Anxiety Attack Coming…

Wow, this is a surprise blog post.  A surprise because 10 minutes ago, I was not even thinking about writing but I am now trying to ward off a full blown panic attack so I jumped on the computer to get my thoughts out.  I am writing this through teary eyes and I want to get it all out before I panic too much.

Normal day then my one friend (my new, older friend who means the world to me) Facebook messaged me to ask if I wanted to go to a garden nursery nearby.  I hadn’t gone to this one before and we both love gardening so off we went.  I asked her on the way there what she was looking to buy, she said a new bird bath as hers is splitting.  She wanted a glass one.  She had given me a similar birdbath last month because she never used it.  I did not clue in.

We browsed the store and she bought a new glass birdbath $49.99.  Never clued in.  Got home, my mother was there and she asked about my trip to the nursery with my friend.  Told her she had bought a glass birdbath like ours.  Then my mother said, “you mean like the one your friend gave you recently”?  Then it hit me, I had told her that I thought it was a very generous gift but if she ever needed it, to let me know.  Now, my friend invited me to go there to buy a birdbath and I said nothing. Then, while driving there the birdbath came up again, still nothing.  My friend pays for the birdbath and I carry it to her car and secure it in the back seat.  Nothing.

It took my mother (who has a history of making me feel terrible about myself) to remind me that I have my friend’s birdbath.  This IS cathartic.  I have stopped crying and am wondering if I am making too much of this all?  I keep going back and forth thinking everything is ok, then wham!  I then start thinking that my friend must think I am so insensitive for not offering back HER birdbath for cripes sakes!

The tears are flowing again.  I have another browser tab open on Facebook messenger, awaiting my friend’s response to the apology I sent her for being so insensitive and clueless.  When I was writing that message, I was crying so much by eyes kept blurring up and I had to stop to wipe away the tears.  I started breathing really heavy and fast, oh shit, I was having another anxiety attack.  It had been so long since my last one that I didn’t see it coming on till I was halfway into it.  Did I fuck up this friendship too?  I am such a loser, now she will see that and things will be different.  I haven’t let my mind go that far yet, to where I don’t have that friendship, as it would be devastating to me.

I guess I just wait now till she reads my message which could be awhile.

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Suicide

Suicide

Today is brought to you by the letter “S” and I choose for it to stand for “SUICIDE” as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

Suicide, what an ugly word.  I have always hated this word because it brings up feelings of shame, remorse, guilt and embarrassment.  While struggling with anxiety and depression, I have felt the urge to end my life many times.  The thought of suicide is revolting to me but also intoxicating.  When you are feeling so low that you want the invisible warm comforting cloak of death, wrapped around you.  It’s not that I want to commit suicide, it’s just that in order for me to not be here anymore, that is needed unless I die in an accident.  On a recent plane trip, I thought to myself, I would be “ok” with this plane crashing.  I just didn’t want to commit the dirty deed myself. My previous GP once told me something that has stuck with me over the years, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”  This has deterred me in my quest for eternal sleep, on several occasions. I have been struggling with this post because I am afraid to share too much but I know my audience and what they can and can’t handle.

So on that note, I recently came across a suicide note I wrote several months ago.  It was more of a journal I started (before I started this blog) to chronicle my slow fall into a dark, depressive episode which I saw no way out of.  The journal was meant to be an educational tool to my doctor, family, etc.  I wanted people to know I tried but I was too tired to fight anymore and was going to try and kill myself. suicide

Here is an excerpt: “First off, my apologies to whoever had to find me. I did not write this note as a last action before I go, it was written over days and weeks.  Depression can be a fatal disease and it was in this case but only because I was too weak to fight.  I had decided to take control of the situation.  No longer wanting to suffer the whims of depression, I needed to end it’s life before it took mine.  Things needed to end on my terms.  I have always said to myself that if things get to where I can’t handle it anymore, then I have an out.  I can take final control, and so I did.”

The note goes on for 3 pages and it all seems rather narcissistic in hindsight.  I am no longer in that depressive episode but I know it can return with a vengeance without warning.  I am keeping the note, or rather journal for now.  I have not decided to die so far but the future is a mystery.  I know that my depression is likely to return again and I will feel the urge to hurt or punish myself once again.  I just hope that when that day comes, that I can resist the urge.

