12/22/12

I feel like I’m crawling out of my fucking skin!! I’ve been having anxiety every single day for probably a week now. I know a lot get stressed around the holidays; I don’t really have anything to be stressed about. I’ve cut back on gifts & am trying to get my family to just give funny cards ~ it’s lots of fun to sit around, open your funny card & share them; everyone is cracking up laughing & having a great time. It takes away all the pressure of buying gifts, alas, my kids are still getting gifts, I got my kids gifts…but still, that’s not adding any pressure.

Things at home are good, very good. I’ve taken an anxiety pill & am still chewing at the skin on my fingers, my ears are ringing, I can’t concentrate- if I were depressed I’d say it’s agitated depression, but I don’t think I’m depressed. Late at night I’m reading and then, out of nowhere I start worrying. Meditating is out of the question. (although the other night I did sing to Trixi when she was snoring really loud & it calmed her down)Knowing that “some” day someone close to me is going to die. And trust me, I get that it’s part of life & all that, I just can’t imagine anything happening to my mom, or Dick, or either of my kids…even Trixi. The feeling is so overwhelming  at night that I just lay there, crying. I want to go hide somewhere, some place where I don’t even have to consider the realities of life. It’s not something I knowingly I plan on thinking about – it just happens. It makes me want to crawl into a ball, sit in a secluded corner and stay there forever. As unrealistic as that sounds, it’s my wish, at least until this awful sense of dread leaves.

Where this dread came from & why it’s here, why the anxiety keeps returning ~ I don’t know. I take naps when I get too anxious, my only energy is nervous energy. While I try not to show my feelings, I know I’m someone I wouldn’t want to hang around-if I were reading this blog. Still, I’ve got to get this out to hopefully feel better. Change something. Figure something out. Accept the impermanence in life, that I know…I get, but why am I having such a problem with this? Even if I figure this out, I don’t know for sure it’s the root of my anxiety & these horrible feelings that seem to have control of my life.

I could say I’m looking at my glass as 1/2 empty, which would be true. I’m not accepting life on life’s terms- kind of true-I’m fighting it. Pray. Higher Power. Hot baths. Hot tea. I’m not counting my blessings-possibly-things could be much worse. However, ALL of that put on the table, it doesn’t “fix” my problem- this fucking anxiety & sense of dread. Went to bed crying, woke up in a panic. Why?

2 thoughts on “12/22/12

  1. Babs, Thank you SO much for taking the time & patience to explain your thoughts to me. Yours words are so encouraging (and you are excellent at conveying your sentiments).
    I am feeling much better today – it helps a lot cuz I do have friends I can share with & offer support, and many that also have mental illnesses- so they empathize, many are dealing with same issues…some dealing w/same issues even though they don’t have mental illness.
    I can’t thank you enough for your kind words, they’re always insightful & uplifting. I cherish you as a friend & ALWAYS look forward to any input you have to offer.
    Love, Jane

  2. Jane I don’t have your eloquence for words so hope what I say makes some sense…..better yet that is has a positive impact. I so admire you for your courage to speak out regarding what you have termed as “mental illness” in the context of your last couple of blogs. I so hate that our society has chosen to put this label on certain disorders and in the process rather than identifying a condition, this label only serves to cause embarrassment and shame way too often.

    Here is my theory and I have believed this my entire life. The creation of a human being is comprised of billions of cells – these cells encompass the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. God is the only perfect being so in His case 100% of his cells are functioning as he designed them to function. The rest of us, although we are made in His likeness probably have thousands of cells that misfire, implode, go berserk or however one wants to classify it. And it makes sense to have these messed up or missing cells because without that we would be perfect and that level is exclusively owned by our Maker.

    So each and every one of us who walk this earth has their cells misfire and I believe that we misfire in all categories – physical, mental, and spiritual. Because some aspects are easier to understand or explain, they become “okay” because they are safe. For those that we have no clue, they become “threatening” and so are labeled negatively and because of the fear, they are far too often shoved into the closet.

    Think about it. When you have a physical ailment, your doctor doesn’t tell you that you have a physical illness; he/she says you have cancer, diabetes, arthritis, etc. Yet when we are diagnosed with a mental illness, most often all we hear is you have a mental illness rather than you are bipolar, schizophrenic, depressed, etc. When we have a spiritual illness, we are not told that we are lost; we understand that we are doubting, skeptical, non-compliant etc. When the specific nature of our faulty cells is well understood, we as a society talk about it….we have measures in place to try to improve or fix the condition and there is no shame. A diabetic can take some comfort in not feeling alone because doctors as well as society in general are reasonably tuned into diabetes so one is not ashamed to admit to this normal (not perfect like God) condition. Not too many years ago and in some cases I am sure it still applies, a diagnosis of AIDS would make one fearful and ashamed. In fact, people would most likely shun you including family members, friends, and the medical community.

    When it comes to mental illness people are afraid of dementia but react to that ailment a lot more supportively than they might react to a bi-polar or depressive disorder. So people diagnosed with these disorders often feel ashamed and our society often makes bizarre and incorrect assumptions as to the significance or meaning of the disorder. When a person’s spiritual side is flawed, we just chalk it off to they are non believers or sinners but because we think that faith is a function of free will and choice, we don’t seem to care and so no threat is attached to that.

