Day one, April 1st. Happy April Fools Day ya’ll. Today there will be no joking, as today is brought to you by the letter “A” and I choose for it to stand for “Anxiety” as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.
I have struggled with Anxiety for years, with it only becoming much worse over the past year or so. I am unable to work and have been on short term (STD) disability for over 10 months now. A few months back, I tried to return to work twice but didn’t make it back on either occasion. The first time, I cried all the way driving into work and sat in the work parking lot having panic attack after panic attack for an hour before I gave up (on work and almost on my life that day). That’s another blog post and letter of the alphabet though. The second time, I made it out the shower and half dressed before the waves of panic started rushing over me. That was as far as I got. The panic is from me worrying about “keeping it together” at work which is impossible as my coping skills are currently shot.
So what does anxiety feel like? If you are reading these words, you probably already know the answer to this question. Or maybe you know someone who has anxiety and just want to learn a bit more about what they are going through. I think it is different for everyone but for me, this is what it is like: I first start feeling the anxiety flow in almost like a warm river, flowing to all parts of my body. My arms feel heavy, my body starts perspiring, my legs feel like rubber, I feel like I am about to faint, I feel so nauseous I want to throw up, I start breathing heavier and heavier until I feel overwhelmed and I start to cry. I’m not sure why I am crying and that’s the problem. I can’t control it, it just floods in.
Imagine being at work when this happens? I can’t even get out my damn car and walk into that building because I am so afraid I am going to start crying at work and losing my shit. I once read that panic attacks only last 10 minutes, this is B.S. Mine have lasted all day, ebbing and flowing. I feel like a piece of seaweed being brought in and out by the tide with absolutely no control. The worse part for me is I usually sweat right through my clothes when I get a full blown panic attack and that time I sat in my car for an hour, I was soaked right through my nice work clothes-I couldn’t go in.
I have Clonazapam and Seroquel I use when I get a crisis which is usually once a week right now. It’s the uncertainty with the whole insurance/work situation that is preventing me from truly working on myself.
As an aside, found this cartoon on ANXIETY this morning that sums things up nicely and was quite timely.