As my more loyal readers will know, I have a wee problem with anxiety. Typically, this means that my hands always shake a little, but its just something I've learned to live with. My anxiety problem can be affected two ways- biologically or emotionally. If I have too little sleep and too many stimulants, then it gets worse. Not only do I have much more visible tremor but I'm operating with manic-style energy that makes my brain circle and circle around at top speeds with little comprehension. Here is the mathematical formula for this:
too little sleep
+ (a lot of coffee x cigarettes to wake up)
+ (a coke x cigarettes in the afternoon to stay awake)
This kind of crazy isn't so bad, because its really more like nervous energy than anxiety. Like, your just about to meet someone for the first time and you get all nervous for a couple of seconds. That's me, all day.
Anxiety is not the kind of energy described above. Anxiety is energy with an impending sense of doom. Anxiety is apprehension, anticipation, fear, uneasiness, irrationality, and a bunch of other synonyms for "really sucks".
For some reason, this week especially, I have had increasing amounts of anxiety. Actually, earlier this week, I had a tightness in my chest, which really frightened me. Last time around, when my anxiety was super horrible (re: mental breakdown 2002-2003), tightness in the chest was a big ole sign for a coming panic attack.
Here's me, three years ago, at the University's Health Services:
Me: I think I am having a heart attack or something. I have this pain in my chest and my arm and my dad had heart surgery and there is cancer in my family too maybe its cancer and I know its ridiculous for someone my age to have a heart attack but it hurts and I can't breathe and I might throw up soon or somethin--
Dr (interrupting): Its a panic attack. Here's a Xanax.
Panic attacks are the worst. And panic attacks spawn more panic attacks, because-- I don't know if you get this from the words "panic" and "attack"-- one is so bad, you panic about the possibility of having more attacks and get so worked up trying not to have them, that you live in a constant state of ever increasing anxiety which eventually triggers another panic attack.
I have spent thousands of dollars on therapy and drugs to improve myself. My therapist liked to say that after all of it, I now have "the tools" to deal with my special problems. I know what this anxiety is about. Another bonus effect of therapy, I have a much harder time hiding my true feelings from myself. However, I still do a great job of not ever addressing them and therefore here I am, bottled emotions x time= anxiety.
Part of my "tool kit" is to know when to take it easy. Like this morning, when trying to find something to wear led me to a very stressful, increasingly rapid heartbeat and short-of-breath place. So I am not at work today, taking it easy. I tried to go back to sleep but of course, my mind is racing too much to relax. I watched the second half of the Buffy Prom episode on TNT, the one where the class gives her the Class Protector award and Angel shows up and they slow dance to that "Wild Horses" cover, which is like the saddest song ever. I OnDemand-ed some anime and then walked out of the room, not even bothering to watch it. I smoked, noted subsequent increased heart rate, vowed to not smoke anymore today, and then had another cigarette. Its 11:30, I have been up for three hours and I have about thirteen to go until I might fall asleep again.
Um, so, that's why I blogged about this. So. There goes another half hour. Great.
Um, I revised and I even spell checked. So I'm really going now. Ok.