I read these stories, but it never occurred to me that I should share mine. I think it is probably because for the past decade I have been doing well. So well that I almost forgot what it was like to not be well, almost forgetting my story of where I have been.
My “best” years in terms of my anxiety have been the last few years when ironically I have experienced trauma and loss and stress like I never imagined I would in my life. I guess it is a good thing and I truly am proud of how I coped and stayed strong, but now I am in a predicament. Now things things in my life seem to be completely and entirely in order – wonderful husband, beautiful home, prestigious job – and I am overcome with anxiety. How could it be that during the most difficult years of my life my anxiety was so low and now during what should be the easiest years my anxiety is so high?
This week has been awful. I actually thought maybe I was getting sick because I was not feeling well physically. But, by the time I laid down last night I was certain this was my anxiety creeping in. Every physical symptom you can imagine has popped up in the last three days – GI issues (or ulcers), a headache (or a brain aneurysm), a head cold (or Hodgkins lymphoma) – you know how that goes, Google is the devil. Anyway, when something is wrong with every system of your body from head to toe, you can be pretty sure that anxiety has set in and you do not actually just have allergies, a migraine and a stomach flu all at the same time. That is where I am at right now. I do not feel well and I’m pissed off because I haven’t had to deal with this anxiety in so long and I just don’t feel like it. No other way really to say it, I just don’t feel like it.
I have been thinking this morning. I think I am at a place now where I need to learn to cope in a healthier way. Looking back over my “best” years, I see 60+ hour work weeks, nonstop homework, and taking care of my loved ones following our tragic loss. I did not have time to be anxious. I made it that way. Being distracted and busy was my coping mechanism, and it worked really well. But now, school is over, I am working a regular job and my loved ones don’t need me as much anymore. I can watch tv, read a book, sleep in, do nothing – and I hate it. The anxiety makes me hate it. Relaxation is not an option. Being quiet cannot happen. The worries scream at me, they won’t shut up. The weird body sensation is at the forefront of my mind, it is making me Google what could be wrong with me. Anxiety is a bitch.
It is back to the drawing board. Therapy appointment made for next week with the woman who has saved me before. I know she’ll do it again, we will do it again. Time to have some more of the “best” years, and this time maybe I can actually enjoy the quiet moments.