It starts with darkness.
You never really understand the dark cloud analogy unless you live it. Feel it. Breathe it. Become it.
Well hello blog, it’s been a while.
Have you ever had a moment where you are laying on your bed, staring at the ceiling, and suddenly it feels as if the walls are caving in on you? You feel a tightness in your chest and your breathing becomes difficult. In other words, they are my precursors to a full blown panic attack (which I have not had in nearly a year).
When I visited my doctor last Wednesday, he was proud of the progress I have made. He says I am cognitively aware of what is making me anxious lately and that is important.
Us anxiety-ridden folk are wired differently than the average human. Here are a few things I have had on my mind:
- I hate myself.
- Well, I’m proud of the person I am, but I hate the way I look.
- Maybe I’ll never find someone who will understand me like I will need them to.
- Grownup dating sucks.
- I hate dating.
- Maybe I’ll give up dating for a while.
- Maybe I’ll be alone forever.
- I need to exercise
- I don’t have time to exercise
- Does running away from my feelings count as exercise?
- Or running away from my thoughts?
- Why can’t I sleep at night
- I need sleep.
- Work is exhausting
- I love my job though
- But I need to go back to school
- School is going to cost money
- I don’t have money
- My car has problems
- I have to pay for bills and insurance
- And my credit card bill makes me want to cry.
- Maybe I’ll be broke forever between bills, school, and student loans.
- Maybe I’ll volunteer to take my mind off school
- Volunteering is taking up all of my spare time
- What is spare time?
- I don’t have enough time to spend with my mom
- What if something happens to my mom just months after my dad passed away?
- I’m not ready to face that.
- I miss my dad and wish he was here for me to talk to
- Especially about things like my check engine light
- Or just here to give me a hug when I feel like my world is breaking down.
- I can’t breathe.
- I have so many things to do and I am behind in all of them
- And it’s the summer. Aren’t I supposed to enjoy my summer?
- I still can’t breathe.
- Okay, maybe I’ll smoke a cigarello to make me feel better.
- My doctor says that’s avoidance so it probably won’t help with anything
- I shouldn’t start smoking.
- I’m crying.
- I feel alone.
- I don’t know what to do with my life
- Or with myself
- Maybe laying on the floor will help
- My heart is racing
- Breathe in… breathe out.
- I have emails to check.
- I should make a to-do list.
- And check my agenda.
- I forgot to breathe.
- Breathe in…breathe out.
And this is only to name a few. Writing out my thoughts often help and I hate that I have stopped to take the time to do so either here or in my journal. Life isn’t easy. Growing up isn’t easy. And I am in one of the biggest transitional periods of my life. It is okay to stop and take a day or a moment just for me. It’s okay to say no to certain situations. It’s okay to feel anxious. This feeling won’t last forever.
The funny thing about depression is that it consumes you.
I lied. It’s really not that funny.
I haven’t had a panic attack in months. I can’t remember the last time I had one. Maybe it’s not something I like to keep track of, so how would I remember?
All I know is I feel like I’m having a small one now. And it’s scary and it’s frightening. It consumes me.
I have tried everything: my breathing techniques, closing my eyes, counting to ten, looking at my peripheries in the mirror, talking to a friend, changing the subject, you name it.
I’m shaking and my heartbeat echoes in my head. My first tear just broke and I’m stumbling to catch my breath again. I’m writing this in hopes that it helps: that it forces me to focus on typing rather than break down into a million pieces.
School is the trigger this time around. It’s that time of year where I have a midterm, an essay, and two assignments due this week. I need to do well on this upcoming midterm because I did poorly on the last one. I need to do well on my essay because I am doing so well otherwise in the course. I need my marks to be good so I can go to grad school in the future. I don’t know what my future holds and the uncertainty is consuming me from the inside out.
All I want to do is cry. A good cry would help me right now. Instead, I feel numb. I feel emotionless. My vision is spotty and I want to just fall asleep. Just for a few minutes. But I can’t. When I rest my head, the panic sets in again. I have too much to do. I need to get some work done before my meeting tonight. I feel like I have chosen to allocate my time in the wrong ways. Last night I went out to the bar. I justified it by saying I wouldn’t realistically get much work done after 11pm anyways, so I might as well go out with friends. When I say it out loud, the reasoning seems sound. When I sit here right now, my body shakes at the thought of wasting my time.
