Anxiety and Instability

The toughest part of living with depression and an anxiety disorder is the constant state of instability.

Some days are good. Some days I can just breathe and take life as it comes. I can look at the challenges I’m facing as small stepping stones and work through them without having an episode.

Then there are days like today.

I should have known I was gearing up for one of those days when I had an anxious fit last night because my boyfriend DARED to go to bed early. Since we are in a semi-long distance relationship (3-ish hours round trip travel time), trust is a huge part of the equation. I trust him unequivocally. However, his “goodnight” phone call at 9:30pm made me feel anxious. Why, I don’t really know… Which is pretty much the crux of anxiety issues, isn’t it? No rhyme or reason or anything beyond the famed Star Wars line, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

Anyway. I digress.

I texted my best friend (who is also coping with anxiety issues and is a beacon of love and support through these episodes) and she talked me down from the metaphorical ledge. I took some deep breaths, meditated awhile, and finally felt calm enough to sleep.

This morning, I woke up to a sweet text from my boyfriend, and I thought that maybe I was on the right path to working past my lingering anxiety and having a good day. Then, it seemed like everything fell apart. Carefully made plans fell through. Money issues reared their ugly head. Words were exchanged with no sense of context or tone to temper their reception. All the hard work I’ve done lately to work towards inner peace and happiness and pretty much everything beyond being a depressed, anxious mess seemed to fall down at my feet. All I wanted to do was cry because I’ve been doing so well. I went from feeling like I’m actually getting somewhere and improving my mental state to a sobbing heap of anxiety and insecurity in less than 24 hours.

THIS is what I can’t take.

When things are good, I can cope. I’m learning how to cope when things are bad. But I can’t handle the constant back and forth. I can’t handle the ups and downs. I like stability. I like structure. I like order. The lack of these things makes me anxious, and being anxious leads to a lack of stability, structure, and order. It’s a vicious cycle, and I don’t know how exactly I am supposed to stop it, only that I need to stop it.

Maybe it’s time to revisit my treatment options. Maybe I should bite the bullet and consider medication, even though I’m unemployed and have no form of prescription coverage. Maybe, as several people have told me, I should just “get the fuck over it” and “stop being a headcase.”

Or maybe, right now, I should take a hot bath, make some tea, and have a good cry, hoping tomorrow will be a little brighter.

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Well, That Was Terrifying

I’ve done a lot of scary things in the past week:

– talked to my doctor about my anxiety
– made an appointment to see a counselor
– told Jedi when I thought he wasn’t being fair to me

and, today, I quit my job. Well, gave my notice. My last day is the 15th.

And you know what? The first three things turned out alright.

Fingers crossed that the last one will, too.

The Adventures of Anxiety Girl

It was an ordinary morning, around 6am. Anxiety Girl rolled over, shut off her alarm, and closed her eyes to wait for Jedi’s ‘Good morning’ text, just like every other morning.

DING! “Good morning and such!” Jedi greeted her.

“What in the hell does that mean?” she wondered aloud. “He must be getting bored of me. He always calls me babe, or beautiful, or some sort of term of endearment, and he didn’t! I wonder what I could have done to make him stop caring for me so quickly?”

  *  *  *  *  * 

Upon arriving at work, Anxiety Girl received an email requiring her prescence at a training seminar. Her fellow invitees were prestigious co-workers, those who had worked years and years and climbed their way up the ladder to the upper echelon of regional management.

“There must be some mistake. I shouldn’t be invited to this seminar!” Anxiety Girl cried. “Why would they invite me? I’m nothing. I’m going to get there and have everyone laugh and wonder why I was invited because I am clearly so far beneath all these other attendees. I can’t go, I simply can’t!”

  *  *  *  *  * 

11am rolled around and Anxiety Girl hadn’t yet heard back from Jedi, almost five hours after texting him back. Despite knowing how hectic his career can be, Anxiety Girl was perturbed.

“He hates me!” she thought. “It can’t be that he’s busy working… no… he’s definitely ignoring me. I even asked a question to make sure he responded, and he didn’t. I remember when we used to text all day, every day. I miss that. He clearly doesn’t care as much as he used to. Should I even bother driving all the way down to see him tonight? He must still be in love with his ex. I should just give up. I’m not worthy.”

  *  *  *  *  * 

Anxiety Girl’s boss stopped by her desk that afternoon. “I need to see you in my office,” he said. “It’s about that seminar.”

Anxiety Girl’s mind raced. “He’s going to tell me I’m not capable enough to go. I’m a failure. He’s going to fire me because I’m not productive enough. I knew this would happen. How am I going to pay my mortgage? Or afford gas to drive Padawan to school? Looking for a job is terrifying! I’m not qualified to do anything but minimum wage labour – I just lucked out getting a decent-paying administrative job. How am I going to live on $10/hr and no benefits???”

  *  *  *  *  * 

That evening, Anxiety Girl took Padawan to a fundraiser/movie night at her prestigious private school. She parked her ten year old Honda Civic next to the brand new Porche SUV, and waved at a classmate’s mother, who looked away without recognition.

“I don’t know why I try being friendly,” she muttered. “Nobody likes me anyway. They know we don’t belong here. We’re not like them. We’re not people who can afford this school – we’re the poor family who scrimps and saves to send Padawan here, and they all know it. They hate me, and, by extension, hate Padawan. Poor child. It’s not her fault that her mother is such a disappointment. I’m sure that if I wasn’t such a sad-sack, broke-ass, single mom that they would be more welcoming. Why do I even bother attending these things?”

  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  * 

This is an example of my daily existence, and, frankly, it fucking sucks. I’m tired of being sad. I’m tired of feeling unworthy. I’m tired of worrying and stressing and obsessing about everything. So I’m going to do it. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment a week from today and I am going to get some help because I am so done with living like this.

I’m terrified that it’ll be brushed off as nothing. I’m terrified that I’ll be mocked. I’m terrified that I’ll need to be medicated. But more than all that, I am terrified that I will spend the rest of my life feeling like this and will never know how to be truly happy and relaxed.

Here’s to the first step and a new beginning.