Caught In The Grip Of Anxiety

My anxiety levels over the past few weeks have been worse than they have been in a long time. I deal with anxiety nearly every day, but the last time I remember it being this bad for such a long period of time was when I was still in my 4-year toxic relationship. It’s got to the point where just thinking about leaving the house causes overwhelm and panic. Not to mention the chest pain and the feeling of not being able to breathe deeply enough.

Nightmares have been a nightly occurrence, often many times a night, and it can take me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half to settle down enough to go back to sleep. In my therapy session last week, my therapist reminded me about a plan we had put in place where I would take a week off from all work every 3 months, a sort of mini-holiday (she wants me to do stuff for myself during this time that make me feel relaxed and happy) and suggested this might be the right time to do that. The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind and when she mentioned it, I felt relief at the thought.

So that’s what I’ve done. I didn’t go into the office this week, although I didn’t exactly follow the plan properly as I have a current client for my design work who has been a major pain (a 4 month project that should have been finished long ago, but he’s been dawdling and suddenly rushed me and wanted some stuff done by Tuesday). I finished it in time, and now suddenly he’s vanished again. He’s been doing this since we started. I’ve started rewriting my contract to account for clients like this as I’m not going to go through this kind of situation again. Going to let my dad’s lawyer have a look at it when I’m done. They’ll have 8 business days during which to review and comment or I start charging extra, instead of 3 months with no additional charges, as in the case of this guy! A positive is that I’m learning how to run my business from having difficult clients in the early years.

I’ve had two therapy sessions this week because I just feel I need extra support right now. On Tuesday we walked down to the park/duck pond close by and sat on the swings, which was really nice. I adore swings, and wish I had one of my own! Never had a therapy session outside before. It feels very different, but a good different. The weather was perfect. Cloudy and cool, my type of weather.

I’m not sure what’s happening with our moving situation. Went to go look at a place a few weekends ago, which I loved, since my room would be downstairs and on the opposite side of the house, far from the family. With my own bathroom. But the parents didn’t like it. There are also apparently complications with the owner of the house we’re currently in, and no one can tell me what’s actually going on. One minute my dad is telling me to start packing, and the next it’s a case of “it’s complicated”.

Yesterday was the first day in a while that I felt able to meet up with a friend, M. I was supposed to meet with her last week Friday and then again on Wednesday, but didn’t feel up to leaving the house. I really wanted (needed) to see her yesterday. I absolutely love spending time with her, so me not meeting up with her sooner wasn’t because of her or because I didn’t want to spend time with her, but just due to my anxiety. It’s a bitch. M wanted to take me to the clinic when we met up (I couldn’t stop crying), but instead, we spoke about something that might help me even more than going back in (because I don’t want to go there again). I’ll write about that soon, just first want to speak to my therapist about it before I make a decision.

I don’t feel ready to go back to the office on Monday. But I’m going to make the most of this weekend by switching my phone off, and even if I have to force myself (and take anxiety meds), go down to the beach if only for half an hour. There’s nothing quite as healing as nature.

Advertisements

Public Meltdown & Ready For Downtime

January has been really busy and quite intense. I know it’s only the beginning of the year, but I’m ready for another break. I had a week off in December but that doesn’t feel like enough. For me, time off doesn’t count if it involves family gatherings and having to be social the whole time. The first few days were glorious, but the rest were just too busy.

I met up with both old and new friends, a current client and a potential one, so have had a lot of social interaction this month. This is a good thing for a lot of people, but as an introvert, it’s been draining for me.

There’s also been a lot of stressors. But that’s a part of life and something we all deal with often, so it’s nothing new. I had a few days where I was in my high energy, hyperactive, feeling on top of the world and invincible mode. But then I fell back down to earth with a thud. The depression just hit me. This past weekend and week has been hard. I feel like I’m heading towards burn out. This is the part where I make things worse for myself by beating myself up for getting overwhelmed so quickly and easily. It’s just frustrating.

