Anxiety Reigns

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.

 

 

 

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14 thoughts on “Anxiety Reigns

  1. In an extremely selfish way, it’s comforting to know there are people out there that I can relate to in an anxiety level and quiet time is *always* the worst for me.
    I always worry that if I care too much then someone if not everyone, will leave; because they *always* have. It’s gotten to the point where I find myself repeatedly voicing these worries in relationships and a part of me feels like in some sense I’m willing it to happen. I wish I could say something to reassure you but you and I both know it’s not always so easy 😦 but they’ve stuck around this long right?! So remember that!

    L x

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  2. First, happy anniversary to y’all.

    Second (OK, first and second), hugs to you. I know exactly where you are coming from. I wish I had the easy answer since I go through it too…but that is why I don’t.

    You are at least aware of it, and even knew when you had gotten what you needed out of therapy. It just takes time…which you would think we would have already had enough of to get over and feel better but we are wired differently.

    More hugs to you. You know where to find me if you need anything.

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    • Thanks, Sheena! We had a pretty low-key anniversary but are going to actually celebrate next Wednesday (when we both have money!). LOL

      Yes, I am aware of it, and I know it is silly and ridiculous, but I really do worry that my people are going to leave me. I just do. I appreciate your understanding on that one!

      Hugs!

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  3. I’m having a moment, so forgive me if I should know the answer to this, but has your therapist ever suggested DBT? I have a dual Dx of Bipolar and Borderline and the DBT has saved my bacon from both of them on way more than one occasion.

    Congrats on the anniversary and big hugs to both of you. 🙂

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    • I have actually been doing DBT in some form for almost 10 years. Maybe I need a refresher. Sometimes I am better at using skills than others. I get really unreasonable fears around people leaving, and I’ve never quite gotten over that, even with DBT. Something to bring up with my therapist, for sure.

      Hugs to you, too! 😀

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  4. No, Hell No. ‘twould also be my answer to that persistent query. There’s no real wonder you would sometimes question abandonment by DSB… heck, that’s only two years. As compared to the anxiety-ridden moments when Rosa believes her madre or BDawg would abandon after thirty-two years. Ahem.

    Keep wishing or angst-ing upon a star. Yer stuck with us. 😛 xoxo

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  5. Sorry to hear your dealing pretty bad with the anxiety, I myself have been a victim of it this year. I hope this eases for you soon. Those insecurities can and will ease off eventually, but you have to look inwards inside your heart and give it a big tight squeeze. Loving yourself and accepting who you are is the most important step you can take. The rest will follow. Be kind to you xxx

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  6. One thing I have learned is that there will never come a day when you will wake and suddenly and miraculously all that therapy and or medication will finally kick and you’ll feel great and will be well forever. The trick in this is even when you feel like crap you have a choice in how you respond to it.

    You can either acknowledge, understand that it will be one of those days and then work around it going through the motions of the day – living your life and doing what needs to be done despite how you feel. Take what steps you need to do to reduce the pressure but still go about your life.

    Or you can analyze it consider it from every angle, sit in a room or a chair or wherever and ponder the hows and whys and feel bad, and then feel bad about feeling bad and do nothing but berate yourself for being you.

    I’ve met people who have anxiety and won’t take any medication unless its a full blown attack. I asked once why they didn’t take something when the anxiety first stirs (it’s what I do) and they say the feel bad because they should be strong enough to talk themselves out of it, which of course only makes them feel worse. I did point out that it made as much sense as waiting for a chest infection to turn into pneumonia before taking antibiotics.

    Do what you need to do to be able to live your life as best you can and feeling bad about feeling bad is as useful as a bikini in the arctic. We are who we are and we can choose to live to our limits even though it is hard and scary or we can be safe but never happy.

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    • Rosa, what Jenni sez. This is absolute TRUTH and a part of you knows it well. Were it me, I’d take this gift of words, print it out, and keep it close at hand. Read, rinse and repeat as necessary.

      Kudos, Jenni, for putting into words in such an eloquent manner. Nail hit straight on the head…Boom!

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      • Thanks – it takes time to really understand that your problems can either define you or you can create a life defined by you. Lots of stops and lessons along the way but if you keep going it becomes natural after a while. Jenni

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