    I read the Mom’s blog about her 13 year old and my heart breaks for him and his family. What kind of world do we live in that a Mom has to be afraid of her son, that his siblings have to run and hide in a locked car, that the system tells the Mom that until her son commits a crime he can’t be helped? Here is a boy that is very bright and gifted in electronics. His mental capacity in that area is well tuned so we applaud him. But because he can’t manage his emotions, we become afraid and shun him. How the heck does that make any sense?

    When a diabetic has a low blood sugar spell, we don’t say OMG this person is a failure and must be locked away. No we give them juice, adjust their medications, adjust their diet, we keep trying until we get them stable. So why is it that when a person suffers from depression, anxiety, autism, or any other mental ailment that we don’t apply the same approach…..provide solutions to try to make the situation better, to get at and treat the symptoms? And by treat, I don’t mean shove a bunch of pills to drug the person out; I mean medicine that actually corrects the condition. Instead, in ignorance we push pills in the hopes that the afflicted person will just go away and not bother us.

    Jane be kind to yourself. If you didn’t suffer from anxiety right now, I would be worried about you because it would mean you weren’t alive. This time of year is stressful on everybody. Then add to that, it represents an anniversary of loved ones lost which is a painful memory. You haven’t met with your doctor in two months, so that also has to raise your anxiety level. I have severe arthritis, if I went two months without treatment and support I would be crawled into a fetal position in a corner trying to rock away the pain and climbing out of my skin.

    This past week the tragedy of Newtown I think has all of us off kilter. And the pundits who are just as shell shocked as the rest of us, decide they have to find a reason. They could pick that the killer had a physical ailment that caused them to shoot up an elementary school, they could choose to believe the killer was lost to God and did it just for sport. No, they zoom in and decide the killer did it because they had a mental illness. So throughout the country I would think that many people are feeling sick and thinking at some level even if unaware of it, do I too have a mental illness and if I do, could that be me. Frankly, I don’t think we will ever have answers to what happened in Newtown and we probably have to learn to live with that. Better we celebrate the lives lost by remembering them and hopefully never have to live through something similar to this again.

    I am sorry you are feeling so anxious and I wish there were more options for you. I have a ton of arthritic pain but at least I have options. I may not like them and they may not work all the time but if the pain is bad enough I can pop a couple of pills, get steroid injections and although I may be a zombie, I can get relief. I am not aware of any “treatment” for what to do if I feel like I am crawling out of my skin, if I feel like the walls are crashing in. Most notably I can tell just about anyone that I have severe pain and I can pretty much assume that I will be met with a sympathetic ear and people will understand and want to see me get better. I can also imagine what would happen if I told people I was depressed and/or feeling suicidal. I don’t think many would recognize that as an illness just as legitimate as pain. Rather I think I would be told to pull myself together and get over it. I think many people would wonder why I was so weak that I would succumb to not being 100% mentally fit. For some dumb ass reason, our society is okay in understanding that we don’t choose physical ailments; we can’t turn our physical diseases off and on at will. Yet, we seem to think that anyone suffering from a mental illness is doing it to himself or herself that somehow they aren’t being strong enough to just shrug off that negative feeling and buck up.

    So I guess in my long ass poorly expressed way I want to say hang in there my friend. I am sorry that you are feeling such anxiety just as I know that you are sorry I have such intense joint pain. And just like you don’t think I can snap my fingers and will it all away, I also know that you can’t snap your fingers and will your anxiety away. My prayer for you is that you be kind to yourself and understand that you didn’t choose the set of diseases (physical, mental and spiritual) that afflict you and you are not to blame. And more importantly, you are normal; you are made in God’s image and as a consequence are flawed while on this earth. I pray you can take a deep breath and find some inner peace to accept that it is okay to be sick as this is part of our process of living.

    And just like I try to find distractions to get my focus off my pain, I pray you find distractions that get your focus off your anxiety. And I am sad that because our society doesn’t understand the three parts of our makeup, that not enough knowledge and attention is paid to your mental condition as are paid to my physical condition. Just remember you are beautiful and your conditions are part of God’s design, believe in yourself as I believe in you. Continue to fight for your healing and take some peace in knowing that you are normal, just as normal as I am although I am not sure if that is good or bad, lol.

    I leave you with my final thought. I am always thankful for the many gifts of yourself you share when you open up about your pain. You have said that you find it hard to relate to people sometimes and feel like you don’t fit in. I believe that this is not a failure on your part; rather it is a failure on the part of others. Each of us have gifts to share and I know you have shared your gifts with me many times. So when you interact with others and feel like an outsider, I say shame on the others for failing to recognize your beauty in the gifts that you have to offer, shame on them for not being open to accepting you for who and what you are, shame on them for not understanding that the greatest beauty in nature is usually found in God’s unique creations. The loss is theirs because they don’t know what a gift they are missing.

    Continue to bless me with your gifts my friend for it means the world to me.

    (If this is hogging up too much blog space, feel free to delete it. And I tried real hard to not offer advice, hope I succeeded {{{♥hugs♥}}}.

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