From out of nowhere I got hit with an overwhelming wave of sheer anxiety. My skin is trying to crawl off my bones. My stomach is twisted it knots, causing severe physical pain and responses. This is no longer a “my heart’s beating too fast” thing. I feel nauseous from the level of anxiety I am currently experiencing. And there truly was no trigger. It sucker punched me.
I decided to soldier on because ya know, that’s what is expected. Made a call to find out if my kid’s going to ride the bus. They set my anger off by saying she doesn’t meet the state mandatory 1.5 mile thing. Oh wow, 1.3 miles, round it up, dumbasses. Besides, if they picked up at the door instead of a general stop, she’d be exactly 1.5 miles. And they’ve bused the kids from this trailer park every year I’ve been here, to that same school. So what the fuck? I called the school secretary and I’m afraid I lost it a bit and said, “If she’s not eligible, fine, but if I see the other kids here getting picked up and going to the same school, I am gonna raise hell.” Okay,I didn’t mean to hulk out but it’s bullshit.
So I am waiting to hear back on the matter, which feeds the anxiety monster. I doubled my Xanax because this stomach issue is really grueling. I don’t like doing that with my meds, don’t like being sleepy, but damn it, when you’re sent to the bathroom in agonizing pain…All because of stupid anxiety you can’t explain…You’ll do anything for relief. And ya know I’m already in pain because of shark week, so this is all just way too much for me to deal with.
And scumbag brain has decided this is the IDEAL time to remind me of all the stuff I am facing in the next week what with her open house night at school, her first day, still waiting to hear from disability people so I don’t even know if we’ll have a home after this month…If she can’t ride the bus, I’m gonna need gas money…It never ends. And the suckiest thing is, aside from the depression, for a couple of months things were ok. I mean, there wasn’t a chain reaction of catastrophic events happening every day. In increments, I can deal. When it all lands in a short span of time…My shrapnel flies.
“The only limitations you have are the ones you place on yourself.”
This is such bullshit. It’s very hard on the ego and psyche to admit you do have limitations so most don’t do it out of laziness. I have an anxiety/panic disorder therefore I do have limitations of how much I can cope with before I start going under. I don’t like it, I cope best I can, but it is what it is.
“No one has ever died of a panic attack.”
That is one of my all time favorites as offering proof PEOPLE ARE FUCKING STUPID. Logically, I know the panic attack itself won’t kill me and it’s usually not even a fleeting thought in my head at the time. No, my thoughts are based in reality. What if I am so rattled I brake instead of accelerating and cause a wreck? What if in this anxiety my reflexes are off because circuits are overloaded and I crash into someone? The truth is, once the fight or flight response of panic kicks in, you’re not in your right mind no matter how many breathing exercises you do or stop signs you envision. It’s prime time for mistakes to be made, mistakes with serious repercussions. And while dismissed as asinine and weak by most, panic is not silly at all. It’s legitimate. For every “cured” person there are dozens who suffer endlessly only to be invalidated at every term.
It’s not limited to traffic. Between the bipolar issues and depressions, I’ve battled with jobs my entire life. When manic, I was super employee. When depressed, I was sleepwalking and a complete fuck up. Not big selling points.
The anxiety played a large role in the employment problems, too. Bosses do not have empathy or make concessions because one is hyperventilating or feeling exposed and terrified and need to “take a time out.” They don’t care if a nervous bladder makes you need ten bathroom breaks a day. They don’t even want to know why you’re perpetually clutching your stomach and darting at breakneck speeds for the toilet because the anxiety has metastasized into a legit physical issue. They expect you to be well groomed,freshly pressed. Which is hard to when your nerves are frazzled and cold sweat is pouring off of you even in air conditioning. You’re still expected to smile even though you are clenching your jaw to stave off nausea that could quickly turn to hurling.
None of it matters. No concessions are made. You become a liability and ten people without your limitations are there to replace you. It’s devastating to one’s self confidence, especially when doing your absolute best to soldier on.
It impacts my parenting, as well. My kid doesn’t get the outings most kids do because mommy’s stupid brain is perceiving anything outside the bubble as a potentially lethal threat. Some days I am so wired on anxiety and paranoia, I can’t even bring myself to let her play outside for something in my brain is telling me she’s in danger. It makes no sense and it wasn’t a huge problem prior to her birth. Something in my brain was altered by the pregnancy/birth experience. Instead of zapping my wiring straight, it gave me a litany of new things to be tortured by.
The Xanax has kicked in, things are slowing down. I’m still feeling like I have a target on my head and everyone “out there” has a high powered rifle to bring me down. It lacks logic but to an ill mind receiving wrong messages…It’s very real, very disturbing, very hobbling.
Out of curiosity…I’d be interested in hearing from some of you who read this blog with anxiety issues. What are your symptoms? Do they manifest physically at times? Do you feel paranoid and vulnerable? How do you cope with them, during, and after? Have any therapies helped you cope? Please, leave a comment and give me feedback. I’m truly interested in how others experience anxiety and deal with it in their day to day lives.
Side note: If you are gonna spew sunshine and puke rainbows about how licking fish oil pills helped cure your anxiety, or try to sell me some box set of dvds to “fix my anxiety forever”…Move along. You’re only going to be met with derision, and based on my mood, land in the spam trash or get lambasted with disdain. If your anxiety has been cured…You never had a metastatic anxiety problem in the first place. I’ve had mine since age 8 and not even hyponosis and chakra alignment helped. Besides…whatever you’re selling, I’m too broke to afford even if I were curious.
Okay, pretzel gut has returned, twisting and contorting, and demanding my attention.
The double decker suck bus ride begins again.