My Anxiety Belongs to me. You Can’t Have It.

September 13, 2010

I want to write, discuss, talk or whatever it is I’m doing right now, about anxiety disorder and panic attacks. Since I feel one coming on I figured I’d write about it while I am experiencing it. Why not right?

Anxiety disorders and panic attacks are defined many ways in different medical dictionaries, doctors, psychiatrists and the people who are inflicted. Personally, I never understood the attack until I actually had one years ago as a result of a reaction to an anti-depressant. Then I didn’t have one for years until the stress of my last job combined with being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. I discovered that high anxiety goes hand in hand with the time worsening bi-polar disorder if untreated. I treat both on a daily basis with medications. Nothing too heavy. I’ve been down that route too and it was zombie land for this guy. Me.  So, I can only describe what anxiety and panic attacks are for me.

Remember that nervousness you would get as a teenager when you wanted to kiss a girl or boy in your heart and stomach? It’s like that multiplied by 30 and even 100 depending on the attack. My heart rate goes way up and my stomach has those nervous butterflies then the feeling goes through my entire body while my thoughts race uncontrollably. Usually negative thoughts. Sometimes the thoughts go so fast I can’t think at all. It’s as if too many thoughts create an empty mind or something. Sometimes I sweat and feel like I’m going to pass out but usually it’s the nervousness inside and out that I suffer from.

My anxiety makes me feel immobile and trapped unable to move. It’s crippling at times. Some would say I have agoraphobia because when I am feeling the anxiety and I am supposed to be somewhere I find myself unable to go. Sometimes unable to move at all except to get up and go to the bathroom or move from one room to another.

Luckily I don’t suffer from this everyday. When I was working my last job I had them 3 or 4 times a week at work and once in a while before bed. Now it’s down to once or twice a week. Recently, I’ve been getting them on Friday and Monday nights. I have no idea why. Sometimes the anxiety is triggered by things I don’t want to deal with and things I put in the back of my mind. If something upsets me I get them too. Lately it happens for no reason on the surface and I am afraid to dig for the root cause because it may trigger another one.

For almost 19 years I’ve been going to AA. Yes. I’m an alcoholic too. I’ve been a member of the same meeting group on Monday night ever since. It’s baffling to me as to why I am getting panic attacks on Mondays lately. The closer it gets to the meeting time the more it builds up. Last week It started around 6:30 PM and lasted until 10 PM. I took extra medication and it still wouldn’t go away. I used to be comfortable there withal of my friends that I’ve known for over 15 years and some 18 almost 19.

The new crowd might have something to do with it. Lately it has become a big meeting with 40- 50 people attending and I am used to it having 20 or so. Yes. I’m also claustrophobic as well. This has become worse over the years especially when the anxiety attacks started. It might be the ex-girlfriend that attends that I am mad at. It could be the young lady that rejected me when I asked her out. It could be the loss of friendship I feel with some of my long-term friends there. Oh boy. I’m thinking too mush. Remember I said I felt an attack coming on. Its been getting worse while I am writing.

I love when people tell me to “just man up and get over it.” The same wit drinking. “Just use your will power.” “Your not bipolar you just have ups and downs like the rest of us.”

It’s like any other disease or disorder. If you don’t have it you won’t understand it. I’m just writing about it hoping it will cathartic. It isn’t. At least I had something to write about and you have something to read. I’m going to go hide in a corner now.


I Can’t Run Away From My Mind

August 15, 2010

The past 2 days have been a living hell. This week has been pretty bad but I’m not feeling so great. Earlier in the week it was the weather that was killing me. That and the pressure of either finding a job or figuring out the hoops to jump through at the Unemployment office to get money for an education for my new desired “career”. I put career in brackets because it’s not what I want to do. It’s my “settle for”  “career”. I want to be a professional writer. I am technically but I mean make a decent living on my writing. My next choice is Drug and Alcohol counseling because it seems like the most rewarding and something that I have enthusiasm and confidence to do well. You know, a feeling of contributing to society. But this pressure and anxiety is getting bad and makes it difficult to go outside. I’m not kidding.

