I’ve Had An Anxious Week

I’ve had an anxious few days worrying about work related matters. It started towards the tail end of last week and preyed on my mind over the weekend, before descending again from on high like a hungry vulture on Monday morning. Various unwanted thoughts have spun a not so merry dance around my head despite my best efforts to kick them to the kerb and focus on other stuff. Once an obsessive thought gets its claws into your skull it’s hard to shake.

The old me would have hoisted the drawbridge and battened down the hatches. I would have retreated into myself and not breathed a word of the internal battle raging within. Why? Because I thought nobody would understand, not even my nearest and dearest. I thought I was a weird, deviant, downright bad person, it never crossed my mind that such thoughts were indicative of poor, but treatable, mental health.

There comes a point, however, when you have to front up to your demons, tackle them head on, and take it on the chin. OCD is a bully, used to pushing sufferers around and getting its own way. It’s a big fish in the small pond that is my inner space. And like all bullies it doesn’t like people standing up to it. That’s not part of its game plan, it doesn’t expect you to fight back.

But fight me must. Anxiety is a by product of OCD. The intrusive thought settles and the anxiety follows in its wake, like a comet’s trail. The only way to combat the thought, our addled brains reason, is to to succumb to tortuous routines. These offer only temporary relief, though, and actually reinforce the obsession when it returns. Such thoughts have sought to consume me in recent days.

I don’t like feeling like this, I don’t like waking up with a cloud of worry hanging over me. Unnecessary worry, for there are other much more worthy causes when it comes to fretting and frowning. In the greater scheme of things this work concern is small fry compared to what I could be sinking my teeth into. It’s a distraction, a bluebottle buzzing around. It’s irritating and irksome.

It’s a struggle but struggling implies hope. Struggling means you haven’t given up, you haven’t lain down and waved the white flag. I dreaded work this week but I showed up. I talked about it with Fionnuala, didn’t allow it to distract me to that far off place I used to hide. Anxiety can apply the brakes but I will not allow it to stall the progress I’ve made throughout the year.

Mental illness is largely invisible. It is a silent killer. An army walk the streets every day fighting unseen battles. They are warriors who turn up and live their lives the best they can, the only way they know. One of the reasons I started this blog is to publicise such issues in the hope that my story will comfort and encourage others. That doesn’t mean I’ve won, every day I start again.

I’ve had an anxious week, it’s happened before and it will happen again. I’m no masterpiece, rather a work in progress. I cannot afford to rest on my laurels, become complacent. I’m no superstar but I’m here, every day. I am grateful for my wife and kids, who spur me on. They make me crawl out of bed every day, rain or shine. Every day, even the most anxious ones. I turn up.

Do you have anxious weeks? Can you relate?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

56 thoughts on “I’ve Had An Anxious Week

  1. Every single day I awaken with an enormous amount of anxiety. Over the last couple of weeks the panic attacks and anxiety have eased up a bit, but these emotions are always lingering just around the corner. I’m feeling anxious about having so much to do, that I end up doing nothing at all. I feel like if I can’t do something perfectly, why do it at all? I think that is a symptom of OCD. You have so much success right now with your book just coming out and being a great hit! You are still human. I can fully sympathize with you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I will go ahead and buy two or three copies because I feel like there are a couple people in my life who could definitely relate and could use some advice.


  2. I can very much relate to anxious days in, or going to, the office. There are a number of unwanted pressures, usually from “management” but also from one’s peers, which make it very stressful sometimes. The key, I think, is to recognise that these things are a normal part of office life and come and go at various times during your career. Like everything, it’s just part of life’s learning process. Though I do admire you for coping with these things with your background. Apart from a very supportive wife and family, a good run usually helps too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through a bad time just now with anxiety, Stephen. Mental illness is a horrible thing. It’s said that it can seem even worse than a physical illness because most people can’t see the suffering it causes and many sufferers conceal it too well. I’m so glad you’re managing to talk things out with Fionnuala; this is probably the best thing you can do, considering that waiting lists to talk to counsellors are very long and it can take months to get to see someone.

