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To be this stressed? And what can I do about it?

(12 Posts)
Kimonolady Sat 29-Apr-17 23:06:29

To be honest, I know that the answer is yes, it's definitely unreasonable to be as stressed/anxious as I am right now. But I need to know what I can do to stop feeling like this.

NC for this, and trying not to out myself, but essentially I'm waiting to find out if I've got pupillage (i.e. training/apprenticeship in order to become a barrister.) Decisions will be made on Wednesday, and I'm waiting to hear from 5 chambers.

It's a big deal, obviously, but I am so overwhelmed with anxiety right now that I don't know what to do. I am thinking about Wednesday constantly - I mean, really intrusive thoughts. I'm not sleeping, I can't eat, I have a constant upset stomach and am dashing to the loo constantly (sorry, TMI.) I just keep playing over my interviews in my head, thinking about what I should have said differently, how the course of my life depends on this and thinking how devastating it will be if/when I'm rejected. I genuinely don't know how I'll make it to Wednesday.

Have you ever been this stressed/anxious/overwhelmed? What helps you? I should mention that I already take ADs (have had issues with depression in the past, although not really anxiety.) Please help me come up with ideas to distract myself or keep things in perspective better, and get through this week.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sat 29-Apr-17 23:11:39

It seems like your stress comes from believing that Plan B is devastating rather than inconvenient. Make a good Plan B and you will feel better. Events happen. You adapt. Life goes on.

This is one of my big rules of life: always know your exits.

Zafodbeeblbrox10 Sat 29-Apr-17 23:19:21

I tend not to think about certain events until I get up on the morning on the day it happens (holidays included). I find that a lot easier than being excited or apprehensive, and strangely enough everything just flows. I don't know how you achieve this state of being, but I'm quite a layed back person these days. I think it's probably a case of busying yourself with other things, and realising that worrying is pointless. My advice would be to try and focus on the other aspects of your life and get up on the morning and say to yourself that you can handle whatever comes your way, and take it in your stride.

AnthonyPandy Sat 29-Apr-17 23:51:20

Tell us what you will do if you don't get accepted, maybe we can help you be positive about it?

Seren85 Sun 30-Apr-17 01:29:26

Oh I get this. When training contracts all used to make offers on July 31st, I was you. I didn't get one. I did get one the following year but I totally understand. Try to take care of yourself. You are intelligent and have your shit together to have been interviewed for pupillage, you'll be fine anyway but I understand this is your dream.

pinksoap Sun 30-Apr-17 01:42:01

I get like this with anxiety - it paralyses me and I can't really function properly. I just try to fill the time by sleeping and browsing online, but I can't really do anything useful when I'm in that state. It is absolutely crippling and for me the idea of thinking rationally about the situation and focusing on something else is laughable.

Fair play to you for getting so far with the interviews - my anxiety is sky high and I would never be able to cope in such a high pressured career.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sun 30-Apr-17 02:46:17

I would worry about you having a court based practice. The pressure is pretty relentless, it can be like doing an exam every day. Although the cases will not be as important to you as whether you get pupillage or not, the cases might be that important to the client.

I am aware that my answer isn't helpful. I wonder whether you can kill time before Wednesday by focusing on treatment for your anxiety. Is there any therapy that you haven't tried? If you've recently done the bptc or are on it now, you might be able to access counselling through the university?

sarebear1983 Sun 30-Apr-17 09:36:30

I know it's hard but the best thing to try and do is do is not react and ignore any intrusive thoughts. They're just thoughts, it doesn't mean they're true or are what will happen. It's when we react with anxiety that the thoughts stick like a loop. Everytime they pop into your head, try and let them go, don't engage or argue, and once they're not associated with anxiety, they'll go away naturally.
I know it's easier said than done sometimes but it really is simple and it clears your head more to deal with the situation more rationally.
In the meantime, if you're really struggling, try and download the headspace app. It can help chill you out abit xx

LadyPW Sun 30-Apr-17 10:52:05

Trying writing it down - different options for different outcomes etc. - that way your brain isn't having to work to keep it all going round & you might be able to settle your head. Plus if you can see your thinking in black & white it can look less scary / unpredictable / out of control and more simple. I also find that chewing a couple of Bach Rescue Pastilles takes the edge of my anxiety when my head is racing - I don't know why because I'm not really one for that sort of thing but they really seem to work for me. It just stops the hyperness in my head.

purplecollar Sun 30-Apr-17 10:58:04

Try downloading a mindfulness recording - those are good. Otherwise, swimming puts things in perspective for me. Exercise generally is good. Go for a walk in the park/country. The other one for me is the online game, Wordament. It takes your mind off things.

Kimonolady Sun 30-Apr-17 12:18:55

Thanks all for taking the time to respond, I really appreciate the thoughts and suggestions.

I think a lot of my anxiety comes from the fact that my "back up" plan if I don't get accepted this year would be to just try again next year - that's not unusual, the majority of people do have to apply for more than 1 cycle before getting anywhere. But I've found this whole process so draining that the thought of doing it all again next year (and potentially being rejected again!) just horrifies me.

Testing, I completely understand that the Bar sounds like it may be too pressured for me, given how stressed I am now! I anticipated responses like this. Tbh though, I think I generally handle pressure well, I thrive on deadlines, etc. It's just the feeling of being out of control now when it comes to such a major thing - my career. I've never felt this way about anything before, I think just the scale of this has got to me.

I've downloaded headspace before but never used it, maybe now would be a good time to give it a go.

redexpat Sun 30-Apr-17 14:09:59

When I feel the anxiety coming I do yoga, go for a walk or play the piano. Sometimes I have to do those several times before it helps. My sister says try not to worry about things which are out side of your control which I know is easier said than done. Good luck!

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