I feel so weak. I have come such a long way since my battle with PD started. Am I just losing all over again? Maybe the battle was not even won in the first place.
Today’s blog title is inspired by “Going Away to College” – Blink-182
Just a moment of weakness – if you’d call it that. When the thought crosses your mind, it won’t escape you.
You’re paralyzed by the thought. You sit there, frozen in time in space, or so it seems. You don’t want to say the words, but they’re resting there on the tip of your tongue, “he’s gone.”
It’s not that you don’t think about it (because really, when aren’t you thinking about it), but rather you’re thinking about it more. Suddenly.
I can hear him saying, “why do you bother coming home if you’re just going to sit here and do homework?”
My goodness, that used to bother me. I used to resent him for even asking that. I mean, I came all the way home to be in the same room as him. Why was that not enough? Now I’d do anything to hear him say those words because the anger I felt would not be nearly as great as the emptiness I feel in my heart right now.
My thesis professor asked me today how I was doing in terms of losing my father.
You know, today has been the long time in a long time that someone has asked me that. Not that I want to be asked this all the time (because I really don’t), but it made me feel as though it was still valid to be going through the grieving process three months later. I told my professor I used to call my dad every day. He said that must be a difficult adjustment. I nodded. I didn’t have him to call when I got off the plane from NYC. I didn’t get to tell him about my trip. Or tell him I won a bursary. Or tell him that I’m stressed about school.
I miss how he would buy me wonton soup when I was sick or make my mom get it for me. I talk to him as if he’s still around, sometimes. I miss his snarky comments. His stupid jokes. And his big hugs.
So before I either go back to studying or to sleep, I’m gonna lay here on the couch, just for a moment, with one of his favourite blankets and just breathe. Showing weakness (if you’d even call it that) is not a bad thing, for it is from weakness one can build remarkable strength.
Today, I wrote my last midterm of my third year of my undergraduate career.
Wait. Let me read that again: third year.
It feels like just yesterday I was moving into residence and falling out of love with chemistry as most seem to do within the first month of Life Sci.
Anyways… that’s besides the point. If I just wrote my last
midterm? term test of third year and end of the year papers are due next week, it can only mean one thing: life is about to amplify in insanity in 3………..2……………………………….1.
Exam season is a trigger.
Side Note: A trigger is an object or situation that can cause your anxiety symptoms to appear.
Tests and papers and journal articles and data and numbers and —
I. Need. To. Breathe.
The pressure of having everything done in what feels like a short period of time frightens me. They say some people work better under pressure, and although I may think that’s true sometimes… not this time.
Not exam season. Symptoms I have not felt in a long time have come back… Yesterday, I thought I was having a heart attack as I clutched my chest at the tightening feeling. It made studying difficult. I feel so distracted by these feelings but I try to make them feel minuscule and not let them overrule my studying.
Today, while last minute cramming for my test, my vision started going blurry. This was one of the first serious symptoms that made me seek clinical help in the first place. I had to close my eyes because I felt so nauseated. And the tiredness is increasing. Each day, regardless of how much sleep I get, I feel tired, exhausted, completely worn out. With exams around the corner, I cannot afford to waste precious time studying to focus my attention on my anxiety symptoms. I refuse to let it control me.
If anyone out there also has anxiety that peaks at this time of year, you are not alone. To those who may not have an anxiety disorder, please be considerate to your fellow students. When you say, “I’m feeling stressed” and I say, “Yeah, me too” and I reply, “No, like..l I’m really stressed. You don’t understand,” I will have the urge to punch you in the face. Those with anxiety have amplified emotions and reactions to various things, even to those that the average joe would not be overly emotional about. Be considerate and empathetic. Here’s a great link going viral on facebook about understanding anxiety: http://themetapicture.com/heres-an-easy-way-to-understand-anxiety/
There’s my little daily rant. Stay strong, it’s almost summer (school-wise, not weather-wise)!
Today’s blog title is inspired by “Demons” – Imagine Dragons.