Ok, it's confession time. For as long as I can remember I have suffered from crippling anxiety disorder. What that means is that 85-90% of my day is spent worrying, freaking out and feeling paranoid. Over the years I have endured many hours of therapy and butt loads of medication. Sadly, nothing has ever really worked. So while my body continues to run in a constant state of fight or flight, my brain is busy dissecting every part of my day regardless of how minuscule and unimportant it is. The constant anxiety is exhausting and besides making me bat-shit crazy it has also made it increasingly difficult for anyone to spend prolonged periods of time with me.
I think it's funny how drug companies put so much emphasis on depression and not anxiety. Nothing irks me more than that fucking Cymbalta commercial with the little wind up woman. Her depression has got her down. She needs Cymbalta to wind her up and get her out of her funk and back to gliding aimlessly through life. What they should be showing is that metal woman wound so tightly that shes running into furniture screaming "the sky is falling" while pulling out small sections of her eyebrows. Then after the Cymbalta they cut to her sitting on the couch in three day old pajamas, trying to figure out how to give a shiny metal fuck about anything. That's the problem with being an anxious person. It's either one extreme or the next. I've yet to find a medication that will make me "normal" and I'm guessing the drug companies realize this and that's why the stick so heavily to their "fight the depression" guns. Simply stated, it's just easier.
Recently, I decided it was time to- once again- seek help in the task of conquering my crazy. I've started therapy again and am taking some anti anxiety medication. The truth is that after 3 weeks they both make me feel like shit. Having to relive all the chaos that has molded me into the stress monster I am today is exhausting and the side affects from the drugs make me feel as though my brain is being impacted by some sort of natural disaster, like a giant cyclone of "fuck it" mixed in with a blizzard of "Nope! We all gonna die!!!!!" I keep telling myself that this will pass as the medication starts doing it's job over time, but its hard to explain to the people around me that for right now, I am just as big a mess as ever.
This week has been a tough one for me. I feel as though the medication is trying it's hardest to make me better, but that my brain is fighting to keep me cracked. I have periods of numbness, followed by burst of anxiety and paranoia. Then there's the part of me that is so used to feeling like I need to run-run-run-fight-fight-fight, that it's having withdrawals. I feel like the anxiety has become a drug to me. Like out of all the things about me, it's the one thing that defines who I am as a person. I feel like it's what makes me creative and funny and motivated. I also realize it's the same thing that makes me scared and weak and difficult. Doesn't that sound more like a person fighting a drug problem than an anxiety disorder? Weird, right?
I'm not really sure what the future holds for me or if I'm ever going to be able to fully kick the habit of feeling anxious and completely overwhelmed. Maybe the drugs will work. Maybe they wont. Maybe I'll find peace one day on a therapist couch or maybe I wont. What ever the case maybe, I'm sure that I will find a way to make it work. Even if all I'm able to do is expose myself in a blog post, in the hopes that one less anxious person may not feel so alone today.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
I was the kind of child who was petrified of most things. The dark was always a big issue (still is) and I always feared there was something in the closet (besides a giant mess). I realize that a lot of children have these fears. In fact, most kids when they crawl into bed at night will ask you to close the closet doors so that the "monsters" wont try to get them. Last night as I put my five year old to bed he calmly asked if I would open the closet doors. When I asked him why, he said that if the doors were closed he wouldn't be able to tell if there were monsters inside. He likes them open so that he can keep an eye on the thing that scares him. A thing that at times he is certain does not exist. I couldn't help but think of what a great metaphor this is for so many of us. Wouldn't most of us choose to have those doors shut in order to keep that "monster" locked away and hidden? After all, monsters are scary. Who really wants to face it?
As I walked to my room later that night, I thought hard about all the closet doors I leave shut so that I don't have to deal with the "monster" inside. As someone whose idea of coping involves avoidance and denial, it never occurred to me to actually keep an eye on the space where the scary stuff can hide. But I realize now that my kid is 100% right. When you can keep an eye on the thing that scares you the most, it make it a hell of a lot easier to decided weather to run or face it. Or maybe I'll find out I'm being completely ridiculous and there was nothing in that closet to be scared of to begin with.
Hmm... Who knew that bed time could be so eye opening?
I know it's not like me to get all mushy and brag about my kid, but I have to admit that I am in complete awe of my son and thankful for the perspective he was able to give me at 8:30 on a random Wednesday night. That said, he didn't work alone...If you're wondering, I'm also thankful for the Prozac.