Anxiety and Irritability

Well, this feels strange.  It has been awhile since I last posted and things have been a mixed bag of anxiety and happiness.  Today in particular has been rough.  I have been crying on and off most the day.  It started with me waking up again on soaking wet sheets.  Seems the night sweats are still around and they are every night.  I am blaming the medications for now for this embarrassing situation.

My insurance through work, has approved sessions with a psychotherapist which I go see every week for an hour or so.  She is really nice but she is fresh out of schooling and has an annoying habit of constantly asking, “Does that make sense?”.  To make matters worse, she scrunches up her nose and cocks her head to the side like my dog does when I ask her if she wants to go for a walk.  I am agitated so that is why I am being harsh.  At least I realize that my anxiety and depression is causing my short fuse and lack of patience. Every little thing makes me irritable. I was so embarrassed and disappointed in myself today when I couldn’t leave the grocery store because there was an older gentleman standing in the doorway, blocking it.  Usually this would not bother me in the least but I sighed loudly and told him not to stand in the way, as I hurried past him.  He probably did not hear me but I felt horrible I acted this way.  I also find myself with a touch of road rage now and again.  It is becoming more frequent as of late and this concerns me.

My partner has been away visiting a friend for the past week and it has been tough to say the least.  She is my rock, my support system, my everything and I have missed her.  We have mostly been using Facetime and Facebook messenger to communicate.  As a matter of fact, she was the one who said I should write a blog post and I usually listen to her as she knows what helps me in tough times.  I promise to keep posting about my psychotherapy sessions.

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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.

My Depression and Anxiety Are Liars

Well I’ve been in an agitated state for the past few days.  A bit sad, a bit angry (at what I don’t know).  I am still crying for no apparent reason.  Woke up very early this morning, saw my partner off to work and then started feeling guilty.  I feel guilty that she had to go to work on such a nice day and she isn’t feeling very well.

I have been spending a lot more time with my (newish) friend who lives around the corner.  I am having mixed feelings when I think about her.  I think I am spending too much time with her and am becoming dependent on seeing her for my happiness.  It’s not a sexual thing, I just feel really good when I am around her.  She is 12 years older and lives alone.  We have been hanging out together since the early winter and are very different “on paper.”  In real life though it’s totally different.  We both enjoy telling our crazy stories to one another and I am starting to rely on her for my happiness–something I swore I wouldn’t do again.

I have had only a few close friends over the years, as I always manage to push them away from me.  More accurately, they usually run screaming from me after about a year.  So far so good with my new friend.  I hope I don’t screw things up.  I have purposely avoided going over to see her for the past few days as I feel I am starting to bother her with all my stop-ins.   She of course says this is nonsense but of course I don’t believe that.  It’s the depression and anxiety lying to me again, telling me I am no good and nobody in their right mind would want to spend time with me.

For the sake of my well being, I messaged her on Facebook this morning asking her if she was working outside today (so I can stop by to see her without feeling too intrusive).  She responded yes and she would like to see me.  Of course, my mind thinks she has somehow made a mistake so I messaged back for her to let me know when a good time is later today.  I want to talk to her about all this but am afraid I might scare her off or something.

For the record, my partner is totally cool with me spending so much time with this friend.  There is no jealousy or concern.  My partner feels bad that I am left alone a lot at night while she works so having someone I can spend time with is a blessing for her as well.  She understands that I need someone other than her to talk to and I love her so much for that.

Photography

Photography

Today is brought to you by the letter “P” and I choose for it to stand for “PHOTOGRAPHY” 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 always been an amateur photographer who owned a cheap Canon Rebel DSLR, happily snapping away during vacations.  I would seldom venture out of the automatic settings because it was all too complicated.  I rarely used my camera unless it was a special occasion.  I recently upgraded to a Canon 70D (what a difference) and now I look for excuses all the time to take it out.  I have rekindled my love with photography and it has been helping me with my depression and anxiety.

Recently I also began submitting photographs to stock photography sites like iStock, Shutterstock and Fotolia.  This was after so many people have complimented me on my photos over the years. Usually there would be tons of great comments on my Facebook posts after I would post my travel photos.  This got me to thinking, maybe I can sell my photos to somebody.  Would someone PAY me for my photos?