    If it’s any consolation at all, you are a great encouragement to me. You accomplish so much regardless of your issues. Stay strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Realize that emotions are like the weather. Changeable. Know that you may wake up with the clouds cleared away. Relax, and allow the feelings. They won’t wash you away in their flood. You are strong and will remain as ever. Take care of yourself ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so encouraged by your open, transparent approach to the very real issue of life. I don’t fully understand but still empathize with you and your plight. It helps me to be more understanding of others and the battles we all fight.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh gosh… always…. constant struggle. We keep fighting! Looking for positive distraction.

    Speaking of… I’m watching politicians spew crap. It’s disgusting… time to switch the channel.


  7. I used to suffer a lot from anxiety – less so now I am older and have more tools like exercise, meditation and paying careful attention to what I eat. That said I think everyone suffers from difficult emotions at times and as you say showing up and carrying on despite those difficult emotions takes courage – the more difficult the emotion – the more courage it takes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for sharing. I can relate to some of what you’re struggling with although I usually have more of an issue with depression. I really liked what you said about struggling meaning there is hope. That’s an encouraging way to look at it. I hope the coming week is a more peaceful one for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m not working, I’ve few ppl to talk to and I can’t sleep. Anxiety levels are off the scale but I refuse to sink! I’m fighting back. I close my eyes and think of one thing I’m truly grateful of or one thing that makes me smile, then I breathe – it’s been working – I’m still uncontrollably bursting into tears but better than fear and panic gripping my heart. Stay strong and ride the storm

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I battle anxiety frequently so I can relate to an anxious week but maybe not in the same way. I often feel people are judging me or I’m not safe in public. When my husband is away from home overnight I’m always scared something terrible is going to happen to him. But I get through it using my coping skills, taking my meds and leaning on those closest to me. It’s not fun but I just take it one day at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Absolutely. My mom died last week. I had just started a new job. And my boyfriend and I were fighting non stop. I’m anxious and I’m depressed and I can’t even tell the difference. I’m thankful I have my son. And I know this too shall pass

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I absolutely can relate. December has become a month I dread. For the past several years my husband has landed in hospital in December, or we get bad news of one kind or another. So, I have terrible anxiety as December nears. This year is no different. I spent several days coping with the newest hit. I will survive. As you so aptly write it here, it’s an ongoing struggle. I have not waved the white flag of surrender either, but there are days I am damned close to doing so. Hope your anxiety lifts and you feel better. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s not that I don’t think anyone will understand, I just think they won’t care.

    Hang in there.

    One thing I learned from AA … those slogans I hated when I first got there … the one that goes, “This too shall pass” … it’s so true. It’s true of good things as well as bad things but it’s true.

    Whatever it is, it never lasts.

    This might be a bit vulgar but … think of anxiety as constipation & your running as an enema. Go for a good run & I guarantee you YOU ARE GOING TO FEEL BETTER.


  14. My husband lives with anxiety and it has a way of controlling our lives sometimes. I believe that he is strong because we don’t know the half of what he goes through. We understand more than we did in the early days when he guarded us against it. Thank you for sharing this insight with us. Your story is helpful in understanding our story better.


  15. Anxiety, stress, depression etc… All closely related. I know how you feel. I’ve never had full-blown OCD, but there are a myriad other things that hinder, and trip me up.

    Like you, I’m still here. I find that surprising, but it’s true. Still struggling, still fighting (sometimes despite myself).

    It’s good to share.


  16. Thank you for always being open about your mental health struggles. It is encouraging to the rest of us. Personally, I have always been an over thinker. I causes me to over worry about the future and also causes me to be mildly depressed and anxious quite often. This has effects like me feeling guilty treating myself even to something small like say yogurt every once in a while. I ‘ll be like, I’m wasting money. What of the future ? I will overthink and over analyse every little expenditure. If I’m say, struggling to find a job, or get a better paying one, the anxiety over the future comes in and i will be depressed about what will happen. Anyways thanks for the encouragement.


  17. Comfort and encourage you did. Thank you for this totally relatable post. I’ve been struggling with anxiety attacks for the last few weeks after years without them. There aren’t many people in my sphere I want to talk to about it. (They have problems of their own.) This post and the comments give me hope that I can soldier on and get back to my peaceful place. Blessings.


  18. I have been battling anxiety and depression for years. I finally decided to do something about it. Next year I am going to get a plan in place-by seeing a doctor- and getting a hold of it.


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