Medication

Medication

Today is brought to you by the letter “M” and I choose for it to stand for “Medication” as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

I have been on a TON of different medications over the years for depression and anxiety.  Effexor, Luvox, Buspirone, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Wellbutrin, Cipralex, Abilify, Lorazapam, Clonazepam, Diazepam (there are a lot of PAMS) and the list goes on with more forgotten meds.  Recently I stopped taking Cymbalta and went through a bad withdrawal which you can read about on my blog post entitled, ” Cymbalta Withdrawal.”

My current Zoloft dose seems to be giving me really bad night sweats.  I have to change out of my wet pajamas in the middle of the night when I am woken up by the sound of my teeth chattering.  I am doing a lot of laundry these days!  I also have been getting junk food cravings. I want to change this medication but I just started it and it seems to be working.  The night sweats are just getting too much.  The problem is that once I find an anti depressant that works, after a few years it stops working.  It’s like your brain just gets used to the medication.

I sometimes feel like a walking pharmacy and it almost feels like I am being sanitized on the inside, with all this medication I am taking.  Every morning it is the same routine, drink my tea in bed while checking my emails and Facebook.  Then, I try and choke down a hand full of pills with last night’s stale leftover water.  Not sure why I never use the tea for this other than the fact I might gulp it down to quickly.  I like to enjoy my tea in bed or on the deck in the summer, without tainting it’s taste with that medicinal flavour.

My Pharmacy

My Pharmacy

Anxiety Climbing

Well, it’s the end of the week and time to reflect.  I haven’t been filling out my mood journal like I am supposed to and now I am feeling guilty.  Over the past 2 weeks I have been great, but the last day or so I have been feeling what I would call, “off”.  Not sleeping at night, feeling groggy and sick the next day.  I have that feeling you get when you are about to come down with a cold.  Scratchy throat, achy, tired, headaches and just a general malaise.  I am eating like crazy and it’s all junk food–I really can’t stay away from it.  As I write this, I am eating my 2nd Cadbury Caramilk Egg and absolutely loathe myself.  My psychiatrist says it might be the Zoloft I started 2 months ago as it is known to cause weight gain and cravings.  I’m craving hot sauce (out of nowhere), chocolate, salty foods and carbs.  I am gaining weight like crazy (after having lost over 60 lbs) and next week is going to be a shit show.

To start off, my parents whom I love dearly, are returning from their winter home next week and it’s been a few months since we’ve seen each other.  Sure, we’ve Skyped or Face Timed a lot but there has been that physical distance that has protected me from their well meaning, but dumb questions.  The questions thankfully have stopped, now my parents usually just ask my partner how I am doing.  We were actually just discussing what I want her to say when my parents start with the questions.  They have no clue about depression and anxiety and as a result, sometimes say hurtful things and ask strange questions.

I just finished the 3rd Caramel Egg and moved onto a chocolate bar.  Now I hate myself!  Stupid half priced Easter candy!!  I couldn’t resist the deals and these cravings are really tough.  I have never experienced them before, it’IMG_9776s almost like I am pregnant or something which would surprise the hell out of me AND my partner.  My energy has been low so I haven’t run, whether it’s on the treadmill or outside.  I seem to be full of excuses, maybe that’s why the scale is slowly creeping up again.

Once my parents return, I need to talk to them about my depression and anxiety and maybe about this blog.  So far it had only been my partner who I shared some posts with (only a handful and she doesn’t know the URL) but last night I cut and pasted a blog post and emailed it to my friend in hopes of her understanding what I go through a little more.  She doesn’t know the URL or anything else I’ve posted and I had been waiting to hear back from her anxiously.  We communicate on Facebook Messenger all the time so it was nerve wracking waiting for a reply overnight and into today.  I couldn’t wait any longer as a was regretting sending that email now and my anxiety was climbing.  I messaged her something about thanking her for inspiring me to make my own bird feeder (she has a cool one I copied) and she responded back, “Your Welcome,that’s what friends are for.  Speaking of inspiration, I read Your blog, my mind has been going in many different directions since.  Maybe we can talk about it sometime.”

