Anxious. Who Me?

12/1/2014

There’s nothing like a really bad anxiety attack to make you explode by surprise. The image I see is a raw egg getting cracked, hard, on top of your head and the runny yolk and raw white egg white oozing down your face. The texture alone is enough to make me gag.

I felt out of control and crazy, slimy and totally unprepared. It made me crash, physically, emotionally and mentally. “That will show you who you really are,” some growling, deep voice, inside me said threateningly. I can vouch for that. I’d swear on a Bible if you want me to. I know I’m anxious but in the midst of the strongest part, I am not aware of how sucked in, like a tornado, I really am.

Well, well, well, welcome back, you insidious monster with life sucking tentacles. You snuck in and took over my mind and body. Because I didn’t have heart palpitations I can’t label you a panic attack although to me, they are very close.

Honestly, I should say I haven’t felt you around for quite some time. A long time and never this severe. But, believe me, I recognized who you were the second you slipped into my body and mind when I was looking someplace else.

Sure, I knew you were there and i did everything in my power to get rid of you. I tried to fight you with all the strength I could muster, batting my arms and legs squarely at your stomach, as hard as I possible could. I tried accepting you too so I sat right down in my messy bed and started taking deep cleansing breaths. Nothing worked.

I tried to do meditative yoga exercises, that in class, always work. I tried music, music can always soothe me and the music that night, made me feel crazier. This was scary.  I felt out of control.

Finally, I took a Xanax, prescription approved, doctor-ordered medicine and waited for that to kick in but it never did. Now, between my fear of flying on a plane the next day and

my medicine not working, I was one big horrible out of control mess.

It’s not as if I was looking from afar at this crazy person either, I knew it was me, I knew what I was scared about which at that point was everything. A plane trip we were taking, a trip my daughter was taking later in the month, the fear of losing control, the fear of feeling crazy is crazy enough for me and that is where I was headed. I felt out of control and that is a very scary feeling. I couldn’t calm down or make myself feel peaceful.

It’s a scary world out there, I try to make sense out of it but I can’t, there are no rational explanations. Bad things happen, often, and I need to better adapt to the new way of life. The world won’t change, obviously, the only thing that can possibly change is me.

Given the last experience, I admit, I don’t have high hopes.

 

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At The Movies Or In Real Life

I wanted to have an old-fashioned cry. Long and hard, wailing, sobbing, letting all my feelings out but I couldn’t even do that. I put on the movie “Beaches” my past cry-your-heart-out movie that used to have me in tears, my guaranteed tear- jerker and while I was as Babs would say “verklempt” I had no tears.  Nothing, no sobbing, no release, “bupkes.”

Cover of "Beaches (Special Edition)"

Cover of Beaches (Special Edition)

Now, not only was I disappointed but I was cranky as well. What the heck happened to me?

I was more interested in the different styles of cars and clothing than the actual premise of the movie. I loved Bette Midler then and  actually I love her more now. Barbara Hershey kept me fascinated only because I couldn’t remember if she was dead or alive but I did remember that her lips, at one time, had grown larger or had doubled in size.  Allegedly.

I think one main reason that I didn’t cry was unfortunately, life has toughened me up quite a bit.  I’m a lot older now then when I saw this movie and things like that really seemed to be out of the ordinary, way back when. It was shocking and unreal. Sure, you sobbed at the incredible morbidity but when you first saw it, let’s say twenty, thirty years ago? The world was a different place, yes, a kinder, gentler place. I’m sure of it.

Now, if you want to sob, read a newspaper, watch the news, keep yourself informed about what is happening in the real world today. That is depressing. Before 9/11, and after 9/11. That is how I phrase things in my life like “before my dad died” and “after.”

I find the less I read about what’s going on in the world at night the better I am. Am I in denial? Absolutely. I KNOW what’s going on but I just can’t handle all that atrocity all the time, 24/7 so I stay away from everything except the bare minimum.

Hearing news stories today are the very things that nightmares are made of, flashbacks are happening from lifetime events. So, if I’m cranky by not being able to cry, I can surround myself with the news, and not only will I cry, but they would have to medicate me around the clock and put me in a psychiatric hospital where the lonely padded cell, at this second, would feel appealing. AND, NO, I am not making fun of the psychiatric community, believe me. I am part of that community.

I get anxious and take medication to try to calm me down. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Realistically, it’s a cruel world out there and in our defense we try to get stronger and stronger. Why? Because we have no damn other choice. We sink or we swim.

In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a war, there are many wars out there. Life is far from fun. Life can be very, very sad. You don’t need to watch a Bette Midler movie to cry, real life is sad enough.

Please watch below:

 

Something Was Wrong, It Was Me

High Anxiety

High Anxiety (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It arrived every evening like a suspicious stranger, its presence like black fog slipping under the door. It was deceiving at first, mist, started slowly and then it changed in a split second and attacked me. I felt like I was being stabbed with an ice pick, repeatedly, the chill of cold anxiety running up and down my spine. The goal apparently was to shock me and knock me totally off-balance. It won, I didn’t stand a chance.  I don’t know why it came. I certainly didn’t invite it nor could I prevent it and its malicious presence only showed itself to me after dark.

