Friday, June 25, 2010

don't panic

I have little panic problem. I guess the technical term is disorder. With anxiety. And I guess it's not actually little.

I get really nervous.

I worry.

About everything. And nothing. Every day.

I get nervous about the things I do and say. That I'll do them wrong, mess them up, upset people, disappoint people, look like an idiot, and on and on.

I worry more than I'm nervous. The worry is worse. I worry about things that might have been. But weren't. I worry about things that haven't happened. That might not ever happen. I worry about things that are happening. Sometimes I worry without being able to figure out what I'm worried about.

Yesterday I was almost convinced I had a very bad disease (and I can't even make myself say the name because it makes me too nervous, like if I name it it will make it true) (horrible disease and world catastrophe are at the top of my list of things that make me nervous and worry). There was an article in a magazine that Hubby brought home. And I seem to have multiple symptoms listed in this article. And seemed to develop more as the day went on. And they might have gotten worse today. (And I know this sounds silly. But it. scares. me.)

And today.... I'm trying to make myself call the chiropractor's office to set up an appointment (which makes me nervous all by itself because this is the new chiropractor - because the old one disappeared - and I will have to talk to strangers on the other end of the line). And at the new chiropractor's office I will be a new patient. And they'll probably want x-rays. And what if the x-rays show things I don't want them to show? Because I don't want to know. I just want to drop dead one day. Preferably before the world blows up. Because I know I can not handle that. (And I know that it sounds silly. But it. scares. me.)

This thought process happens lightning fast in my head. It's like dominoes falling.

This is my life. Basically every day. And this is just one example in one day. And this is the "handling it" version. The version that left me going about my day pretty much like a normal person and not sobbing in the bathroom unable to breathe.

Because it used to be so much worse. I've left carts full of unpurchased merchandise in the middle of store aisles because I had to get. out. now. I've sobbed uncontrollably over the smallest thing because I just couldn't deal with it. I've driven places and driven back home because I couldn't make myself go in. I've just not been able to leave the house at all.

There was a period where I couldn't listen to the radio in case something bad happened out there in the world. But at the same time, I wanted the television on all the time, in case something bad happened out in the world. Except that I couldn't handle any kind of channel that might have news or interrupt this program for a special report. So I left my television on The Disney Channel. All the time. Because that seemed safe. (Because of this, I can call any episode of Boy Meets World within seconds.)

Eventually I had to get help. There was no other option. I couldn't function like a normal person anymore. I spent five years seeing a (wonderful) counselor once a week. For six years I took medication. All in hopes I could learn to cope.

And I did learn to cope. I learned how to handle it. To spot triggers, see the signs, and not let things get out of hand. (At least not too often.)

Most days are just fine. Normal.

But the panic, the nervous, the worry? It's still there.

Most people these days might not even notice.

They don't see the day (or two or three) it takes me to return a simple phone call. (Oh, the phone is still so hard for me!)

Don't see me driving around the block convincing myself it's okay to go in (where ever it is I need to go in to).

Don't see me cry because I'm scared for no real reason (although it's rare, it still happens sometimes).

Don't feel the knots of tension in my shoulders that never go away.

But it's still there.

Despite the daily yoga. And the twice daily meditation.

It's still there.

Even when I look totally fine (because I am fine). Even when I'm in the mix with the rest of the world. Having fun. Laughing. Smiling.

It's there.

Every day.


Corinne said...

I read this last night, and have been mulling it over.
Anxiety and worry run deep in my veins (which had to do with why I drank in the first place... it all leads back to the 'ism...) anyway. I wish I had words to help, but YOUR words, they're going to help someone else. Because bringing it out into the open to talk about is huge. And very brave of you. It's hard to come face to face with our issues, what makes us and breaks us.
Sending you love, on this Saturday morning. I hope it finds you held by a husband and comforted by some chocolate :)

Jade @ Tasting Grace said...

Like Corinne, I read this last night and have been thinking about how to respond. But her response is so much more eloquent than mine. I wish I could say "don't worry", but that is so trite in the face of the magnitude of this worry. So I guess I will just say don't feel guilty/bad/ashamed for such worry. I'm sure you've probably spent countless hours trying to figure out the cause of your anxiety. Maybe you already know what it is. I just wish you continued strength and hope you continue to find ways to mitigate the anxiety.

And thank you, for trusting us with your burden.

Lyndsay said...

I'm sorry you have this to deal with. I have more to say... but will email you later.