On Tuesday this week I had to go into work for 2 hours to attend a training session and make up the rest of the time with a few random odd and ends.
Despite anxiety being a pain in the butt on inconsistent days, causing issues with usual things like travel, feeling “trapped”, and concerned about feeling sick, I make the assumption other areas of my life will be left untouched so sometimes I can feel somewhat normal.
Not the case.
For some reason I was having a very off day.
I couldn’t get dressed to save my life.
My anxiety has somehow made it’s way into my closet saying things like, “shorts aren’t really appropriate” and “you can’t wear a dress because of your legs” (there isn’t anything wrong with my legs mind you) and “I think it would be best wearing something comfortable rather than professional” (even though moments ago I couldn’t wear shorts because they weren’t professional enough.)
In the end, after going through a couple of options, I picked the one that made me look like I dressed myself in the dark. I shouldn’t really say “I” picked it – I was so very far removed from the process that it was akin to watching your 3 year old decide what to wear and just having to be okay with what they choose.
The thing that made this all much more frustrating was when I got to work and saw a younger co-worker in a very smart looking, functional dress I felt a little breathless.
The same voice that had previously ruled out all dresses because of some stupid reason like, “it’s too dressy for random training,” got sad.
Then I got frustrated.
The problem with anxiety finding its way into yet another aspect of life means having difficulty with something that I shouldn’t find difficult. It’s as illogical as finding the supermarket scary, but with clothes.
It is a step beyond the usual “not knowing what to wear” that everyone can experience.
I feel physical unease, bordering on physical pain, if I put something on my anxiety doesn’t agree with.
That’s not to say that this is a new development – I had this very badly when I was housebound due to Agoraphobia. I would only wear the loosest clothing and I had a “favourite” pair of pants that were fraying at the ends and that could practically fall off me (and that my mother wanted to burn.)
I assume this has something to do with the lack of personal identity at the moment. This is quite a weird sensation for me. Someone who used to know fiercely who they are now lost in a limbo – and now apparently unable to dress themselves – also trying to draw upon the past ideal of “me” and butting heads with how that “me” doesn’t exist anymore.
It kind of feels like trying to tell your computer to open a file that won’t run on any of the updated programs. Try and try as you might, the only way you can open it reveals a bunch of coding that doesn’t mean anything anymore.
Reinventing myself is honestly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Trying to tell my mind, body and soul that I am not anything I have learned growing up, that I am miles from the timid, anxious person I eventually became… well, I already said it didn’t I. It’s hard.
The only thing that keeps me going are my dreams; dreams of who I know I really am.
Making a whole new program to run this new software is my next big adventure.