Sometime during the weekend I went to the store to get some stuff I needed. I know better by now. Never go to the shops on a weekend. But I needed one item that couldn’t wait. Already anxious, it was made worse when a guy stood in the queue behind me. He was so close I could feel his breath on my neck! I moved forward only to have him do the same. This overwhelming fear and panic gripped me but then in the next instant something in my head just snapped. I can’t remember what I said, but I remember his words “I’ll fuck you up”. Instead of my usual reaction in a seemingly threatening situation of getting the hell out of there and getting myself to the bathroom or quiet place, I challenged him. I was so angry in that moment that I felt I wanted to fight him, to hurt him. I was ready. And he was a big guy! I just wasn’t thinking. Then one of the most embarrassing things for me happened. I had a panic attack right there! With a whole bunch of people around and staring. Throughout this whole thing, not one person stepped in, not with the confrontation, and not with the panic attack (bystander effect?). By that point, and for a while (no idea how long), I felt trapped. I couldn’t think of a way to get away or out of there, it’s like I was just stuck and my brain couldn’t function. But somehow, and with very blurred and vague memories I found myself in my car. I wasn’t in a state to drive so I just sat there for a while, both freezing cold and hot at the same time. It was a horrible experience and one I don’t ever want a repeat of. I’ve dealt with similar things plenty of times in the past, but like I said, none where I was in the “fight” mode, just the “run/get out of here” one.

Since then I’ve had raging PTSD symptoms (my usual flashbacks with a couple new ones for good measure, increasing hyper-vigilance, etc) and am terrified to go to the shops again. I haven’t been since. My stepbrother has a bike now and loves driving around, so doesn’t mind going to buy stuff for us, so I’m grateful for that. The only place I felt safe this week was sitting with my therapist in her office.

I was incapable of working on Monday. I have a deadline on the website I’m working on (the one from last year where the guy made me wait for everything and only contacted me back the week before last and now suddenly I must jump), and that usually puts me in hyper-focused mode, but I just couldn’t do any work on it that day. I also had my assignment due, and I love my course, but I couldn’t even do that. So it’s not just things I don’t enjoy that suffer during times like these, it’s even those things I love. I couldn’t even talk on Monday. It’s as if the communication channels in my brain had shut down. Even my dad asked me what was going on, and all I managed was, “tired”.

At the dentist today, I started panicking at a certain point while she was working on one of my teeth, and she had to stop for a while. They usually have those heavy “vests” that they put on you when they take x-rays, so I asked her whether I could have that on me while she was working, but said she didn’t have one in her office right then. I thought to myself “don’t lie, you just don’t want me to use it right now” (paranoid/irrational thought).

The more I go into work when I’m feeling like this, the more it builds up and my coping skills start failing… that’s where I am right now. But I don’t feel like I can take time off again. When I asked for an extra day or two in December after Christmas, he said no. That they have to work (they don’t, they could have closed the shop as it was quiet over this period anyway), so it’s only fair that I also do.

I have something to look forward to tomorrow at least. I promised the owner of the dog shelter that I’d start leash training two new Husky puppies they got in this week. Dogs I can deal with when I’m not feeling good. Humans… Not so much.

Life & Road Trips

A comment by one of my blogger friends reminded me of this post. It was one of the first I published on this blog so most of you wouldn’t have read it. I’m also reblogging it because I needed that message today.

Journey Toward Healing

Being in a contemplative mood tonight, I want to write a post regarding a few things from my recent experience, as I wrote about in my first post Goodbye’s.

I was going to be driving approximately 1321 km (820 mi) over the course of 3 days. No one thought my car would be able to make it over 2 days. I’m certainly glad I didn’t attempt to. I had a few problems and had to stop at each and every gas station, but nothing major. The car wasn’t the problem.

Instead of taking the usual highway, I was advised to take a back road instead. I have Google Maps, so we were sure it wouldn’t be a problem.

Oh, but it was.

That first day driving, I spent the majority of the trip crying like a starving baby, and wondering what the hell I was doing. So it certainly didn’t help matters much…

View original post 710 more words

Food and Mood

I’m so sick of this.

When I’m in a stable or good mood, I enjoy eating. I’m very fussy when it comes to food, and can’t eat breakfast before 10am, but other than that, I have a healthy appetite.

Then along comes depression, stress, or anxiety, and my appetite goes out the window. I have to force myself to eat, and feel like crying every time I have to do that. But if I don’t eat, I feel sick, dizzy, and light-headed. It’s extremely frustrating. I’ve survived on the bare minimum of food today and I hate myself for how much I struggle to get anything in.

During these times I’m even more fussy, and don’t have the energy or motivation to even make a slice of toast. Food that I usually like makes me feel nauseous just thinking about. I never know what to eat. This can go on for weeks sometimes, and that’s not healthy.

Most of the people I know have the opposite problem… They eat more when they’re in a low or anxious state of mind. Comfort eating they call it. Well, I need to find myself a “comfort” food that I can stomach during these times.

Anyone else struggle with this? And if so, is there anything that helps you?

Relationship Confusion

I’ve been confused, anxious, and depressed lately, and just wanted some opinions, and other’s perspectives on a situation.

