It’s almost like a game.
Some days I win, some days I loose but most days it’s a draw.
Today though, anxiety wins.
It’s been ebbing and flowing like a tide. It rises and falls at it’s own whim. Most days I’m able to hold it in check, keep it at bay enough for me to appear like a normal functioning person. You’d be hard pressed to notice what’s up with me. Other days it’s there, as clear as my beard
Right now I’m finding myself in retreat from the day, heading home with an early finish at work to try and pull myself together, put together a new plan on attack to tackle this again.
So, let’s see if there’s triggers for the latest bout. I’m I stressed more than usual? About the same as everyone else at this time of the year (don’t you just love the pointless stress that your brain can add to you at Christmas?). Am I having sleepless nights? All good there, in fact I’m getting a good night’s sleep but still feel pretty tired (which I’m putting down to the anxiety and it’s constant burn of energy). I’m eating okay. We’ve had some bad news on the personal front last weekend but this feeling has been hanging around for longer than just the past few days.
I’ve been aware of the anxiety encroaching on my mood for a couple of weeks. Some days it gets its claws in me and won’t let go, other days it reaches out for me and I manage to slip away from it. Today though it’s got me down and pummelled away at me.
On the bus journey in to work today I could feel it rising. By the time I’d walked through the doors I was in full fight mode with it. Trying to clear my head, I had a bit of a struggle to remember my log in, the anxiety just creating a mess of my thoughts. I went to the toilet to try and pull myself together but only succeeded in starting to cry.
I stayed at work for a few hours, managing to book an early finish at lunch time. I’d already booked Wednesday and Thursday off for a gig I was supposed to be going to. The way I feel right now though, going looks distinctly impossible.
The gig is Frank Turner in Newcastle. I’ve used his lyrics a few times with the blog and his song ‘Get Better’ is one of my go to songs when I need to motivate myself. For the past few days I’ve been listening to his albums as a way to try and pick myself up and stop this dizzying affect of anxiety.
How do I move on from this? Right now I’m looking up, wondering how. I know I have to and I know I will. I’m hoping this is just a dip, a slight break in transmission. I need to switch off, reset myself and reconnect. Sometimes I wish I could just reboot myself, power down then back up again. It would be so much easier than having to try and deal with what goes through my head.
But, it’s not an option. There’s no magical restart button I can push. I just have to try and deal with what I have. I’m not in denial, far from it. In fact, if anything, I could be accused if being too honest about my anxiety. Perhaps that’s part of the problem?
Wednesday sees my anxiety still present. I wake up and it’s already sitting in my chest. I decide to stay in bed a while to try and relax some more, watching a film on Netflix. My jaw aches a little from me clenching it through the night. Tiredness is still dogging me an hour or so later, I’m distracted and not really focusing on the TV.
It’s the day of the Frank Turner gig in Newcastle. The more the day goes on the more I decide I can’t really face it. The idea of a large crowd then trying to get back home afterwards makes me feel really uncomfortable and nervous. I decide to give it a miss. Chalk up another win for anxiety.
I feel bad about myself, like I’ve let myself down, which (honestly) I have. It’s a gig I was looking forward to as I really like the guy’s music. I’ve wasted nearly thirty quid by not going, the money could have been well spent on other things, especially at this time of the year. This just serves to add some good old depression into the mix. Yay.
Thursday has me rattling around the house again. My concentration is jumping around. One minute I’m reading, the next I’m jotting down song ideas, a moment later I’m watching TV then playing on the XBox. I could do with trying to calm my brain down. I joke with a friend that I could do with more hours in the day. Give me another three or four hours and it would be perfect. Well, it would be prefect if I could motivate myself to do all the things I want to do.
At the moment, I’m trying to decide how to move forward. Do I look at possibly increasing my meds or do I look at a second round of counseling? I feel reluctant to up the meds, not a hundred percent sure why. I think it’s more using the venlafaxine as a chemical crutch as I go through things. I’m siding more at looking at more counseling. This year has brought a lot of changes for me. Looking after the support group and writing these blogs help me focus and deal with things better than before, but I could probably do some assistance. I’m not saying that these things are having a negative effect on me, I don’t think they are. I think it’s just time to now look at a few other things to try and get a bit more support before I start crashing (I’m already noticing a need to start socially withdrawing from things and my mood is starting to get a little snappy, which I know are signs for me).
I know I need to tackle things now, before they get worse again.
I know there’ll be people who read this and start worrying. Please don’t. I’m recognising that I need to do some mental health housekeeping to get on with things. I’m not floundering too much (although I’ll admit some days are a hell of a lot tougher than others) and on those days I am getting the support I need from others. At the minute, I’m recognising that I need to do something to help me get out of my current mindset, which I fully intend to do.