Saturday, June 11, 2011

its only okay sometimes

i feel like the morning after doing ecstacy.

don't worry. its been...13 years or so since I knew what that felt like. I've not lost my mind. I'm actually working on not losing it.

I'm changing the dosage of my medication for anxiety and it makes me feel like, well, like a crack monkey, is the best way to describe it. like coming down off a high. like my muscles are twitching and i'm kind of vibrating but my stomach is upset and i'm kind of tired but can't sleep and my eyes burn like i have a fever and i can't concentrate on much at all.

All because I'm taking up my Lexapro 5mg.

I've mentioned it casually here before, but I suffer from anxiety disorder, panic disorder specifically. when I read up on my diagnosis, I'm embarassed that I'm such a textbook case, hardly original at all. Its a real thing, promise. I know mental illness has a stigma, I am keenly aware of that even as I type this. And mine's a real son of a bitch - limiting, physical, and scary.

friends, if i've ever freaked out on you in the middle of an evening out, thrown money on the table and left, said i'm going outside to get some air only to text you an hour later to tell you i'm not coming back..that was a panic attack. i'm sorry.

I had a major episode almost 2 years ago. It took a long time, but my life is mostly back to normal. Except..

If I have to travel, I will freak out.
If I get stuck somewhere (metro, indoors, outdoors, anywhere i cannot leave if i want to), I will freak out.
I will go to the party, but I will be uncomfortable.

This is why I don't drink (messes with my medication).
This is why I don't drink caffeine (stopped 2 years ago, now hate feeling jittery)
This is why I stay in most nights.
This is why I gained a shit ton of weight (medication, again. also, why I'm changing medication now)

Hardly anyone knows this about me. I don't get anxious about things that make people normally nervous. I am completely fine with public speaking. I actually love to fly, what I hate is getting there, the being somewhere so far away i can't get home quickly and in my own means if i need to.

I get completely and unreasonably taken over by panic attacks at mostly predictable times, which actually makes it worse. the anticipation of an attack can trigger one. any event. at all. easter, new years, my own birthday. my own wedding, dammit, i'm terrified of the EVENT of it all. I won't be a passenger in your car and going out to lunch at work is something i have to consciously choose to be okay with.

my anxiety manifests itself in the usual sweaty palms dizzy symptoms you've heard of, but it also sends my digestive system completely haywire. therefore - group, social, non-escapable food-eating event = no, no, no.

My life is good. Great even. I am very happy. But this? This is part of me. I don't want it to be. I used to be fearless. I miss that.

I'm not trying to be brave talking about this. In fact, I don't talk about it, except to Fred and my family, in the language they've grown to understand. Typing it here is just a start. Trying to not be ashamed. Trying to accept it. Trying to overcome it.

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