Swimming in Anxiety

I’ve been fairly anxious these last few days and it seems that the issue is only getting worse. I usually do an ok job managing it with coping mechanisms and medication, but I started to run low on medication and skipped days here and there, only taking the medicine a day or two here and there over the course of about two weeks. Not to mention, the past two weeks have been jam packed with chaos and at times, stress. Why didn’t I simply refill my medication? It’s expensive and I wanted to wait until I got paid again (tomorrow) to refill it and I’ve been running in so many directions lately, I just haven’t given myself time to actively refill it, pick it up, etc.

Anyway, the issue really came to head a little over 48 hours ago when I was sitting beside of my boyfriend, on his couch as we binged watch Narcos (which by the way, the main character had an anxiety attack in one of the episodes we watched — not to mention most of the things going on in the show are highly anxiety triggering anyway). We had been watching the show several hours by this point and the BF was extremely exhausted (which he had been for most of that day). We had spent the better part of the previous 48 hours together and all of our activities were starting to wear him down. After all, we spent most of that particular day doing “couple” things like visiting a pumpkin patch to get pumpkins and taking a distillery tour with whiskey samples. That’s enough to make anyone tired, but three days in a row, even if you *really* love spending time with someone can be a lot. “Overexposure”, if you will. While under normal circumstances I wouldn’t have suggested we spend that much consecutive time together (especially considering we road tripped last weekend), but I’ll be out of the country for an entire week starting Saturday, so I didn’t think much into our obsessive amount of time together this past weekend too much. Logically, I understand this (how you can simply feel exhausted just from actively entertaining/spending time with someone) and by no means SHOULD have thought twice about it. He’s always been fairly straightforward with me, so if there was an issue with me being there, he probably would have said so…plus, none of his actions changed (we still cuddled, we still spoke, laughed, ate dinner together, etc), he was just exhausted and not his usual high energy self.

My anxiety on the other hand came up with this insane notion on how he probably felt smothered, I was putting a wrench in his plans, I was overstaying my welcome, he probably wanted me to go home so he could be lazy in peace, and so on. These thoughts consumed me in through Sunday even after I left and went back to my place. The thoughts bothered me so much yesterday, that I ended up having to self medicate in order to get through the rest of my day. that I had to take a nap just to get through the rest of the day (and advil PM to fall asleep that night). I worried all day about how my actions could have possibly made him second guess whether or not our relationship was a good idea or something he even wanted to continue to pursue. I hung on to every word he said verbally and his text messages over the past two days….I dissected them…trying to read between the lines when there was really nothing there to “read”… Omg! What have I done?!

Even in briefly talking to him via text yesterday evening (as we usually do on evenings where we’re not together) and I mentioned feeling bad for basically interrupting his “relaxation time”. His response was very simple:

“It’s ok, babe. I had fun anyway.”

Anyway?

You would think his response would have been enough to put that crazy notion to bed, but then I wondered..what if he doesn’t really mean that and was just trying to be nice? What if, what if, what if, what if…

Today has been no better and I need to let him know what’s going on so he understands that part of this insanity is something I’m not able to control until my medicine fully kicks back into its normal cycle. I’ve mentioned having anxiety to him briefly via text message, but I never went into any detail, just said, “I’ll explain it in my detail later.” Well, about two months later and I never got around to it and now this and he hasn’t asked about it either, though perhaps it just hasn’t come up in conversation.

What I struggle with is just how to tell him. I want to be clear and up front about how being anxious really affects many aspects of my life (sleeping patterns, eating habits, the ability to concentrate, frequent headaches or simply “not feeling well”, inability to comprehend or fully believe him when he says I’m not bothering him…etc). I know he will listen and may not be TOO judgemental , but anxiety is such a broad and heavily layered mental illness that goes through phases and intensity levels. For me, it even goes “dormant” sometimes and then shows up again out of the blue in full force. Crazy things trigger it that sometimes medicine doesn’t even fully help.

I stumbled across this article about telling someone you’re in a relationship about the illness. The article (well letter) was well written and hits the nail on the head for how it feels to deal with anxiety.

Anyway, here’s to hoping I feel better soon.

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Mental Health Day.

I woke up this morning drenched in sweat after a particularly shitty night of tossing, turning and fragmented sleep. I was burning up, then freezing cold, on and off, I couldn’t get comfortable and I couldn’t settle my mind. I felt overly emotional and and then apathetic, but nothing in particular was triggering these feelings.

Since I was sleeping over BF’s and didn’t want to wake him out of his peaceful slumber, I mostly found myself looking at the ceiling, hoping time would quickly pass. When it was finally time to get up and head back to my place to get ready for work I just couldn’t pull myself to shake the exhaustion. He practically had to drag me out of the bed, because I couldn’t ‘adult’.  It was a different kind of a tired, more of an entire mind, body and soul type of tired that only consumes me every once in a while. I knew this feeling wasn’t a bug or a virus, but my anxiety/depression peaking out from hibernation.

I made it to work, still feeling “off” and decided to leave about four hours in. There was no point in being there because I was unable to concentrate on any one task. I was exerting too much energy to do simple things like read emails. Add in the tragic Vegas Mass shooting from yesterday and I just couldn’t function today.

I got home and curled up on the couch for a few hours dosing in and out of sleep, trying to figure out where this dark cloud was coming from. I felt lazy and helpless for sitting there doing and nothing. I’ve been relatively happy for the past few months and this seems to be coming out of nowhere. I can’t seem to shake it or “sleep it off”. No amount of sleeping aids, night caps or “distractions” seem to be knocking this one out either.

I guess that’s the thing about depression. You could be in a relatively happy stage in your life in general and depression will pop out unexpectedly to intervene. I really hope I am able to get through this episode.  I really hate feeling like this when I am genuinely in a good place in my life.