Imagine you’ve almost been in a car accident. You know the feeling: the swoon of relief, the racing heart, the sense of ohmygodohmygodohmygod. That’s a bit like my anxiety attacks, only the feeling can last for hour upon interminable hour.
I spent the whole of 2010 consumed by severe anxiety every single day. I took a lot of medication to treat it, which is why I have such terrible short term memory problems today.
Gradually, the anxiety went away. Gradually, I felt almost ok.
It’s back now. Not every day, thank heavens, but often enough that I’ve grown to dread it. Why is it happening now? Why, when things are finally getting on track and I’m out of the abyss?
Today’s trigger was a bill for mounting art. I’ve spent over R10,000 on art materials and mounting this year, and that’s completely unsustainable – especially when I’ve had no income to speak of in months. I make commitments when I am in a positive frame of mind, and panic about them later. I’m in no danger of starving – hell, I could do with losing some weight – but the knowledge that this can’t go on indefinitely, and that haemorrhaging money is not a good idea is weighing on me.
Don’t misunderstand me: forgoing a salary while we get the business up and running is a choice that I can make because I have savings. And we’re in a good position. When we finally launch properly, I have no doubt we’ll be successful, and all of the partners will be able to realise our dreams.
But it’s very hard not to panic about money, not when it’s been a source of anxiety your entire life.
Old habits are hard to break.