For the past few weeks things have felt very unstable in my relationship with Elizabeth. Late last week, I thought we had worked through everything. But the past few days it seems nothing has really changed, and is maybe becoming worse.

There have been a few good moments, but they don’t seem to last, and feel like they’re coming fewer and further between.

I feel like I have to walk on eggshells around her. Even over text and on the phone. I’m almost constantly scared that I say or do the wrong thing, and she’ll be upset. It seems she’s becoming more and more irritated and sensitive to everything I say and do… Even my facial expressions. I’ve explained that sometimes what she thinks she sees in my expression isn’t actually what I’m thinking. She assumes the negative quickly.

I don’t need much in a relationship to be happy. I just want to feel secure, loved, and like I matter. Isn’t that what everyone needs from a relationship? I thrive on intimacy. Meaningful conversation and physical affection (as simple as holding my hand or a hug) is important to me.

Lately, I’ve been feeling insecure in the relationship. I don’t know where I stand with Elizabeth. Just when I think everything is fine, one small thing can shatter that “illusion” and I’m left feeling confused.

Elizabeth has GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), so she gets overwhelmed easily. I can understand that to a certain extent. I also get overwhelmed easily. But I don’t let that interfere too much with the relationship. I don’t let it change the way I treat her. I’ve been wondering whether I’m too much for her. I try not to be. I give her space when she needs it. We see one another once, sometimes twice a week, and I try to limit my texts to her.

She seems cold towards me sometimes. And it feels as though I can’t do anything right. That so many things irritate her and I never know whether something I say, do, or even a facial expression, is going to make her get irritated with me and pull away. I’m scared to ask for a hug when I feel I could really use one, because she might not be “feeling it”, and she told me that when she’s anxious or in a bad space, she doesn’t want to feel obligated to give me something I need, because when she does that, then it feels like she’s not being true to herself. She needs to take care of herself. I get that. I told her last week that when she pulls away from me it feels like I’m being punished, but she said that’s not what she’s doing… She just needs me to respect her need for space then.

I’m even too scared to hold her hand when we’re walking, or cuddle up to her when we’re watching a movie, because she’s made it clear that when she’s not “feeling it” she doesn’t want to show or accept affection… And it feels like she’s at that place most of the time lately. It seems like affection is only okay when she feels it’s okay. It’s not about me… Her needs and wants come first. If she’s going through a hard time, I try to be as supportive as possible, and am willing to put aside my own struggles for a while in order to be there for her. But she told me she can’t do that for me. That it overwhelms her and makes her resentful.

The worst thing is that the more she pulls away, the more insecure I get. But I’m going to try not to make that known, so she doesn’t feel overwhelmed and miserable in the relationship. But how do you know when you get to the point where you’re giving up your own needs and wants just to make sure that your partner is happy in the relationship? Or whether you really are the problem and your needs/wants are just unrealistic? Maybe I’ll get used to things this way and won’t feel as insecure, because she’ll be more affectionate again? Maybe I’m just too sensitive, and by just going with “the flow” I’ll become less sensitive over time?

If I don’t do or say anything that day that irritates her, or makes her feel “bad”, then she’s affectionate. I’m scared every time I have a quick reaction to something she did or didn’t do, or something she said, that she’ll see it on my face, and I know that pisses her off. Even if I don’t say anything. Just the look on my face is enough for her. And then for the rest of the day she seems cold towards me. Is this normal? It doesn’t feel normal, but then again, I’m not too sure what’s normal in a relationship and what’s not.

I’m doubting myself a lot lately. Wondering whether the problems in the relationship is all just me. That maybe I’m just too much. Maybe I just need to change? I’ve made some changes already, and she’s acknowledged that I’m trying and have been doing better. But it still seems as though I mess up more than I should, and that now she’s even more hyper aware of every little thing.

The last evening I spent with her was on Monday, and usually we always say goodnight with a kiss. That night she didn’t. I wanted to kiss her, but I could sense she didn’t want that, as she had already said goodnight and turned around. When we were saying goodbye on Tuesday morning, she gave me a hug (again, no kiss), but the hug felt distant and cold. I have no idea what I did wrong. The rest of the day (yesterday) she seemed cold over text as well. It still doesn’t feel right today. But maybe it’s just my imagination.

I’m going to try to be better. I think that maybe if I just hide it better when I feel overlooked, hurt, or upset, that maybe things will be better. That I need to be more considerate maybe.

I don’t talk about this to my friends because I don’t want them to treat her any differently (they like her), and I feel a bit of shame for how I’m feeling only 6 months into the relationship. So I thought I’d post this here and see what you guys think?

Please keep in mind that these are my feelings, thoughts, and perspective on the relationship. So you won’t know how things are from her perspective. There are probably other factors involved as well.