I immediately started panicking thinking, “What does she want to talk about?”  “What does she mean when she says her mind is going in many different directions?”  I pick apart every line, every word in the message looking into it’s possible real meaning.  I’ve calmed down now, I’ve realized how crazy that negative internal dialogue is making me.  She also said she was my friend but of course I ignored that fact rather conveniently.  I asked why that makes me anxious and then immediately changed the conversation, letting her know I have ducks fornicating in my pool.  On a side note, they land in the pool every Spring and it drives my dog crazy. IMG_9766

My apprehension of my parents return next week is climbing and so is my self hatred and feelings of inadequacy. I am sure my mother will say something about my weight gain, totally unaware that I don’t want her broaching this subject.

I’m sorry for rambling on, just trying to get it all out I guess- it’s all pretty exhausting.  Thanks for listening.

Judgement

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Today is brought to you by the letter “J” and I choose for it to stand for “JUDGEMENT” as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

I used to judge people all the time, mostly subconsciously at first.  I can think back in time, to all the instances where I have passed false or inappropriate judgement onto someone else.  I feel guilty of passing judgement so quickly and readily but I feel it is human nature.  It might not be one of the prettier sides of human nature but it is there none the less.

Dealing with my depression and anxiety, I have learned over the years that the only person I should reserve judgement for is myself.  This is not healthy either but at least I have more compassion for others this way.  I am my own worse critic so I can be brutal on myself at times.  I constantly worry about things like whether or not my friends and neighbours know I am off work on short term disability.  Do they know I have a mental illness (or two)?  What would they think about me as a person if they found out?  They respect and like me, would that change?  774958e5d5b7e2de6fabc1f4cfac1b68

I worry so much about the judgement I would face, that I keep my depression and anxiety a secret from the world.  I figure if I could judge someone unfairly then why wouldn’t someone judge me?  It’s a fair question and I don’t think I am being hard on myself, I just understand human nature and it can be ugly at times.  Mental illness is a topic rife for judgement whether that’s right or wrong.  In fact, it’s so prevalent that it has us mental illness sufferers hiding in the dark, suffering alone many times for fear of driving friends away.

I need to work on my self judgement, that is one of the reasons I started this blog.  By slowly unmasking more and more of who I am through my writing, I hope to improve my self confidence and stop the negative self judgement.

Insomnia

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Today is brought to you by the letter “I” and I choose for it to stand for “INSOMNIA” as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

Everyone now and again loses sleep, it’s a fact of life.  Insomnia is different. Insomnia is a persistent disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep or both, even though you have the opportunity.  My insomnia comes and goes, varying according to my depressive episodes.  Most of the time it’s that giant “hamster wheel” in my head churning all night, that keeps me from slumber.  Sometimes my brain might be quiet but I am just so antsy, writhing around uncomfortably in bed while my partner tries to sleep beside me.  At those times, I’ve learned it’s best to just get up and leave the bedroom for both our sakes.

When my insomnia gets bad, I start noticing subtle hints that I am being effected during the day.  I will get spaced out and feel very lethargic.  I will also start eating more, especially carbs and junk food which amplifies the problem.  I used to take Trazadone at bedtime, now it is Seroquel (quetiapine).  Lately I’ve being doubling my dose in an attempt to tame the “hamster wheel” but after I manage to fall asleep, I awake in a pool of sweat at 2:30 AM, unable to sleep again for hours.

insomnia-canstockphoto6307948-2I know why my insomnia has reared it’s ugly head recently.  It’s because my parents are returning from their Winter home down south and I haven’t seen them in a few months.  It’s always awkward around them because they want to talk about my depression and anxiety, but don’t know how to act or what to say.  They usually just ask my partner how I am doing, in fear of setting me off or something.  They have no clue!  They also ask really dumb questions and I try to be patient but it’s maddening.  Maybe they should read some of my blog posts?  What do you think, should I share a few blog posts with them?

Friendship

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Today is brought to you by the letter “F” and I choose for it to stand for “FRIENDSHIP” as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

I don’t have a lot of friendships and that makes me sad sometimes.  I have acquaintances but not very many true friends.  I suppose this is because I have some character defect that prevents me from ever attracting people.  Sometimes I say inappropriate things during conversations.  I think it is because I never know what to talk about and my mouth opens before my brain edits.

I do have one really close friend who is a new friend but we have quickly bonded over our weirdness it seems.  It is an unlikely match on paper but I suppose that is true of most great friendships.

