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.
They say (and by they, I mean UberFacts) that if you write down your worries before a test, statistically, you perform better.
My first midterm of my last undergraduate year is tonight. Since it is in 38 minutes (but who’s counting?), I thought I would take a few minutes (and take a few deep breaths) to write some down.
In no particular order,
1. I worry my grades won’t be good enough for grad school.
2. I worry this test will set the tone for the rest of the semester.
3. I worry about my friends and their demons. I will write about this later.
4. I worry about being confronted in tonight’s night class about things I would rather not think about tonight.
5. I worry I won’t be able to go home as often as I would like to.
6. I worry about the health and well-being of both my parents. I wish I was home to take care of them. I wish being home to take care of them wouldn’t be an anxiety trigger.
7. I worry about my anxiety. It has been getting better just as fast as it has been getting worse.
8. I worry I will succomb to the darkness.
9. I worry that I will forget something on the test and it will completely “cascade” my mood.
^ note, cascade is in quotations as I have to know that a developmental cascade means that improvement in one area, such as processing speed, creates a waterfall effect that also improves working memory and fluid intelligence.
With that positive note, here are some positive facts about this test:
1. I know what developmental cascade is.
2. I made colourful cue cards for key terms and key concepts.
3. I made my own practice questions and am able to answer them all.
4. My breathing has slowed down.
5. I have half an hour until the test starts.
6. There are only 50 questions. I know I just have to take my time and read each question, but also get it finished in 60 minutes.
7. I can get 10 questions wrong and still get 80%.
8. I know that I tried my best so that’s all I can do. The rest is out of my control.
I will probably write a post like this for every test. It helps, surprisingly. I am already starting to feel better.