When in Anxiety, Reach Out for Help—This Too Shall Pass
It was a regular Monday at the office. There was a flurry of client calls and a rush of deadlines—the usual chaos loomed in the air. But the chaos inside me was unusual. It blocked off everything. Everything—the walls I see every day, the faces I smile back at each day, and even my regular coffee mug—everything seemed distant.
It’s how Sylvia Plath put forth in her book ‘The Bell Jar’: “I felt very still and very empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo.”
I didn’t want to work on anything. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I just wanted to curl up in a corner—arms folded, head drooped—and disconnect; disappear from all of it. I didn’t know what it was. Logic and reason eluded me.
I was numb—my gaze fixed, shoulders stiff, gut empty, and heart heavy.
This is the closest I can get to defining what anxiety does. However, a lot of people around me are not even aware of it, let alone being able to define anxiety. A quick Google search or a cursory glance at the newspaper will tell you how depression is increasing every day, and how the stigma around it remains equally rampant.
Are You Reaching Out?
Fortunately, I was aware of my ailing mental health; it had been a longstanding issue. But I didn’t know how to sort it out. I read books on mindfulness, practised meditation, went for walks—but I couldn’t pin my focus on anything for too long. In the end, I ended up gorging packets of chips and listening to loud music.
When I joined SyncWorks, I was at the height of my anxiety disorder. Bouts of fever and breakdowns were frequent. The slightest of things— bad food, a brief squabble, or a client confrontation—triggered my anxiety.
It was about time I prioritised improving my mental health. I started to look for treatments. I got in touch with a therapist. However, her timings coincided with work —it was in the peak hours of 12.00-2.00 PM.
This is the exact point where I felt a deep sense of gratitude towards SyncWorks. Everybody in my team displayed immense sensitivity to the matter. I was allowed to take a two-hour break twice a week during my work hours so that I could sort out my mental health.
I have been vocal about my visits to the therapist right from the beginning. ‘But does it work?’ is the question I have often encountered. To put it simply, therapy helps you accept anxiety. The thing about anxiety is that it thrives on denial and resistance. An anxious mind is like a closed room with high-energy thoughts trapped within. These are uncontrollable thought balls that are set in a frenzy—rapidly moving, scribbling some haphazard pattern on our minds’ walls that we fail to comprehend.
But as a fact of the matter, you don’t have to understand it. Because anxiety may not always have a reason; in its stead, acknowledging your feelings and state of mind can work wonders.
It has been a year since my therapy, and I have been doing well. By no means has it eliminated anxiety from my system—that’s not what therapy does. But it has made me more aware of my emotional health. Today, I know how to manage my anxiety.
Taking Simple Steps
My therapist once shared an anecdote from her academic days. Before the lecture started, her professor asked the students to pat themselves on their backs. Then he asked the students, “How many of you really pat yourselves on the back every day?”
Perhaps, awareness doesn’t always need to translate to advocacy. It can be about taking simple steps like creating boundaries, valuing consent, being empathetic, and a regular pat on the back—a gentle reminder that you have done well. And everything’s going to be okay.