While my bipolar disorder has been nicely stable over the past (pretty) long while, I can’t say the same for my anxiety. I have anxiety about everything. I have things put into place that can (and do) sometimes alleviate that anxiety, but I am often caught in the throes and can’t find my own way out.
Last week, I went to therapy and I was nauseatingly anxious and I wasn’t quite sure why. Okay, I mostly know why. On the drive to therapy, I have about 45 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time. If I am in the mood, I’ll turn on the radio; however, I usually tire of it quickly and end up slamming my thumb into the power button, rendering my car as silent as any car can be.
When I drive up to therapy in my silence-filled car, many, many thoughts run through my mind. I replay conversations that I don’t think went well, I generally have some angst related to thinking someone I care about is mad at me or irritated with me. Sometimes, if I am too still, trauma memories creep in and they get stuck on repeat. I often have to yell out, “STOP!” to make them hide away again.
That’s not to say there aren’t pleasant times where I feel pumped up for therapy, ready to report a bunch of good news and progress, and drive up with my radio blasting or my silent car is awash with positive thoughts. It does happen, but it doesn’t happen often. On these times, I will generally be wishing that DSB was there with me to joke and kid along the way up. He is always good for that, but it is rare for him to go with me to therapy anymore.
With last week’s therapy session, I was so intensely anxious that I almost couldn’t get started. I almost didn’t go. I didn’t know what to say, yet I had these tremendously painful thoughts and feelings that I knew I needed to get out. All of these thoughts and feelings were anxiety-centered. I probably should have taken a PRN before I went up, but I didn’t and instead plopped myself onto my therapist’s couch with one big sigh and (probably) a look of defeat on my face.
After talking about a few key things, and a few seemingly unimportant things, I relaxed. I actually ended the therapy session early because I felt I had run out of important things to say. I felt as if a great weight had been lifted off my shoulders and now one week later, I’m not sure what we talked about. I do know that it was helpful, because I feel I have been less anxious over the last week, not counting today.
I have lately been having the fear that I will wake in bed to find DSB has died in his sleep, quietly, and without me. Often, here lately, I have taken to waking up in the middle of the night and putting my hand on his side to check if he is still breathing, to check that he is still there.
Our two year anniversary is today and I still, two years later, can’t stave off the notion that he is going to get tired of my craziness and leave. We have been through some terrible times together, and although there have been moments where I wondered if we would last, we just go well together. We have our ups and downs like every relationship, but at this point I would have thought I had stopped worrying he will leave.
He has told me time and time again that he won’t leave, and yet I still can see it happening, in my mind’s eye. What if I say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, act the wrong way? Won’t he judge me and leave me all alone? Well, according to DSB, the answer to that is not only “no,” but “HELL NO!” I wish I could keep that in my brain, and carry it forward with me everyday like a little seashell in my pocket. I haven’t come to that point yet.
It’s not just DSB that I worry will leave. I am constantly worried that my mom, Big Dawg, my dad, my sister will write me off. I know I can be needy, I know I am always craving attention. I know this must drive people batty and I can see how people would get upset or angry or want to have nothing to do with me. And I do hold back these insecurities fairly well from everyone but Mom and DSB. They know and they reassure me, time and time again, “No, I’m not angry with you,” “Rose, it’s going to be fine” and so on and so on.
One day I hope to have the ability to comfort myself. To tell myself that everything is going to be okay, instead of always worrying about some fallout. Sometimes I lean into people too hard, and I understand that. Sometimes I beg for more than they can give, and I understand that, too. I suppose I will likely always be on that edge of insecurity, as several years of therapy and a solid medication regimen do not seem to have eased it.