anxiety · anxiety medication · boundaries · cancer · music · self-care

Anxiety

I’ve always been an anxious person, not going to lie. But it wasn’t so much that I couldn’t function properly. Exercise (good) and lots of wine (bad) were (are?) my favorite ways to diffuse it.

This shit is something else. I’ve been experiencing some heightened levels of anxiety since I started noticing my symptom in August. It was manageable since I really had no idea what I was dealing with, but the closer my colonoscopy creeped up, the worse it got.

Still, I managed to put one foot in front of the other.

Now, since the end of that screening, the anxiety really took over. And it has been bad. Finding out 2 days before a major holiday—one that all my life I’ve always just was able to blissfully enjoy—threw me into involuntary waves of freak out.

What’s fun is as I struggled to put on a holiday somewhat normal, my body was like—um, no. I shook constantly, sweat poured off me when I wasn’t even doing anything. I reached out like a mad woman to professional mental health hotlines just to reach a trained ear—and they were all CLOSED.

I get people needing or wanting breaks from their work for holidays, but honestly, if you’re in the mental health field, holidays seem obvious to me to be one of the most important times to be available.

I felt completely unglued Xmas Eve. It sucked. Somehow I got through it, and luckily even managed to have fun when our kids came to visit.

I realized once I got through that experience—dude, if I can live through that without dying, I’m pretty damn strong.

So now I’m starting down this road and it’s not very fun. In fact, it’s scary as hell. My phone rings and I jump.

If you could’ve seen when I was waiting to hear about the results of my initial imaging tests, you would’ve been like—how the hell is she doing it?

The phone call finally came and I was informed I’m not stage 4. The release of anxiety was so huge, I shook like a leaf, went into the bathroom and threw up.

Upon exiting the latrine, I had to give myself props again–I didn’t die of fear!

So now I’ve been through a few appointments I never saw coming as part of my future. I hate it. But I’m doing it.

I shake a lot. I can’t eat. Sleep is rough. Sometimes the best I can do is sit in the corner of my couch and chill. Go to the grocery store because we need food? A simple task I used to do every week without a second thought? Yeah. How about no.

Kelly Clarkson blabbing away on her talk show on my tv? Makes me wish I could smack her, even though I know she’s probably a nice person.

When all this shit really began hitting the fan, I talked to my general practitioner. She is a true gift from the gods—hilarious, compassionate, in my corner, and she cusses like a sailor. I love her. She hooked me up, no hesitation, with anxiety meds.

In my former life, I didn’t need and was kind of afraid of medication.

Well, this is no longer a thing.

Honestly, what freaking better time would there be besides right now, ya know?!

It’s not shameful to need medication to calm myself right down. I need to eat, I need to sleep, I need to be able to do stuff again, and dare I say, a real laugh now and then might be nice.

I deserve laughs. I deserve relief. What I’m going through, I’m finding, is something a whole lot of people can’t understand. I’m envious they don’t. But really, that makes no real difference to me.

What matters is my health-especially physically. I can’t concentrate on it at all without addressing my mental health. I’m so glad I’ve figured that out.

So I’m taking steps to get the anxiety under control. I’m not berating myself for taking the medication (that stuff is the shit!). I’ve also started turning my phone off when I lie down in bed at night. My kids can call their dad (he’s not as popular as me. Well, that’s not true. His clients love him, but those people don’t text him for funsies all hours) and if they need me, he’ll tell me. I’ll also answer my sisters. Everyone else? They’re negotiable til morning. Or maybe afternoon. Or evening. Or maybe not at all.

I’ve always been a people pleaser. Like to lift people up. That’s on hiatus for now, unless I have the desire to be entertaining.

Anyway. I just wanted to write about my illness-induced anxiety. It’s a bitch. Wish it wasn’t happening. But as one of my favorite bands Blackberry Smoke sings—Wish in one hand, Shit in the Other.

For now, thank science for anxiety medication. It’s going to help me get on with what’s coming. And I’m going to embrace all of it, no matter what I have to do to do it.

One final thought:

Why the hell is Kelly Clarkson so spastic. She could use a meditation getaway or a cup of catnip tea. Why do I even care? I don’t, really. Maybe she’s just really fun and carefree.

Maybe someday soon, that can be me again.

Parting gift for this post—please enjoy. This band gives me life.