Anxiety and depression are terrible illnesses to go through (and they are mental illnesses, not something people can just get on with).
Mike’s anxiety issues
I suffer badly from anxiety and more specifically I suffer from performance anxiety. This means that what I do, I never feel like I’m good enough. I’m constantly looking over my shoulder and making sure my code can be as good as can be before fully committing to the project.
This leads to a vicious cycle where I won’t code until I know it’s good enough, but when the slightest thought about working begins, he will browse the internet instead. After browsing the net, guilt starts to set in and he feels like he hasn’t actually done any work (which he hasn’t) and feels like he could be in the firing line which could very well be true if this cycle continues.
This very thought then leads to depression due to the guild. I don’t normally suffer from depression and have never really had terrible suicidal thoughts, but my anxiety is what causes me to become depressed.
You see, the reason this ever began was due to having been laid off a couple of times, and it wasn’t the companies at fault, they had money issues and were looking out for themselves. I enjoy working in the places I got laid off which is probably the biggest cause to my issues. Every time I find I like a place, it seems they end up with money issues and I have recently found a new position which is enjoyable, but because of my past, I keep wondering if they will end up with the same issue. I know they won’t, but I always have that voice in the back of my head.
I wanted to express my thoughts on what is going on in my head in the hopes that it can clear things up. I know what I need to do, but it’s just getting them done now before any more damage can potentially be caused (with myself and the company I’m working for).
So, my habits should be…
- Break down these bigger projects into smaller bite sized chunks
- Try going as long as possible without any distractions (Reddit, Youtube etc).
- Speak to those closest to me about my issues
- Speak out to my colleagues if I feel I have any problems
- Remind myself that I’m doing okay and the business is okay, I’m not going any where
In fact, as I write these out, I will make a little sticky note and put that list on there to remind me.
This post also comes out in part, because I’ve recently seen others speak up about their issues. Check Prince Harry’s battle with depression and see below for Khan Porter’s story on dealing with anxiety when competing in my favourite sport, Crossfit.
So, to clarify… I’m writing this post to get it out of my system, I will be okay because I know how to control it. I wanted to also let others out there know that this shouldn’t be stigmatised and it’s okay to speak out about your issues (whether small or big).
Let’s talk about our problems and battle kick anxiety and depression in the butt!
To help spread the word, I would appreciate any likes to this post, I would also really REALLY appreciate it if you could share it, especially if you feel it could help someone else out.
#RealTalk I don’t enjoy competing. I don’t mind it physically, I like the outcome and sense of achievement I get from it, but the process is a nightmare for me. I suffer severely from anxiety disorder. I’ve been diagnosed with both it and bipolar and these things combined with the pressure (which probably only exists in my anxious mind) make the process of preparing to compete torturous at times. Instagram is a highlight reel of an athlete’s journey. What goes on for me between PR posts and #AlwaysTryNewBeers is manic episodes, panic attacks, sleepless nights, breakdowns, days I can’t even get out of bed let alone into the gym, wild mood swings and worst of all is the constant anxious voice in my head which plays on loop, telling me all the worst possible outcomes for everything I do and all the reasons I’m not good enough and shouldn’t compete. Unfortunately the medications I’ve tried mess with my energy levels and so I don’t take them during the season. Towards the end of the open I began to question if I wanted to endure another year of this and if so why? I have a thriving business, am enjoying my studies immensely and have made the Games three times now. Competing again will likely have no effect on my life for better or worse and takes considerable time away from my work, study and social life. So why put myself through the process? The answer seems pretty clear cut, don’t. However despite trying to talk myself out of it I can’t muster up the courage to pull out and have spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out why. Then it struck me. For me competing is one way of telling that anxious voice in my head that it doesn’t have complete control over me or my life just yet and win or lose that’s a massive victory to me every year I take the regionals floor. By facing my own demons maybe one day I’ll better be able to help others face theirs, which is exactly why I chose to go back at school and study psychology. So this year when I compete I am competing for anyone, anywhere who shares the same voices in their head as I do. That tells them over and over all the reasons – rational or irrational – that they can’t, shouldn’t, won’t or aren’t good enough.
(See also, my previous post on anxiety)