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?

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Anxiety

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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. IMG_9404

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: imagesI 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.

Depression Can Be Fatal

Tried so hard last night to get to sleep before my crying jags started up again.  I had taken a Seroquel and was waiting anxiously for it to kick in.  My partner, lying behind me was rubbing my back which made me start to cry again.  It’s so frustrating and embarrassing.  I hate for her to see me this way.  Not just because I feel so ashamed and guilty for acting and feeling this way, but because I hate having her worried about me.

I have been off work for almost a year now.  Money is tight, trips cancelled, grand plans put on hold and its all my fault.  The guilt is becoming so unbearable and I am crying again as I write these words.  I have had depression on and off my whole life but lately it is anxiety that I’ve been treated for.  Now, my depression has come back full force and my psychiatrist does nothing but stare at me while I cry for my weekly 20 minute appointment, then ask if I need any refills.  It’s a real wonder why I’m still here

Decided during my feeling of hopelessness this morning, to call my regular doctor to find out how I can fire my psychiatrist and get a new one as mine is a fucking idiot!  Sorry for that.  Usually I would have to wait months for an appointment but as luck would have it, she was on urgent care tonight (she works in a clinic with other doctors) and there was an appointment available tonight.  I booked it!  I need to gather my thoughts and figure out what I need to bring up with her without dissolving into a puddle of tears, rambling on and on about my issues.

  1. Get a referral to a new psychiatrist.
  2. Discuss my Cymbalta withdrawal problems.
  3. Let her know I am afraid I am deteriorating and my thoughts of suicide.

Took a break from writing this post to go outside and pick up dog poop as it is zero degrees Celsius and sunny (nice for March in Ontario, Canada).  I promised my partner I would go outside today. Things were going well till I couldn’t chisel the poop out of the snow as it has melted down into it.  I usually do this every 2 days or so but in my Cymbalta withdrawal this week, I have left it.  Again, my fault and I began crying.  Tears were rolling down my face as a was getting more and more frustrated at the encapsulated poop just beyond my reach.  I did the only sensible thing and gave up.  What if my neighbour sees me crying, picking up poop.  It’s not the poop, its me!

This is why I need to do something and go see my doctor tonight.  I realized that depression can be fatal.