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.

Pizza and Scars

New guy and I went out for dinner last night, but unlike some of our other dates, we kind of threw together the details two hours beforehand, which admittedly made me a little anxious. We had been talking all week about getting together over the weekend, but neither one of us could decide on where to go, what to do and so on, we just both set aside time to see each other and that’s as far as we got. I kept thinking in my head, “oh no, maybe he really doesn’t want to see me and is just going out, out of obligation“. This is the most ridiculous thought, because he’s admittedly been just as indecisive as me since day one. Since we BOTH are, trying to plan things can sometimes take a little longer than it should. It doesn’t mean that he (or either one of us) doesn’t each the company of the other, we just can’t make a decision sometimes. I think that occasional shared lack of decision making should technically have us cancel each other out, but we’ll see.

Dinner was fine and we spent hours talking as we usually do when we’re out on a date. He even opted to sit next to me in the booth we were seated at, just so we could talk a little bit more intimately, instead of shouting at one another obnoxiously from across the table. He told me last night that up until recently, he was reluctant to “get out of his comfort zone” and “try/experience new things”. Things as simple as pizza toppings. He said he just had a wakeup call recently and decided that he wanted to experience life a little fuller. Since we happened to be at a pizza place, I suggested that he choose the toppings based on what he THOUGHT he wanted to try. It was cute how he spent fifteen minutes going back and forth over all of the options, but he finally came up with a choice and we placed an order. I told him that I supported his notion of wanting to live life outside of the box, but that I didn’t want to “force him” to do/try anything he wasn’t comfortable with, because that’s easy to do with someone who admits to wanting to live outside of the box and experience new things. I find that both fascinating and scary all at the same time. It makes me wonder why he chose not to try new things previously and if I was something out of his “comfort zone” (he’s certainly outside of mine). He assured me that I hadn’t so far and that he couldn’t imagine me ever doing that anyway, because he knows me “well enough” to know I have good intentions.

Does he know me well enough?

evil grin

We also talked about scars on our bodies (stories related to how we got them), our clumsy behavior, injuries to our eyes, times where we had gotten sick from drinking or general viruses, etc (you know, general proper dinner conversation).

throw up

He shared some photos of himself from facebook when he was in college to prove to me that he hasn’t “changed much” since those days. He’s perpetually looked 20 since he was well, 20…but looked 17 (and got carded last weekend when he bought us movie tickets for Logan). The only differences I could see was maybe how he dressed and maybe that he’s a little less goofy (he had full on cheesy smiles in almost every photo). I shared one of myself, but other than a change in hairstyle, he stated I basically looked the same too. I personally think I just look a little closer to my actual age than he does.

Dinner was great and he walked me to my car (as he usually does) to kiss me (multiple times) goodnight. We didn’t end the night at either one of our places as we have for our past few outings, but it was fine. We were both tired and even though we were closer to his place than mine, just thinking about making the long drive back to my place from there was draining and I was hoping he wouldn’t bring it up. I’m not sure if I want our dates to ONLY become intense make out sessions, even though those are a lot of fun, he’s a great kisser and knows what to do with his hands (TMI–I know). Granted, we always go on an actual date beforehand, but still…  I feel like people in this generation get to a point where it’s exceptionable to call, “Netflix and chill” an actual date. I also don’t want to come across as fast, even though I’m sure he doesn’t necessarily think that.

I’ve got to stop all of these wacky thought processes with this guy because it’s starting to make spending time with him a little stressful. I’m not sure where these thoughts came from other than the fact that I didn’t necessarily see us still dating all of these weeks later. It’s caught me off guard, but maybe in a good way. I just don’t know how to handle it other than comparing it to the situation with blast from the past where we dated for a while and he eventually became semi distant, before telling me that he made the decision to start dating a girl from his home town (600 miles away, making it long distance, even though he and I dated locally for about a year and he and that girl dated just shy of 4 or 5 months). Yeah.

now sis

Needless to say, that messy situation damaged me and I think that’s why I do a lot of second guessing now.I also don’t care to waste a lot of time on something I don’t think is mutually beneficial. He made me feel abandoned and blindsided. It felt like someone knocked the wind out of me. And of course him starting back up the process of acting like he wants to date me, without any of the actual work or consistent effort, like being appropriately responsive…has me habitually annoyed. He’s lucky I even still acknowledge his existence after the bullshit he pulled.

I’m going to make it a point to not over analyze the situation with new guy too much anymore, which might require occupying my time doing other things (like indulging in a hobby). I think I’ll be happier if I don’t expect anything from him (including commitment). I didn’t go into this with that specific goal in mind right up front anyway, why should he?

Keep Calm and…

My anxiety has been a little elevated lately. Even though I take medicine to “control it”, I periodically have episodes triggered by events or situations where I feel out of control or overwhelmed. Even if it’s triggered by one situation (or event), it spills out into other areas of my life.