A Bad Weekend

One of the criteria in the DSM for Borderline PD:

9. TRANSIENT, STRESS-RELATED PARANOID IDEAS OR SEVERE DISSOCIATIVE SYMPTOMS.

I posted a “poem” the other day (can’t remember when exactly), and removed it at some point. I kept thinking that the person that post was inspired by would somehow come across it. Actually, I was convinced that would be the case.

How do I know when I’m in a highly stressed and mental health crisis state? That right there. The paranoid thoughts. Lots of them, most of which don’t actually even make sense. Heavy dissociation too. Where I can’t remember certain times of the day. It’s either a blur or a complete blank. That’s how this weekend has been for me.

Shutting myself away from the world has seemed like the only way to stay safe. I got an invitation to go out with one of the woman from group and her friends yesterday, but the thought of being with a group of people I have never met before filled me with extreme anxiety. Even the thought got me close to a panic attack. The next instant though, I just shut down. A numbness set in. Apathy. “No, I don’t want to see anyone. I don’t care about anything anymore.” Another reason I didn’t want to go out with this particular person is because being around her for too long tends to drain me. And it was going to be a full day outing. So I don’t think I would have gone even if I had been feeling fine.

I don’t feel safe. Meaning, I feel a constant threat hanging around me. The world feels dangerous. People feel dangerous right now. I went to the shop yesterday to get some stuff, and PTSD traits were raging.

I can’t begin to explain how I felt yesterday. All I can say is that it felt like torture. I just wanted to peel the skin from my body, slice my head open and remove my brain, kind of torture. I thought I was going crazy. I tried to distract myself and do some self-soothing, but that didn’t work too well either. I wanted a hug from my therapist. I feel safe with her. I wanted Elizabeth too, I missed her. But the relationship feels a little fragile and unstable at the moment, so maybe it’s good that we didn’t see one another this weekend (I’m seeing her tonight at least though). I’ve been feeling really lonely. What I wouldn’t give to just have someone around when I’m going through these “crisis” moments. I read blogs by some of you about how wonderful a certain person was during a moment like this, and how much it helped, and I must admit… I get a little sad and jealous when I read these things. I’m glad some people have that, I just wish I could experience this too.

I’m still feeling fragile today, but it’s not as bad as it was over the weekend, which I’m grateful for.

There are just so many things going on. I wish I could sleep for a few weeks (been struggling to sleep lately).  Life is exhausting right now.

The Missing Writer

I’ve been meaning to write a post explaining my previous few posts, which may have been confusing, and some of which might have had no solid context for you. But I haven’t been able to do that yet. And I’m not sure whether I will be able to either.

I’ve been having a really hard time with writing lately. I’ve started so many new posts, but ended up scrapping them all. Writing usually helps me organize my thoughts, process my emotions, and provide insight into myself. But that hasn’t been my experience for the past couple of weeks.

Instead, it’s been a source of even more confusion, annoyance, and despair. I’ve been struggling to express my thoughts, struggles, and feelings. Especially through writing, which is a strange experience for me.

There’s also a part of me that’s reconsidering this blog. The threat of having this blog discovered by those I want to keep it a secret from suddenly seems more real. It feels more risky than ever before. Even the thought of people I’ve never met having insight into my life, my self, is frightening.

The things I want to write about, the things I want to explain (like my previous posts), just feel too vulnerable. I’ve been vulnerable here plenty of times, so I don’t understand why it suddenly feels so insurmountable and anxiety provoking. Maybe I just need a break away from posting for a while.

I have therapy tomorrow morning, and I’m feeling pretty damn anxious about it. I’m worried that I won’t be able to connect with my therapist. Why? I feel disconnected from everyone in my life. It’s as if I’ve subconsciously been pushing them away internally. I also feel torn. There are two important topics to talk about, but I don’t know which is more important… I feel like there’s just too much to talk about, and not enough time. That I won’t say what’s on my mind, and talk about random shit that I actually don’t care about. That tends to happen often with me.

I feel extremely frustrated. At this point, it seems I need two sessions a week for a while, there’s just so much to cover. I feel overwhelmed with it all. And the topics, or at least one of them, will require a lot of sessions, as they’re causing me a lot of distress and impacting my relationships and life. To such an extent that I feel it will be easier to just give up on life so I don’t have to deal with these things anymore, and save the people in my life a mountain of negative emotions.

I’m just all over the place, and don’t know what’s next.

This post has taken me an hour to write. I just don’t know anymore. I’m done writing now. For how long, I have no idea. Let’s see what happens.