It seems that while I can continue to toil reasonably well, or at least as well as I ever could, without excess mentalism, the words 'Have you got time for a brief chat' or anything else inviting me to any kind of word-related meeting sends me into an absolute meltdown. Had a totally innocuous meeting today, decided not to take beta-blockers beforehand, was with two kind trolleagues who understand the situation and reassured me beforehand and everything, and still I was too scared to even say anything, and I can still see the marks on my hand from where I dug my nails into them to keep from screaming. I don't know if I should have come back, but then, had I not come back, I'd maybe be in a worse state. I'm not like this outside work. I just had a driving lesson, a situation in which a lot of people would be anxious, and I had what I'd describe as 'normal' levels of anxiety. I'm sleeping better, I've scaled back the ridiculous amount of work and courses I was doing after work to try and be better at work, so I'm relaxing a bit more. But ask me to a meeting and it's mental o'clock. Except for my slight anxiety about that lightbulb I haven't changed and the fact that I had to buy a new type of conditioner (pink) that doesn't match the colours of the other products in my bathroom (WHICH HAVE TO BE BLUE), but I'd describe that as a 'charming quirk' rather than 'a problem'.
bathroom
Pictured: a charming quirk

Awww, it's making me sad though (the work things, not the mismatching bathroom products thing). My friends are lovely and are saying all the right things at work, and I know they're right in the advice they give but I just feel disappointed in myself that I'm not able to follow it all the time. I really want to talk to 'the overlords' about it but we've had meetings before, I hone in on all the negative stuff that was said, obsess over it, go more mental and then develop panic attacks. Hence this situation. And I've tried to put stuff down in emails, but I worry it doesn't come across right and then I get responses that make me cry at my desk and then my trolleagues get MORE worried, and then I reread all the negative stuff from the emails and obsess and go mad. Then I tried telling overlords that I get really, really worried before meetings and that it's not meant personally, I just worry, and then proceed to have meetings that push me over the edge. And while in many ways I don't really want to talk to them anymore because it's not helped me in the past, I'm enough of an insanity veteran to know that ignoring it isn't going to make things better. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO.

ALSO I DID DRIVING. It is still fun. I'm learning gear changes at the moment and am also 'improving' steering. It is becoming slightly more natural as time goes on, although I have mental blips where Long-Suffering Instructor says stuff like 'turn the ignition key forwards' and I turn it backwards because I have forgotten English/have trouble with simple instructions. He is very patient though. On Monday we will be doing 'figures of eight'. I say we. He will be doing figures of eight while I work out basic concepts behind driving. Oh I am not that bad really. The instructor is very good at explaining stuff in terms that I can understand while at the same time, not making me feel like I'm an idiot.
OH also I must sort out Trip to York to celebrate the Vikings. Yes. I SHALL DO THIS AFTER TEATIME.

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