I don’t know why it happened and I never completely understood it but the displeasure was here, every single night. I tried every trick I knew: deep breathing and meditation, but I did not stand a chance, it felt like I had been swept up by a tornado. Actually, I  lived in the eye of that tornado, I felt helpless, yes, out of control, out of control, out of control…

In past years during this same time period I felt sad, weepy. In the past eleven years I have known grief and a feeling of longing but not anxiety. Major life events happened, I felt loss , my dad was deceased but fear? This year without the regular Thanksgiving plans, control escaped me and anxiety with its octopus legs strapped me in and squeezed me so tight I could not breathe properly. Maybe Thanksgiving, without check lists and red lines crossed off made me feel undone. Would it be five people or nine? Last minute? I used to be so flexible, what happened to me? I missed feeling in charge, in control. I was alone in the world, it put me off-center, dizzy with fright.

I had trouble sleeping and eating and with my chronic pain disorder, Fibromyalgia, I questioned if this could have been a flare-up? Very possibly but I don’t know. The physical pain is the same but the IBS and the anxiety are on over drive.  Anxiety rolls in my stomach like one of those slippery aqua blue water park slides that I hate, wet,  flying down way too fast. I went on one of those once when my children were little and pleaded me to go on one of the rides with them. Trying to be a good mother and show them that fear should not stand in one’s way I relented, seeing their shiny little faces. Big mistake. I laid on my back and flew down the twisting spiral of hell screaming all the way down only to see them at the bottom, laughing. “Why did you lie on your back, Mom, didn’t you know that is the fastest way to go down?” OF COURSE NOT!!!

I felt like I have been on that water slide for at least two weeks except in my head and my body. I’m in my own zone of panic. Nothing worked, nothing helped, my last resort was to try to listen to music which has helped in the past. No luck. Maybe I’m just so excited that tomorrow I will be seeing my children, home for the holiday? Maybe I am feeling out of control not knowing if we will be five or nine people? Or maybe the last four, stressful weeks have finally caught up to me: my husband got laid off, I had to have painful uterine biopsies and on the way to my doctor’s appointment I had a flat tire. I found out my friend and her husband both needed surgery, I took on my friend’s problems too.

Maybe I’m anxious now because I couldn’t allow myself to be anxious before. The food lists are really not important, there will be plenty of food, no matter who comes. My friends will be fine. My husband will eventually find a job and we are not living out on the streets. My tests results came out perfectly. AAA apologized for dropping my call, twice and they paid for the private road side assistance. I’m taking a deep breath, it feels good. All of a sudden, I feel like listening to music and I’m getting a little tired. That’s got to be a good sign. I hope.

Decluttering My Life

Clutter

Clutter (Photo credit: marlana)

First, I thought I might be a hoarder, and believe me I am in no way making a joke out of this. I read that hoarding starts with keeping sentimental things. If that’s how it starts then I am in big, big trouble. If I look around my house, though, the clutter is really just in my bedroom and my (once) big walk-in  closet. You can’t walk into it anymore. I ‘m scared, truly scared, as I look around my bedroom filled with Diet Snapple bottles and magazines, candles, plates, lavender moisturizing creams, piles of paper… I need to breathe, I  need to breathe.  Other rooms in the house “look” fine, for example: the living room but my room and my closet are humiliating and filled with junk. Boxes and boxes, laundry baskets and laundry baskets filled with everything but laundry.

If I declutter my house, will my head and heart be clearer too?

Lately, I have misplaced things too. My keys, my sunglasses, my plane ticket,  lipstick, my book, my jacket. Also, recently I have been very stressed out, emotionally. This is MORE than my nemesis Fibro Fog from Fibromyalagia. I misplace one thing after another, panicking and starting the cycle over again. There has to be a connection here I’m trying to slow myself down, so far it isn’t working. It’s not amusing when I “lose” something, my daughter helps me find it, ( I always find things,) I misplace things rapidly. I need to slow down.

I can’t deal with anything when I am feeling so overwhelmed. I need to start cleaning and organizing now, actually yesterday. I feel the stress in my stomach. I always feel stress first in my stomach, is that just me or does it happen to everyone? The tender points in my neck and shoulders are all raw, tap me lightly on a tender point and I will let out a blood-curdling scream. Last week the edge of my husband’s sleeve brushed against me and my scream was so awful and so loud that it scared both of us. Damn disease.

Next morning: I can breathe a little easier today, I really did work myself into a panic but once I started organizing my room and recycling a lot of papers and magazines I felt better. There’s still a lot on my mind, I don’t feel settled yet, but even if I make a tiny bit of progress it will make me fell more in control. Of everything. I will need to work things out, in my head and in my heart. I will do all that while I am cleaning, because cleaning will give me more control, I just feel that. I can’t be wrong. Can I?