Dread and despair have been a part of my life since childhood – and then I started writing about politics …

The anxiety is ever-present. Sometimes only as a form of background noise; a voice that tells me I’ve failed at the day before it’s even begun. At other times it’s more insistent. An almost physical presence. A heart-pounding feeling of dread that makes it a struggle to get out of bed. A longed for desire to go back to sleep, to rewind the clock, in the desperate hope that I could start the day again.

I stare at the clock, calculating how long I can leave it before I have to get out of bed and engage with the day. Another 10 minutes maybe? Twenty if I choose to skip breakfast. Hoping that the anxiety will have passed by the time I do get up, while knowing that every delay merely makes it worse. I know it’s a kind of madness. But it’s one to which I invariably succumb.

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