My blog has been quiet for about 10 days – it happens. Life gets busy and it can take a little while to surface. I launched a clothing line last week, while juggling my family, my other work, resigned from one of my marketing gigs, working on a fundraiser for another event, and life generally feels like it’s going in the right direction.
Quietly, however, I am struggling with something ancient.
My anxiety is definitely back. The nortriptyline isn’t working anymore, at least not for calming my anxiety. And it’s only getting worse, not better. It’s not that the degree of it, at this point, is worsening, but the frequency. It is nearly constant now. It has rooted itself in the chambers of my heart. I feel it in each beat — the muscle squeezes and another dose is dissolves into the stream of my blood, taking only moments to invade my cells and unify itself with my thoughts.
On the surface, I behave mostly normally. I work, I interact with friends and family, I take the dogs out to pee in the yard, I work on my business plans, I take photos of the recent snow storm to share with my social media world.
From that core of my chest, an insistent whisper directs my thoughts in the form of a constant interruption:
“Something bad will happen, any minute.”
“You are going to ruin everything.”
“There is something wrong with you and everyone is about to figure it out.”
“If you don’t fix it, nobody will.”
“You will lose it all.”
“I’m telling you, something bad will happen.”
I startle frequently as my brain tries to remember what mistake I made, then I remember that I didn’t, then I worry about the mistakes that I will make. I grind and click my teeth. I cannot stop. It gives me headaches. It makes me laugh to think that this tic annoys me less than some I have experienced previously. I compulsively scrape the heel of my boot of my left foot, on the sidewalk, I am compelled to do it every time my foot steps. Even as a child, I did this, and annoyed my mother. Even if I made myself stop for a few minutes, I was still thinking about it and could not stop thinking about needing to do it. The boot thing is really bothering me lately. It’s been so long since I felt a need to do it, that its return is jarring and dreadful.
This is not a matter of me being too busy, or being stressed out. This is a return to my natural, chemical state of being. A natural, chemical state of being that is awful. A state of being where I fear the remembering of previous tics, because just putting the suggestion of my mind can trigger a compulsion that plagues me for years. It is this experience, which feeds my anger when I hear people make blanket statements about the harms and evils of psychiatric medications. This level of anxiety is not something that exercise alleviates. Yoga helps my body feel better, but it does not calm my mind. And these thoughts do not stop. I’ve referred to them before as a terrible roommate — and who wants to live with someone that constantly screams. You can still hear the screaming through the door, unless you find a way to make the screaming stop.
That kind of interruption is very distracting. It’s certainly distracting me this morning as I try to work.
I don’t know what I want to do about it. I’ve re-started going to yoga. I know it won’t hurt, I just know it won’t totally help, either. Resigned from an unreasonably (and objectively) stressful gig. Going to re-visit acupuncture. If I had health insurance, the first place I would be is at my psych ARNP’s office, to discuss options, but I owe the office enough money right now that I really shouldn’t call unless I’m having an emergency. I’m just miserable and misery isn’t an emergency. For me, it’s just a normal Monday with by old buddy anxiety. Now that I know what it’s like to live without it, this is really hard to take.