Archive for May, 2010

Oh – and about the “Anxiety”

Yes, I’m on medication. No, I don’t like it. It’s screwing with me – drowsy one moment, super-awake the next. I’m taking it at night now, just seeing how it goes rather than day time.

I see my psychologist. She’s fucking brilliant. I saw her yesterday, and she cemented what was the first day of relative normality I’ve had in 2 weeks. Grounding. I even caught up with a mate of mine yesterday, and another today. Both of whom I really consider good friends.

This whole experience has taught me many things. When you’re in the midst of anxiety, having a panic attack, or gripped with chest tightness and drowning, there’s not a lot anyone can say to make you feel better. You need to listen to your body, and respond accordingly. Don’t push yourself. It’s as simple as the human instinct of fight or flight. I’ve been ‘flying’ for 2 weeks, because I had no ‘fight’ left in me.

Meds aren’t always the answer. I take vitamins, I talk to a psych, I have a loving and supportive partner. I also realised within this who my friends actually are. Facebook is ridiculous, you know. Of course I don’t actually have 194 friends. I don’t even have 20 friends. I have whittled them down to about 6. At most. And most of them I haven’t known for longer than 2 years. These are the people that I go to for advice, who I talk to on a fairly regular basis, who listen to me, who I listen to, who I have fun with and have a laugh with. Some of them know my past, some don’t, either way they don’t hold anything against it or make fun of it or anything.

Work? Well, we’ll see how I go. I spoke to Suzanne today, and it’ll be interesting to see what everyone is like tomorrow. Suzanne won’t be there, which relieves me actually, less stress to think about pleasing everyone. There’ll be questions asked, but I”ll probably be ok. Suzanne asked whether I got put on meds – fuck off, i’m not telling you – so instead said I’m not. Saying mind your own business gives it away anyway. Others probably wouldn’t think to ask. In fact, they’re probably more thinking ‘worksafe’ (the admin worker is STILL on stress leave).

Update to come shortly.

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Dream or nightmare?

At the start of my ‘anxiety’ episode, I had some incredibly vivid and surreal dreams – nightmares? – I can’t even describe what they are now because I can’t remember much about them other than one persistent theme: my ex, or my dad.

The dreams with my ex represented us being back together. One thing I can vividly remember is me turning to him while we were doing something, and accidentally calling him by my current partner’s name – and quickly realising my ‘mistake’ and correcting myself. Him and I were together in dreams for about 2 or 3 nights in a row.

The dreams with my dad involved him berrating me and putting me down. Calling me useless. Saying I was a sack of shit. Good for nothing. This is the sort of extreme version of the truth**. The second week I had off, I finally told my mum what was happening with me. The next day, dad sent me the sweetest email. The first, and only email I’ve ever received that was a pick-me-up, supportive, loving, and understanding token from my father.

There are so many ways I can interpret this. Let’s count the ways:
– current partner is very supportive, other wasn’t.
– ex had mental health issues
– dad’s thoughts echoing my own of failure
– needing my father earlier in life
– scared of telling dad what is happening
– scared of either ex or dad telling me I’ve chosen the wrong career

I love interpreting dreams. Wonder what others can get from this?

** If something was broken, it was blamed on me. If I broke something, it was expected. If I gave up on anything, instead of being encouraged, I was put down. He was very impatient with me. Rather than ‘toughening’ me up, it’s made me ultra-sensitive to criticism, and constantly paranoid about fucking up or underperforming or whatever else. Dad’s and mine relationship has drastically changed since I moved out of home roughly 6 years ago. This coincides also with the completion of 2 degrees, travelling, displaying my independence, and my parents sorting their own relationship out. We get along better than we have in a long time.

NQR

Still not quite right. I tried going to the zoo today and got as far as the car park and left. I started to feel naseous and panicky when I realised the first 4 carparks were full. The back entrance park was fast filling up. I didn’t even get out of my car once i’d parked it. I noticed you have to pay for parking, that and the fact that there was a shitload of children and fat tourists, convinced me today was not the day for looking at baby tigers and baby elephants.

I went to the doc today so she could check how I was going with my new meds. I told her the side effects are throwing me around a bit, otherwise, I’m still anxious. No real change, except I’m starting to deal with strangers better. People I do know, on the other hand, are a totally different story. I am seeing my psychologist tomorrow afternoon.

I plan on returning to work on Monday, after 2 weeks off. My mum, and my doc, are all arguing to have more time off. I can’t justify it any longer. I still feel like rat shit, and I have NO IDEA how Monday will look like, I am dreading 1 million different aspects of it, but life needs to go on, doesn’t it?

For those that read for my social work-related posts, apologies for the major diversion. I plan on resuming transmission just as soon as my sanity is somewhat restored.

Trying to relax

In an effort to clear my head, I walked to the end of my street to find somewhere to read a book.
Here is where I am right now:

A day is the difference.

I’m feeling a bit better. I’ve started new meds and they’re giving me a bit of a headfuck at first, but I’ve calmed down a lot after I take them and they kick in. I’m hoping it’s not placebo, but even if it was, if it’s benefitting me, I don’t see the bad side.

Unfortunately, as I have been on anti-depressants and other weird psych drugs in the past, the side effects when you initially start are disgusting. I don’t usually read consumer information pamphlets because I start imagining pretty much every side effect they list. But my third day into the course, I checked up on whether I was actually getting affected.

Point one: Headaches. I already get really bad tension headaches from stress, and I can distinguish these ones – they’re definitely migraines.

Point two: Nausea. I had the most upset stomach yesterday after having eaten, well, not much at all. TMI – I was feeling those horrible searing needle-like pains in the gut, buckling over, spending a good part of an hour on the toilet, contemplating whether to spew or shit. And I was getting feverish and dizzy (I’ve had this sort of nausea before, it’s crippling and you truly think you’re gonna pass out).

Point three: fatigue/lethargy. After going shopping today (being coaxed out of the house slowly by my partner), I came home and pretty much wanted to fall asleep. I lay down and surfed the web for all of 5 minutes before the drowsiness REALLY set in. My eyes – well – they just shut. I planned to get up again an hour later, but two hours later I heard my neighbour come home and jolted up in darkness.

I’m on the way to feeling better, but it’s not coming easy. Work are being reasonably understanding, though you know there’s only so much I can do – i’m in sick leave deficit. I do feel I should go back.

There’s also a question being circulated around the medical crew I’ve been consulting in all of this, and my partner: Is social work right for me? I’m scared to say I’m not sure anymore.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder

I’ve not been at work for more than a week now. I’m finding it hard to talk to/face people without anxiety literally gripping me and me wanting to either run away or cry or hit something. The doc is putting me on meds. Again. I’m not happy about this, but if it will make this sucky feeling go away, I’m willing to try anything.

Advertising. Again.

Jesus. It’s really disheartening to think that the most popular thread of the month so far is the one about Magnum. For the record, still haven’t tasted this gold flavour.
I didn’t realise that somehow I’d ended up doing something I really dislike doing: spruiking.

Having said that, I’ll probably go right ahead and spruik some more things.

Below is an ad for a pretentiously posh hotel in Melbourne, which for some reason makes me really want to stay there.

Oh that’s right, I know now. It’s the psych rock band in the background. Tame Impala, from Western Australia. Oh yeah, I saw them play at Golden Plains! Here’s their song Half Full Glass of Wine that I absolutely adore and had me raising a gumboot:

That is all for now. Just so you know, I am taking time off work because my anxiety levels are through the roof, my chest is tight and I’m on Valium now.