t ask enough questions?
Did they notice me picking and biting at the skin around my nails?
Did they think I was disgusting?
Did they notice my eyes darting around the room looking everywhere other than at them when I was talking to them?
Did they feel glad when I walked away or when they had an excuse to leave?


I saw a post on LinkedIn recently that really hit home to me. It was a lady talking about her two grown up sons, one who lives away from hom...