I’ve been having these stomach aches lately – can’t tell if it’s anxiety or what, but I just have this overwhelming sense of doom. I’m not sure what’s behind it, but it’s dread and doom. Like bad shit is coming. Sometimes, I seem to have strong inklings of things and other times, I’m being led around by anxiety. Not sure which it is today. Is it just me? Anybody else feeling doomy and gloomy?
I met with my doctor earlier this week and described the anxiety I’ve been having. She said she wished all her patients could put their feelings in words like I could. I didn’t realize that was a skill or something others couldn’t do. So, I thought maybe I’d jot down some of my descriptions in case it gives someone else words.
I said that I feel like I’m constantly on a roller coaster. If I have mania, then mania is the baseline I strive for and rarely achieve because it’s the only time I feel as though I can actually get shit done. More often than not, I feel like a hamster in a wheel rolling around in hell. There’s a constant feeling of wanting to run while being frozen in place. Paralyzed by anxiety or depression. If I feel stable, I also feel afraid of when the other shoe drops. My brain is constantly going and it becomes hypnotizing. I have these emotional reactions to things that aren’t even there – whether it’s past memories or future problems. The constant up and down is exhausting and it feels like whenever I get my footing, something happens to alter it.
I wish more studies would be done on hormones, menstruation, and bipolar disorder. Whatever stability I can gain is undermined by the state of my hormones, which constantly flux as they’re supposed to. So whenever I establish order, it just gets taken out by the natural course of womanhood. I’m trying yet another SSRI to see if I can stabilize all of this; I’m just so sick of my life feeling as though it’s just beyond my fingertips of control. Not that I really can control my life, that’s an illusion, I could get hit by a bus in a couple minutes. However, it feels like I’m a puppet on the string of moods and hormones. This is where Buddha telling me to control my mind comes to mind, and it’s so easy to forget that I am the one driving the car of my life versus being driven on a highway to hell.
It feels like I’m on a hunt for this version of me that I’d actually like. After all the work or whatever I’ve done, I’d think I’d be at a place where I actually like myself, but it seems like I just find new things to hate myself for. Or old things. It doesn’t matter. If I’m not criticizing myself, am I really there? I can quiet it all down with breathing and being mindful but I really want to get to a place where it’s automatic like driving. I know that can only be done through persistence and practice, and I guess that’s the truth that I like to ignore. It doesn’t matter what it is, thinking about it and doing it are two different things. Or as I say to my daughter when she tells me she knows she has to clean her room: knowing and doing are two completely different things.
There was a time when it was so easy to write and the words flowed effortlessly, and it only happened when I wrote a lot. I want to get back to that place because I miss it, and the biggest roadblock is thinking about it versus doing it. It’s a repeated theme in my life. I wanna go back to school and become some kind of something in the mental health industry because I’m generally obsessed with it, but I’m not ready. And that sounds like an excuse except that I know there are steps that need to happen first, and the very first step is finding stable again. I need to be able to trust myself. I don’t know how to go about that beyond just doing it, but there’s no hell I can create quite like existing in a reality where I don’t trust myself. And I don’t – that’s the truth. My brain lies so much, and my intuition I think has been so battered into the background, it has to scream to be heard. It took me months to listen to myself on signing the kids up for karate, and it’s been so perfect for them. i just listened to excuses not to instead of just fucking doing it. And that’s the distrust – when is it an excuse and when is it the truth and when is it bullshit? I don’t know. That’s life with a brain that is more focused on tormenting me then helping me out.
But that sounds all doom and gloom, and I don’t need to bring that noise into my reality even more. So how can I turn it all around? I find it helps to focus on what is, what I want, and what I want more of. So, yes all of these things remain true, but today I drove all around without a panic attack. I wasn’t even nervous before I had to leave, I did it unthinkingly. I’m not depressed right now and that feels awesome. I feel lighter than I have in weeks AND I’ve been able to stay awake more than occasionally. Woot. I’ve consistently gotten my kids to karate for a couple weeks now, 4 days a week – which means I’ve left my house 4 days a week too. I’ve been scared and anxious to do that for months. I’m writing this right now. I went shopping. There’s a lot of other things too, but this is already too long. Point is, I can whine or I can keep practicing being healthy until one day I am. I think that’s how it works. And that’s not to even say I’m unhealthy right now, I just am a big ole work in progress whose better than she was while she’s becoming… something else.
I guess it all comes back to timing – I expected (and there’s the kick in the ass, stop expecting already) that I would be further along, changed, grown, whatever by now. I *should be* a billion things, but what I am is struggling to be content. Struggling to accept that I am doing my best like every body else. I wouldn’t talk to my best friend the way I talk to myself, and it’s time I start listening to this shit. We’re all doing our best, there’s no other way possible. If you’re breathing, if you’re here, there’s a reason. I’ve been so obsessed with finding the reason for so many things and the dead ends I reach say there is no why. It only seems as though hindsight can give us that insight, so you can’t find it ahead of time.
It’s only by just doing the things that make me feel better do I feel better. It’s that simple.
Yup. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding out what gives us joy, no matter how small, and finding ways to have more of them in our lives. Bonus points if they’re not substances. Anyway, wishing you all the best!