Anxious about anxiety

I have regular check in appointments with my GP. Every four to six weeks we talk on the phone and I tell him how anxious I am and he tells me that I appear to be coping better than I am. He is right of course except since I last spoken to him things have changed.

I was unnerved by the potential COVID pandemic right from the start. I would walk to the local shops chanting within myself,”This virus will not get me, I refuse to die from it.” I didn’t realise that by that time I’d almost certainly had it and survived but even now that anxiety doesn’t subside.

Over the course of the pandemic I’ve been increasingly fearful. I watched waves reach stupidly high peaks, one person I know has died and his wife has suffered health problems because of his death.

There are people I feel secure being with and places that I also feel safe being but there are far more than I don’t. I’m not sure that I want to start hugging people next week though no doubt I will. I don’t want to go back to the old “normal” I want to have a different normal even though my life could never have been described as thus.

I want to go to London but the stupid people who want to demonstrate about their liberty being stolen from then scare me witless. There are friends and family I want to see but I can’t see it happening soon.

I’m afraid of going into one of my local shops where I bought a magazine every week because it’s a long and narrow shop with no room for manoeuvre. If I can’t manage to use a shop like that then what chance have I of travelling for reasonably long periods of time in an enclosed space. And the tube – forget it!

So this year I’m staying at home or at least within the city. I’ll start with short journeys to nearby towns to build up some confidence. I’m going to go to Bath even though I can’t stand the place because it’s a 12 minute journey on the same train that takes me to London and that will give me a realistic idea of how safe it is.

My mantra has changed from refusing to catch and die from the virus to refusing to let it kill my life and part of my mind. Onwards I go one way or another.