Daily Archives: November 21, 2016

Home in my Cocoon

I hide away in a cocoon of blankets under the guise of a headache. But its depression that lures me here in the light of day. Depression snuggles next to me at first. Gives me time to get comfortable. Flipping and flopping. I’ve only been awake for 4 hours of the day. I guess I’m tired. I mean I feel exhausted but doubt sleep will afford me any true rest. Isolation is likely what I crave. No forced smiles or laughs.
Yesterday it took everything I had to leave the house to see one of my favorite bands. I have been waiting to see them for months. Over dinner my husband tried to pry out of me what’s wrong. The only answer I have is, I don’t know. Sometimes there isn’t a reason. I mumbled I think I have to take time off work. He asked me if I was going to hurt myself. Again my answer I don’t know. We ate in silence for a while as those words loomed over our table. I excused myself and took several moments in the restroom to let the tears run free.
We made our way to the music. The band said “this is the last night of the tour so we are going to let it all out and leave it all here. After several songs passed me by, I finally let the music take me as if I too was letting it all out. Stomping my feet, shaking my hips, singing the words. I felt like I was there. In the moment. Relishing the sounds and what it was doing to my body. No thoughts. No anxiety. One with crowd. Just another fan full of delight. But, then I burst into tears out of nowhere. A flood of forsaken anguish about what..I don’t know. I was dizzy and couldn’t breathe. I fell backwards into my husband who held me up. He took my hand and led me to a chair. He gave me as much time as I needed. I covered my face. Then my ears. Looked at him w eyes brimming with tears.
I felt betrayed. Heartbroken. I thought I was doing all the right things. Staring bipolar disorder in the face. I guess he got the last laugh because I had to leave. Get fresh air. Get home to my cocoon.


Mini Thanksgivings

This weekend my sister visited and we celebrated Thanksgiving twice with our parents. Friday we joined our mother at her memory care community and joined their festivities. That afternoon and early dinner went very well. We had fun decorating her…

What It’s *Really* Like To Have An Anxiety Disorder

The masses will all generalize things like, “I know how you feel, I get so nervous giving public speeches”, or “I’m terrified of heights, I get it.”

Actually, you really DON’T get it.

Because an anxiety disorder, complete with panic attacks and paranoia, is not related to a particular trigger at all times. Many times, it comes on without a trigger, without explanation, and boggles even those of us who suffer from them.

Imagine, if you can, the sensation of a bug flitting across your bare skin. An ant, a gnat, a roach, whatever insect of your choice. Your instinct is to shudder and shake it away or swat at it. Gross! Seconds later, even though the bug has been dealt with, you can still recall how it felt on your skin and you shudder again. But then you forget about it and move on.

Anxiety disorder is like living 24-7 with a thousand bugs crawling over your skin, in your hair, under your skin, inside your veins. You feel like you are losing your mind because, obviously, there are NO bugs. It’s “all in your head”. The sensations, however, are very real. Terrifying. Discombobulating.

You start to feel fragile. Like you are under attack from every outside stimuli. Like you have a target on your front and back and head and EVERYTHING around you is armed with a gun.

You tell yourself to “grow up”, “shake it off”, “get over it”. To no avail.

Anxiety can be triggered, sure. Often, it is not. Often, it is like a band of ninjas and by the time they strike, you’re caught unawares that you can’t do battle properly.

Just fathom living this way EVERY SINGLE DAY OF YOUR LIFE.

Imagine that fear of public speaking or heights or spiders or whatever not merely being a trigger that you can avoid or power through, but A CONSTANT COMPANION RESIDING IN YOUR OWN MIND AND YOU ARE NOT ARMED PROPERLY TO FIGHT IT.

Furthermore, think about what it’s like for those of us with anxiety disorders and the stigma and lack of understanding society deals us.

Do you consider that minor? Silly? Immature? Weak?

Ignorance, thankfully, is not contagious and CAN be cured by educating yourself on the matter, rather than making ignorant assumptions and judgments.

Trust me, judging, mocking, teasing, assuming- none of this helps us. If anything, it makes the anxiety worse and we retreat further into ourselves. Desperate for comfort, to escape our own demons for a moment or two.

Two out of four days this last weekend I was convinced I had bugs crawling everywhere. I survived a couple of hours in the dish on Friday but it was grueling. A firetruck siren went off. I felt terror pierce my entire being. Oh, my home is on fire, it could happen, it’s happened before! Oh, no, a ringing phone, what do I say with all these bug like sensations making me feel absolutely insane?

To recover from this, I did not leave the lot for the entire weekend but for a brief trip to a convenience store.

Today, the bugs are almost silent.

Almost.

But I don’t know how better to explain it than bugs on your skin, bugs everywhere.

Maybe tiny electric jolts going off under every inch of skin and tissue at random intervals. Or maybe a giant stack of amps outside your window blaring the most heinous music at all times.

Living this way is not fun and no amount of medication or therapy tricks make it any easier.

THAT is what it’s like to have an anxiety disorder.

If it still seems funny and mock worthy to you…You are  far more ignorant than I could give any human being credit for. And I pity you for your emotional intelligence stagnated around age ten.

If you want to see strength, intelligence, fortitude…

Look at those of us with anxiety disorders, including a myriad of other chemical misfirings in our brain…WE are the soldiers doing battle without weapons, without an army. WE are brave and strong and though suffering, we keep fighting.

Fighting an invisible enemy 24-7 is far more exhausting than anyone can fathom unless they live it.


Thanksgiving Prep

We are getting ready for Thanksgiving.  I will do some cooking tomorrow and the girls will be going to a mission to hand out Thanksgiving meals.   Today we go meet Bob for lunch  and will enjoy that.

I’m not sure what all I need to write.  I seem to be on the upswing from the depression.  I go to see my counselor tomorrow and will hopefully get a lot out of that.  I did my homework so have to remember to take my computer.  I wrote a letter from my fourteen-year-old self to my adult self.  SO we will see how that turns out.

I’m still struggling with the issues me and Bob talked about.  I’m praying for contentment with my life but it feels so elusive.  I wouldn’t have been given the ability to do what I do without God wanting to use it somehow.  Maybe I just need to wait on it all until Rachel is older.  I’m doing the best I can with that concept but I just can’t resign myself to it.

 


Weekly Wrap-Up November 21, 2016

Mood Some time has passed since the election, so it’s no surprise that my depression has somewhat lifted as well. The keyword being “somewhat.” My God I wish it was gone. Sometimes I think it has and then I’ll realize I spent an hour staring at the wall. I sigh so regularly that Maurice keeps asking me what’s wrong because…

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