Paradox

I’m wondering if I’m caught in a paradox…  As the depression medications start working better it seems that my anxiety is also going up…  And it could be that when my mood was so low that it was masking the anxiety…. 

I went through something similar with my brain injury…  The second year it felt as if I was going backwards when in reality I was starting to discover what my deficits from my injury actually were…

Unfortunately brain injury only compounds depression and figuring out the correct medication combination…

Compared to a bit ago my mood is generally better….  But episodes of anxiety are more frequent…  

So some good news and some bad frustrating news…

What Anxiety (can) Feel Like

I suffer from anxiety…  And I’m trying to figure out my triggers…  For me one is my high personal expectations…  The rest are still a mystery… 

I can be sitting watching TV when I suddenly start feeling overwhelmed…  For me it’s in my head and chest…  Then it takes off…  At times it feels like my chest and gut are in a vice grip….  Incredible pressure… Literally equal to the hardest contractions during child birth… 

At times there are thoughts other times not. 

Sometimes I can feel every heart beat throughout my entire body…  My chest, gut, throat,  fingers,  arms,  legs,  head and even ears…  My heart isn’t racing…  I just feel it… 

When it’s finally over I’m exhausted both physically and mentally…  And I’m usually nauseous or have indigestion… 

It’s a party my body has that wasn’t wanted… 

When it’s that high I need to take either Ativan or another PRN to calm my system down as I feel like I’m going through a meat grinder…  

Ginger ale is my favourite drink now (diet of course)… 

Sometimes I just go to a quiet place and try to sleep…  Sometimes I INTENTLY listen to music…  Classical…  I try to figure out what each individual instrument is playing…  I personally love the Album Symphony of Praise which combines favourite classical songs with favourite Church songs…  My soul is soothed and my brain is occupied…  A double win… 

Other times I can walk while listening to upbeat praise songs…   Treadmill is handy as I can close my eyes while focusing on the music without fear of walking into something… 

I pray,  I distract and I wait for normalicy to return… 

The Moat

Only one time in 19 years of marriage has my husband witness me cry…  The thing is,  I don’t cry…  I put tears away a long time ago or I would have been crying all the time… 

And that is a fear now….  That if I start I won’t ever stop…  Which I know sounds ridiculous…  But that’s the fear… 

Today while alone I did cry…  From deep deep inside where years of bottling up my tears have created a virtual moat around my untouchable pain and sadness….

I’m back at the short stay treatment facility to stabilize…  To adjust my meds…  And I was told to try to reduce my use of Ativan…  So I tried and pushed too hard… And ended up in a blubbering mess… 

Do I feel better? I feel less edgy…  The Ativan is working… And I still have a moat inside… 

This is going to be a long journey… 

Paul told us to run the race…  Right now I’d say I’m more likely just trudging along…

I haven’t quit the race…  And likely there will be more tears needed to drain the moat…

Out of the Blue

I’m finding that the brain is still such a mystery… ok – not a big surprise really – but still… just when I thought I was starting to understand and maybe gain a bit of control… WHAM!! Suicidal thoughts come out of the blue….

I was driving with friends and the car slid a bit when it hit a bit of road ice and instead of the expected “glup” feeling – I went to gee – how nice would it be if we were to crash and I were to die and end up in heaven free of the pain I have inside…

It wasn’t the first time I had suicidal or dark thoughts that day either… earlier I started to sink and gritted my teeth and hung on for a while until the Ativan worked… it wasn’t surprising that I might sink some after 2 day of meetings… but it still amazes me that it will come so quickly seemingly out of the blue…

Changing Gears

The private therapy session I had today was excellent…  She explained that the mind has three states,  or as I like to think,  gears… 

The first gear is survival…  Your brain senses a threat, perceived or real and quickly decides to either freeze,  fight or fly to avoid the danger. 

The second gear is excitement,  that euphoria you get from an accomplishment or such. 

The third is joy.  These are things we do for pleasure…  For me this would be art work,  photography,  music and so forth. 

My problem has been that for the vast majority of my life I have been stuck in survival mode…  And simply put,  I’ve overworked it and it is now worn out.  Which is why I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and having anxiety attacks.  Basically my brain is shutting down and I can’t cope. 

It is, of course,  a lot more complex than that,  but hopefully you get the jist of it… 

So now I understand why a time of respite is necessary. Even though when I was trying to go back to work and did accomplish a fair amount,  my body was working in survival mode still.

I need to learn to better balance my usage of my gears so that I do make a successful re-entry to work in time. 

There are other things I also need to work on…  But this task is think I will accomplish in time…