I had heard of Stock Photography before but wasn’t really sure what exactly it was?  Turns out, these Stock Photography websites will allow you to upload your best pictures to their sites and other people can purchase use of them.  Who are buying these photos?  Many many people, across a wide array of demographics.  You could have an advertising agency purchase your photo for usage in an ad campaign, or you could have someone who runs a small website that needs a picture of something for their site.

Sounds easy?  Well it isn’t so easy it turns out.  You have to do some research into each website you want to send photos to.  They all have different requirements and some sites even make you take a test after some required reading.  After all that you would think that anyone with some photographic talent could succeed at this.  Wrong!  I will humblebrag and say I think I can take really decent photos BUT, I got rejected many times at all the major sites.

It wasn’t until I learned how to shoot what they are looking for, rather than just going through my photos for the prettiest ones to submit.  So, there is a learning curve and the more research you do the better BEFORE you start submitting those photos.

I also learned that all those gorgeous photos you see out there in ads and magazines, were not shot “AS IS”.  You really do need a program like Adobe Photoshop or I prefer, Adobe Lightroom.  After I downloaded Lightroom, I wondered how I ever got along without it.  Not only can you adjust all your tones, colours, exposure etc.., BUT, it is also a keywording genius.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5

It took 2 months but I recently sold my first photograph on one of these stock photography sites.  It was for a very small amount but it was very exciting and boosted my confidence knowing I was on the right path.

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.

Friendship

IMG_9426

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.

Anxiety 101

My new, but dear friend just messaged me on Facebook saying she is back from the hospital after having her cervix, ovaries and uterus out.  I have been looking after her 2 cats, going over there feeding them twice a day, hoping I won’t disappoint my friend.  I hope I feed them just right.  I hope I don’t do something wrong while over there, etc…

She said she was home in the Facebook message and couldn’t find one of her cats.  OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD!

Whew! 10 minutes just passed, the cat appeared.  Oh shit, was getting very anxious.  I so don’t want to screw this up, I want to be there for my friend in her time of need.  She is a bit older than myself and doesn’t have a lot of friends.  She lives alone so it will be tough for her for the next few weeks.  She can’t do any stairs or drive so I will need to help her there as well.

I hope I don’t have a real mental breakdown in that time.  I need to keep it together for a few weeks which might be hard.  I do feel better than 10 days ago when I was in the throes of my Cymbalta withdrawal after switching to Zoloft.  I was convinced at the time there was no way I could look after someone else, let alone myself.  That has subsided.  I re-added Clonazapam to my diet.  Actually, my GP gave me a prescription for a few of them while my whole Cymbalta thing was happening and my psychiatrist was away.  Takes the edge right off but I get sleepy and don’t want to do anything which is fine I guess.  I can’t have one today, I need to go over and look after my friend tonight before she goes to bed and stuff.

medicatedSo today I am putting on a brave face and putting my big girl pants on because I am needed.

Anxiety Prevents Me From Meeting New People and Networking

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Joined a Facebook group for my neighbourhood (sorry spell check, you are incorrect, I’m Canadian!  This is an interesting, close-knit group that seem to have lots of opinions.  I like to get the latest info on new stores opening in our village and things like that but am a bit leery about the whole thing.  There is a Grand Opening of a restaurant down the street that many from this Facebook community are planning to attend. I want to go BUT I make excuses like :

  • Oh, my partner works till 830pm, might be too late to go.
  • I haven’t showered today (its Saturday, I’m depressed and I didn’t go anywhere today so don’t judge!)
  • I might get too anxious and say something stupid or worse, they could ask about my work .  Do I tell them I am off on disability?  Don’t think so.
  • I can’t drink to calm my nerves.  I am staying away from alcohol, as it is a depressant.

So, as I was writing this, I walked away twice to go “freshen up”, thinking I still have an hour before my partner gets home, then we could go.  I want to go but I keep coming up with reasons why I shouldn’t go.  I’m anxious, plain and simple.  My anxiety is winning.