  • I am a dog person, she is a cat person                      a403e144fb572e1a9219966180402efa
  • I am gay, she is straight
  • Her tastes in decor and clothing are totally opposite mine
  • She’s a vegan, I love meat
  • She is 12 years older than I am

The list goes on and on but we do have things in common and have just bonded.  I guess I shouldn’t over analyze the situation or I might drive her away, like so many before her.  I had tried nurturing friendships in the past but they seem to crash and burn during the honeymoon phase.  I often wonder if me being gay, it might seem like I am coming on too strong for their liking.

As I am writing this post, my friend that I am writing about, Facebook messaged me.  I made cookies last night and will be bringing them over for tea to her place this afternoon.  Nice.  Let’s hope I don’t screw it up somehow.

Creative Blogger Award

I have recently been nominated for a Creative Blogger Award by Depressionless.  I appreciate the recognition, as I have only been blogging for about a month now.  I understand that I need to nominate other bloggers for this award and I am just starting out with this whole blog thing.  Wow, there are a lot of blogs out there!

In the meantime, I am supposed to share 5 facts about myself as part of my Liebster Award so here goes:

  1. Although I have anxiety now, I used to skydive. I stopped years ago and my anxiety is more recent so not sure how that would go now.
  2. Writing this blog over my first month, has benefited me more than years of therapy.
  3. I have slightly webbed toes on one of my feet.  I started swimming very early as a result.
  4. I love to travel and have been to many Countries and Nations.
  5. I used to hate cheese when I was young, now I love it!

I can’t tell if my nominations for this award already have one of these but here they are:

kelzbelzphotography

Lesbian Like Me

Here are the rules for the nominations:
– Nominate blogs and notify all nominees via their social media/blogs
– Thank and post the link of the blog that nominated you (very important)
– Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers
– Pass these rules onto them

Depression

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Today is brought to you by the letter “D” and I choose for it to stand for “DEPRESSION” as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

Wow, this is a big one.  THE one actually, at least for me.  When I am in one of my lows, I don’t get dressed, I don’t eat (or I overeat), I cry most the day and I can’t stop thinking about dying.  I was like this only 2 weeks ago but I “seem” to be in good spirits this week.  Although I will take every good day, I do so tentatively, like I’m walking on eggshells.  Afraid I will go back to that dark space again.

I have a weird confession to make.  When I hear about people who have committed suicide, I think “wow, lucky-they got out.”  Then I get more depressed because I can’t summon up that final bit of courage to kill myself.  Which in turn makes me feel horrible about myself, it’s a vicious cycle.  It’s not that I want to kill myself, it’s just that I’m tired, frustrated and feel hopeless.  All I really want is to be dead, to not exist anymore.  This seems to be the only way for it to stop.  Last time I was on a plane, I thought to myself, “I would be O.K. with this plane going down.”  Of course I wouldn’t really want that because of all the other people who are on this plane too.  If it was as easy as flipping a switch of some sort, I would be gone long, long ago.

overcoming-depression-quotes-and-sayings-6In the throes of another depression about twenty years ago- which was being fueled by alcohol (I was younger and dumber), I almost killed myself but THAT is another story.  People don’t know this side of me because I don’t share it with anyone except my partner and 1 other person and that person knows a “sanitized” version only.  I am always afraid that if people found out, they would shun me or think less of me.  This worries me so much, that they will “see through the facade” and find I’m really a fraud.

Because depression is such a big part of my life, and I haven’t (or won’t) share it with anyone, I don’t have a lot of close friends as a result.  This does bother me although I have turned from a social butterfly to a shy, introverted type who rarely goes out and mingles.  I would like to change that.  While I am feeling good, I need to try and “get out there”.  It is Spring now, the snow is slowly melting away.  The crocuses and daffodils should be up soon.  Going to go to the Sugar Bush tomorrow for Easter so hopefully I will get some good photos to share.  For you non Canadians and Northern U.S. folks, the Sugar Bush is where you go to see the maple sap being collected from the trees and processed into maple syrup.

Blogging from A to Z April 2015 Challenge

I will be participating in this year’s Blogging from A to Z April 2015 Challenge.  You must blog every day in April except Sundays.  Each new post every day will have a subject matter corresponding to the letter in the alphabet for the day.

My overall theme for the month will be on depression and anxiety, in keeping with my blog.  I think it will be a great way to connect with others taking the challenge and get me in a habit of writing every day.  Should be an adventure.