Thursday, one of my best friends was in town for the night and came over to my place for a bit. Ideally, I should have been supportive and joined him out for his performance, but my anxiety and exhaustion caused me to feel paralyzed, to where I couldn’t. I feel like a terrible friend for this. Even though we hungout before his performance, I should have been there and the guilt of Thursday is getting to me.

I’ve been kind of self-doubting and second guessing things with the new guy, which is weird, because nothing has changed. He seems a little more at ease, like maybe he’s more sure of how I feel, so he doesn’t have to bend over backwards to get my attention . He’s been fairly consistent in his actions since we’ve been dating, but I’m starting to over analyze everything (in my head) and think, “he’s going to get to the point where he’s not going to want to date me anymore…”, which is interupting the joy of spending time together because that’s in the back of my head. I often wonder if he’s still interested, which is stupid, because we’ve literally gone out every week since we started dating and talked between dates for hours at a time (I’ll post separately about last night’s date). I go as far as to NOT text him often. Usually, I’ll initiate a conversation about once a week and he’ll do the same.  Logically, if he WASN’T that interested, he probably wouldn’t be willing to do any of that. If I wasn’t interested in dating someone, I wouldn’t agree or suggest that we keep getting together and I probably wouldn’t waste hours during the week texting with them. At least, I hope not, because what would he have to gain?

On the same topic of new guy, I found myself accidentally admitting to “dating” him while out with some friends Friday night at a bar. New guy and I were having a text message conversation, trying to finalize things for Saturday (which we still didn’t do that night anyway) and one of my more nosy friends asked who I was texting. Blushing, I stated, “nobody important”. My friend laughed and said that my face said otherwise and then I just blurted it out, “I’m just talking to this guy I’ve been dating for a few weeks…”

I can’t belive I told them that so casually. I’m a very private person and most of these friends I’ve just recently became close enough to them (not too long before dating new guy) to spend time with them on a regular basis. I’m a private person and I don’t really like talking about my love life, especially so early in. It’s still new. We’re still feeling each other out. I also don’t like talking about it because if it doesn’t last, I’ve got to answer additional questions about it… I told new guy about this conversation (not the ‘if it doesn’t work out’ part) and how I usually only shared personal things about myself to people I’m close to and when I felt like it was appropriate. New guy assured me it was ok, but that he understood and that if I needed to stop texting him and continue my night out with them, that it wouldn’t hurt his feelings. We ended up talking for an additional 2 hours until I went to bed.

texting

Another thing that’s been elevating my anxiety is apartment/house/townhouse shopping. Ultimately, I’d like to BUY something, but my credit (though it’s improving) is not where I’d like it to be right now. I’ve settled on just renting for another year at a place closer to work, but everything is so fucking expensive. I mean really. I’m looking at paying at least $250 more per month just by moving about half an hour closer to work.

rent

Throw in the fact that I’m super indecisive anyway and this process has literally upset my stomach and on numerous occasions (I actually had to stop at the store on the way home friday night to buy antacids and pepto). I like where I live now. I like my townhouse. I like the price I’m paying for it. I like my neighborhood. I like living in this city (even though my job is in a separate city), I just don’t like the commute. I wish I could pick up my current place and plop it closer to work and be done with this search.

I halfway settled on one place and simply STARTED an online application with the thought that I would finish it when I felt like i truly made the decision to want to live there, but I got an email today saying that had already “processed”the application and had “questions” about it, like if I had pay stubs to submit. This really stunned me, because I never submitted anything formally and I never even finished the application itself. I never got to the acknowledgement page that you’re SUPPOSED to sign stating that you understand all of their rules/policies and that you’re OK with them running your credit and background check. This is a pretty standard declaration that appears in all contracts, especially rental ones. I’m curious to figure out what gave them the indication that I was finished with the application, when bits and pieces of it were obviously missing and why they processed it without asking me about it beforehand. The whole thing doesn’t sit well with me to be honest.

angry

I also know work is about to swing into high gear this week until about mid-July (with each week increasing in craziness). While I’m a little more prepared for it than I was last year (being new last year), I’m still not quite mentally ready for the high pressure stress of it all.

One good thing that I’m looking forward to is getting away from it all later on this week. I’m flying out to visit one of my best friends (see the start of this post) and I’m sure that will ease my nerves, because we always have such amazing adventures together.

All I Want to Do is Eat

I have no idea what’s wrong with me, but lately (within the past 1-2 weeks), all I’ve wanted to do was eattttttttttt. Granted, I “eat”, but I’ve wanted to eat legit super shitty food…like this cookie bar I’m currently smashing after eating a BLT sandwich leftover from a meeting at work yesterday.

patrick

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Issa Infatuation?

New week, same shit, same guy.

