A week ago I was the happiest I have ever been in my life seeing my daughter get her license. I was so happy for her I actually started crying. I’m not sure if that has ever happened before. She is like a different person. She is so much more confident. I don’t just mean driving. I mean everything. Her whole approach to life seems to have changed.
I’m still happy for her but something changed for me. My anxiety suddenly went almost completely out of control. It hadn’t been much of a problem for the couple of months while I was freaking out about the akathisia. I was completely stressed out but that is not the same kind of anxiety I take medication to help.
I’m not sure what is going on now. Maybe it is a bounce back. Medication isn’t very effective for me anymore. I do best when I can lie down and get my breathing under control and catch my mind when it starts tripping on things they teach about in CBT.
What I have the most trouble with is imaginary anxiety. My mind comes up with impossible scenarios and adds to them and I am certain that is what will happen. I’m been doing this since last week and driving myself crazy. The more I try to calm myself down and tell myself I am being ridiculous, the more worked up I get. My anxiety mind has a seemingly plausible argument for everything I say.
The weather hasn’t been the best this summer but Thursday was a perfect day and I forced myself to go for a bike ride. I went for 2 and a half hours and it was fantastic but my mind still wouldn’t quit. I was calmer when I got home though. Saturday was the exact same weather. Even though my daughter just got her license I told her I wanted to bike to her house and meet her. I knew I needed to burn off something before I got there. I was surprised she didn’t want to drive somewhere. The whole time my mind and my stomach were churning and I felt like I was trying my best just to act “normal.” I’m glad I went though.
Yesterday I couldn’t stop ruminating and keeping myself on the edge of panic. Finally about 9pm I tried a guided body scan meditation. I set my sights high and chose a 40 minute session. I really didn’t think I would last 5 minutes but I did the whole thing and didn’t want it to end. Anxiety was still high but settled down to a simmer. I liked it but I can’t just lie there listening 24/7. I was able to fall asleep for a few hours and I realized a mistake I had been making. Usually I would jump out of bed and it would be a new day. I forced myself to stay there and slept a couple more, woke up, rolled over, slept a couple more. My mind never stopped working but at least it was some rest.
My cat knows when I am in trouble. The whole night he stayed close enough to be touching. When I rolled over he would move to my front side and just lie there. I would keep one hand in contact with him and that is how I made it through the night. I didn’t add up the hours but it was much more sleep than I’ve had in a long time.
Once I had a therapist tell me to do the opposite of what I wanted. I didn’t know what the hell she meant but it makes sense now. I didn’t want to leave the house and go on bicycle tours but I felt better when I made myself do it. Today, the last thing I wanted to do was sit here at the computer and write this but it’s helping. Just the thought of getting on the internet has been triggering me. But again, I can’t type all day.