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anxiety :(

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ProbableIceCream posted 5/19/2014 14:00 PM

On some days, like today, I wake up and I have a bunch of anxiety. It really sucks, mostly because it makes it very hard to think straight. I feel like no matter what I do I always come back to this place of being sad, scared, tired, and unable to think.

I also struggle with being tired a lot in general. I'm trying to fix this by (once again) fixing my sleep schedule and having a rock solid bedtime. It worked well last time I did it, but I abandoned it and most of my other disciplined habits when I felt unsettled by the prospect of needing to change my job.

It wouldn't be so bad if I could just ride it out, but today it just seems to be stopping me cold. I barely handled an initial recruiter call (which doesn't really matter, it's just yet another recruiter, but it makes me wonder how being like this would screw with an interview.. it's sort of like being sick.)

So... here's what I think I can actually do about this, in priority order--

1. Fix sleep / maintain sleep discipline
2. Adequate exercise (I tend to skip when I'm really tired, so hopefully #1 + more pressure on #2 will help)
3. Continue doing cognitive behavioral exercises and meditation to help mood long term
4. Continue doing EMDR as long as I have targets left

I hate that I have no direct control over this. It's frustrating. I can't predict it or control it except indirectly. I mean, some days I do great. Some days are like today. It makes me feel like I'm defective. And I'm grateful that I can identify things that make it better, but I also feel imprisoned by feeling like when I don't do these things (e.g., I don't maintain a strict sleep schedule), I collapse and lose a lot of function. I'm sure a lot of this is the anxiety talking, but I'm just so tired of not being able to count on my brain to behave when I need it to. I'm kind of near tears right now.

I guess posting about this is a change. Normally I wouldn't be able to verbalize so much of this.

nutmegkitty posted 5/19/2014 14:23 PM

I'm sorry. I struggle daily with horrible anxiety and fatigue too, so I feel your pain.

I have to take daily meds and get nearly 9 hours sleep every night to keep on top of it during the week, and I take a long nap one weekend day.

Hang in there....

ProbableIceCream posted 5/19/2014 14:28 PM

I'm so sorry to hear that, nutmeg. :( Do you have any hope that it will improve? How long has it been like that for you?

ProbableIceCream posted 5/19/2014 14:35 PM

I feel calmer. I think on the whole this is mostly an expected side effect of change / facing my fears, and I think it is, or can, get better with time (like, overall, I was doing great on Friday! I was doing some challenging mental work and it made me feel good about myself).. I just get so scared when I'm not 'myself' that I'm going to mess up something important.

My anxiety doesn't usually get as bad as it did this morning. Usually it's low, or my main problem is tiredness/numbness.

Anyway, I struggle to understand this stuff because without understanding it just seems random and overwhelming because when I'm in the middle of it I don't feel a lot of hope, just negative stuff.

nutmegkitty posted 5/19/2014 14:39 PM

Well, I have struggled with anxiety probably most of my life, and while I was with the ex I mostly white knuckled it through. I don't recommend that method.

After dday I was dx with PTSD and put on anti anxiery meds and anti depressants - all of which contribute to the fatigue. It's hard to say where the fatigue from the meds ends and the fatigue from being a single, full time employee and mom and all that juggling begins, kwim? So I just push through as best I can and rest as much as I can. I drink too much coffee too, lol.

some day I hope not to need all these meds to get by...but I'm not holding out hope for that day to arrive soon. I was untreated for sooooo long that now that I have things under control, well, I don't want to go backwards.

ProbableIceCream posted 5/19/2014 14:43 PM

nutmeg, thanks for sharing. it makes me feel better. couldn't say why exactly.

I have been doing some therapy for PTSD/trauma (EMDR), and I'm on antidepressants as well. And anti-anxiety meds, but they don't _do_ anything because I have full tolerance.. they were for a couple panic attacks I had 11 or so years ago, and I'm very very slowly coming off them. Antidepressant is staying where it is for the foreseeable future.

IrishLass518 posted 5/19/2014 15:19 PM

PIC, I suffered from PTSD and anxiety for a long time after the A and false R. I was very nearly agoraphobic. I couldn't answer the phone or make a call if I didn't know who it was or who I was calling. It took awhile to get past all of that. I still get a bit worked up over certain situations. I believe you have a good plan. You will be okay

ProbableIceCream posted 5/19/2014 15:23 PM

irish, thanks. That really helps to hear that.

I am amazed at how well EMDR has been working.. I've had so many frankly horrible traumas in my past, and I've changed a huge amount doing all these targets.

I'm trying to condition myself to respond to anxiety (and to a lesser extent low mood) by going and exercising. I think I'm going to be really serious about it this time. This is probably key. It's just so easy to find excuses not to do it. And lately I've not been doing it as much as I've wanted to. But anyway, starting today I'm going to start doing journal entries around exercise and record how I feel before/after, and any thoughts I have along the way.

ProbableIceCream posted 5/19/2014 16:16 PM

I did 25 minutes of cardio and journaled it out. I also set a beeminder goal to do 4/wk of minimum 25 minutes exercise (cardio, or weight training with my friend counts) to minimize this in the future. Beeminder has historically been VERY effective at getting me to do stuff. I'll also continue the journaling and try to make exercise a conditioned response to stress/anxiety. Not sure exactly how that will work, but I'm trying this approach first.

ProbableIceCream posted 5/19/2014 21:14 PM

So I still have some anxiety but it's a lot better... wow, it's amazing how close that stuff gets. No matter how things are really going, it feels like a horrible thing is about to happen, and it's hard to remember not feeling anxious (similar to depressed mood). I have no way of knowing what triggered it, but I think I handled it well.. things are going to be okay.

I hope.

norabird posted 5/19/2014 21:17 PM

Good for you for naming the problem, Coming here, and having a constructive exercise plan to cope!!!! Just keep truckin

ProbableIceCream posted 5/20/2014 11:51 AM

Still anxious today. This is really not like me. Anyway, I did cardio in the morning before I went to work, which helped dial it down. Sigh.

Two more of my coworkers have found internal positions, and today with my gloomy mood it is making me feel sad. I feel like I struggle with so much that I see other people do easily.

ProbableIceCream posted 5/20/2014 11:51 AM

also I'm talking to a recruiter for a place that looks interesting this morning, so I'm trying to pull it together.

[This message edited by ProbableIceCream at 11:51 AM, May 20th (Tuesday)]

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