Last week was my birthday week and it seemed like I celebrated literally all week. Not a bad thing, but in my 29++ age, my body is taking a little longer to recover. During all of this, blast from the past “coincidentally” came to town for work. Skirted in at a little after midnight friday morning and out by early Saturday afternoon. In between the whirlwind “visit”, we basically went to a bar and a half with one of my best friends. I say “and a half”, because he was late to the dinner we were supposed to have, so my bff and I ended up drinking until he arrived. Because my best friend was in tow, there wasn’t much “us” time and most of my memory became hazy after we ubered downtown. For the most part it was good fun, but I’m starting not to feel the same sparks that I used to with him. I know this, because I woke up Saturday hung over, threw on a hoodie, put my hair in a bun and made no effort to doll up. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even put on foundation, maybe just finishing powder over the foundation I slept in the night before, before we went out for breakfast.

Eatin Pants

I had roughly 3 hours between blast from the past leaving and my date with new guy to freshen up and put together an outfit where my girls were sitting pretty. I went from sweats, to contour, sheer shirt and tight jeans. Sure, he was just taking me out for a belated birthday evening (movie, dinner, etc), but I felt compelled to perfect.

I'm a star

The birthday date was typical as some of our other dates have been(all have been wonderful), with the of course added bonus of cake, card and gift! Blah-de-blah. Overall the night was fun, as our dates normally are, but as I invited him back over to my place for an elaborate cuddle and make out session, I kept thinking, “Am I infuriated with this guy?”

Sure, he’s a fabulous guy and I genuinely look forward to our outings dates, but a weird anxiety is starting to creep through my brain, like : how long is this going to last? Will this last? What if this ACTUALLY lasts–what do I do then? Do I even know WHAT I’m DOING?!

nope - prince with monkey

To be honest, there is a part of me that likes him so much because he fills this gaping VOID that I’ve been nursing for a while, but I’m just hoping that this isn’t the MAJORITY of the reason I like him, because he is an amazing guy. I just don’t want to be attached (especially over a silly reason like that), because being attached means potentially being hurt and of course, that’s never my goal.

leo - sick world

Isolating Myself

It’s been a pretty hectic couple of weeks at work and per my usual stress mode, I’ve started neglecting other aspects of my adult life, like being social.

armadillo

It has dawned on me a lot this year just how introverted I truly am. While I enjoy people and social outings, 90% of the time when I am stressed, tired or focused on a tasks, I prefer to avoid them (social outings). It’s important for me to pull away from everyone and everything to recharge. A lot people truly don’t understand that or understand how difficult it HAS been for me to attend baby showers, weddings, surprise parties, cook-outs, birthday parties, retirement parties, going away parties, reunions, happy hours, family gatherings, etc. over the past few months when all I really feel like doing is crawling up in a ball and sleeping for hours.

I’m tired constantly and rarely have a lot of energy these days outside of going to work, which is bad, because at 30, I should still have a decent amount of energy left. I think part of it is depression/anxiety, which can deplete your energy levels at times, but I really need to see a doctor to rule out any additional health issues too. I keep putting my health, MENTAL and EMOTIONAL health in particular, on the back burner over work obligations. The kicker is, I’m a healthcare professional and work in a hospital that promotes well being for patients AND staff and yet I haven’t been feeling like myself in weeks and I’ve been ignoring it.

On top of pulling some longer hours at work this month, I’ve also been dealing with trying to get a place closer to work and possibly getting another car. Both of which I can’t truly afford to do right now because every time I turn around I’m dropping $500, $600, $1,000 to fix my damn truck, which is money I could be SAVING to put towards moving or money I could put down on a new car. I’m also still making payments on it! I just got it back Friday after it being in the shop for about a week over transmission issues! It’s frustrating, but maybe it’s just not the right time for me to do either one of those things right now. I have about an hour drive to and from work in traffic, so to give my truck a bit of a rest, I’ve been trying to take public transportation a few days a week. This save me gas money and allows me to (sort of) decompress to and from work.

In other news, he’s coming to visit at the end of this upcoming week. He’s coming for “work” or so he says. When I was visiting him last month (which I intentionally didn’t write about 🙂 ), I told him how much he matters to me and how I try to make the most out of our visits because we don’t see each other that often. I think I broke something in him, because ever since I’ve said that, he’s been saying all of these crazy sentimental things like how he really trusts me, how we’re so close and how he’s going to give me a key to his condo. He also told me that he was going to make more of an effort for us to see each other, like maybe we could get together monthly and trade off on who visits who. He’s really one out of a handful of people that I even have the energy to deal with right now. Sometimes just hearing his voice is comforting. The cadence of his voice is very calm. I can unapologetically be myself (even if I AM depressed or anxious), and he’s ok with that because he understands and deals with it himself and doesn’t judge me or ask me to “get over it”. My best friends are really supportive like that as well. Anyway, I’ve really got to stop isolating myself in general.

Perhaps July will be a better month and I’ll have more time to take care of my needs.

fake happy