I moved in with my adopted parents in March of 2009 to help take care of my sick father who died in June 2009. We’ve been through and I guess my mother and I are still going through mourning. His Birthday was a couple of days ago. Also my mother and I make great living companions. We didn’t see much of each other because she was going out and I was working and going to AA meetings all of the time. When we did get together and eat or go out and hang out we enjoy each other’s company. Back in April of this year we decided to up my rent at the end of the summer and I that I would stay here for at least another year. She is eventually selling the house and moving into a senior type housing project. We were happy about the decision etc. Then came the unemployment.

I was fired from my Job of almost 6 years for bullshit reasons on May 26th of this year. It’s along story and I already wrote about that. I jumped right into unemployment and I had money away believe it or not and moved onto my creative endeavors with full force. At the time I believed that unemployment would provide free health care. It doesn’t. I had planned on enjoying the time off and getting writing done and creating and promoting. I was going to casually look for a part time under the table job to supplement the little amount of unemployment money. The halthcare situation put a damper on things and my mother has been on me about getting a job or going to school. I feel like a little kid again. The passive-aggressive behaviors have returned. “Yes, mother. You are right. Etc”,

I was really enjoying my summer besides the heat. I finished editing my long awaited novel. I self published another 2 books while I am waiting for my friend to do the final cover design of my novel. I’ve been writing almost daily and making short videos for YouTube. I’ve been forcing myself to go out and socialize because I’ve become extremely anti-social in real life. It still exhausts me even though I enjoy it. I gave no thought to a job or career until a few weeks ago.

I was at an AA meeting and I saw someone that worked at a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center. The thought hit me that I would like to do that. I asked her what I need to do to get into her field. She said that the place she worked would hire me and are looking for people. The train you and help you get your proper credentials. The only problem is that you have to be 2 years sober and I am a few months short. She gave me a number and name to call and told me to try anyway.

I called the next day and the woman told me to call back in October. So, at first I put it in my mind that I would get that job in October and I wanted to ride it out on my savings and my unemployment checks. My mother disagreed. She wants me actively doing something. After 2 months of writing and getting my books together she feels it’s time to get a move on. She’s a great mom that asks very little of me around the house so when she wants me to do something I feel obligated to do it. The pressure is on me and I keep repressing it.

I went through the motions slowly by going to different orientations at the Unemployment office. It’s been helpful and confusing. Their web site is tough for me to navigate properly for some reason. I found out that certification is costly and so is the education needed. To top it off  the job site of unemployment has a “in demand” career section and your choice has to be in demand. Drug and Alcohol counseling is not. I’m wondering if I should just forget about it until October or just get a job and say fuck it for now. Maybe get a job until October. It’s definitely causing friction in the house now.

My mom  has one daily rule. My car has to be out of the driveway by 1-{30 am unless otherwise noted. On Friday she needed me out by 9:30 am and I didn’t get up on time and she was going away for a week. She left in a bad mood and it set me off in a bad mood. There’s nothing like the feeling of disappointing your mom. Well, my mom. The panic attacks and isolation has hit what feels like an all time high ever since she left. I thought I would feel free once she left but I feel the opposite. Ever since I was adopted at age 11 I have had my adopted mother’s voice in my head reminding me of the right thing even stupid shit like putting down the toilet seat. You can probably imagine the things I hear her saying now.

There was one point where she thought that I wanted to be mentally ill and collect social security and disability. She has no time for dealing with the mentally ill. Physically ill she can handle it and has pity and understanding but not mental illness or addictions. Maybe she’s right. Maybe not.

The problem is that you can’t see my Bipolar disorder or my anxiety. It just looks like I’m lazy or super motivated. I’m not lazy. I’m ill. I have to remind myself of that because I have no defense. The medication isn’t perfect. Even God can only do so much. I have to deal with it and live in my skin as best as I can moment to moment. One day at a time.

I feel a little better but I’m still anxious.


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