Friday, May 15, 2009

Much Needed Success

So far today is a better day. I woke up feeling extremely anxious, heart pounding, mind racing, etc. I just laid in bed for a few minutes and took some deep breaths. I told myself some positive affirmations such as "This may be hard today, but I can handle it. I can do it!" and "I can accept these feelings and let my body do its thing. I know it will eventually pass." So then I got out of bed and waited to throw up. Everyday I have been throwing up so I have been waiting to take my medication until after I think I can keep it down. But I never had to this morning. I was also able to go out and distract myself enough with other things that I could shake off the anxiety a bit. Enough to where I didn't feel the need to take a Clonazepam. So I took my Zoloft and have been going on with my day.

1. Didn't throw up this morning
2. Didn't have to take Clonazepam
3. Was able to ignore the anxiety enough to do what I needed to do
4. Took a shower and got dressed

I have been feeling pretty good about all of these great little successes. Then my hubby gets home and he has a bag of Wendy's. He brought me lunch. He wants to go to Walmart to go grocery shopping and then out to a movie tonight. All of this sounds fine and dandy and I have no reason to be anxious about those things, but as he starts talking about it I start to feel the anxiety levels rising. So finally I told him that even though I have had a good morning, I was feeling kind of rushed and I want to take it slower.

He needs to get out of the house and I can understand that. If there is anything positive that has come out of this last week of hell, its been our communication and our relationship. I have needed him so much and he has learned so much about me and even without the anxiety we are going through some stressful times and so its been so nice just to have each other for love and support.

Part of me is feeling rushed and just wants to relax at home. Another part of me is so worried about becoming severely agoraphobic that I feel guilty about wanting to stay home.

Also, I have hardly been eating anything because of the nausea and the lack of appetite. I don't know how much of it is contributed to the side effects of the meds and how much is my own issues, but I know I will be losing weight and I am trying not to dwell on it or feel guilty that I am only nibbling these days. I've been mostly drinking Ensure's and Gatorades and then nibbling on crackers or crazy small portions of a meal. I figure if I keep listening to my body, eventually I will be ok.

Something that has really been bothering me lately is this term "nervous breakdown". I saw an advertisement with that phrase and I thought, "Did I just have a nervous breakdown this week? Am I one of those people that if this happened in the 50's would be institutionalized? Am I crazy?" I keep thinking "I am the crazy one who has the nervous breakdowns." Or others are thinking "She is fragile right now, she just had a nervous breakdown." And I really don't like that label. It really really is bothering me. On Wikipedia it says recent surveys have found that as many as 18% of Americans may be affected by one or more anxiety disorders. The Census Bureau currently lists 306,434,870 people living in the United States. That means that in the United States approximately 55,158,276 people are suffering from some form of anxiety disorder(s). 55 million people are a heck of a lot of people! Just another reminder that I am not alone.


Robert said...

Hi Aimée - Although you are not alone in suffering from anxiety, you're also unique in how it affects you! However, I'm glad that you had some success. Nothing succeeds like it! I am also really pleased that you didn't need to take clonazepam. Progress indeed!

Please don't think too much about "nervous breakdown". There is no medical definition of this, so it is easy to advertise help or a cure for it! It is an ad-man's dream condition!

Best wishes.

Laney said...

Hi Aimée,

I'm glad you're doing better. As for "nervous breakdown", let's just reject all labels, shall we? Maybe people like us would've been institutionalized in the 50s, so aren't we just so lucky to live in this present era? :-)

Take care.

Hélène (a friend of Krista's)

amy said...

Well, I just stumbled upon your blog and I'm so glad I found it! As you know, it's always a relief to relate to someone with anxiety...most people just don't understand what it feels like.

For the past 8 months I've been struggling with anxiety due to abruptly stopping my Yaz birth control...hard to understand, but very true. I used to be such a laid back, spontaneous, fun, outgoing person...who now feels like a shell of that person. I have really good days and really bad days, this is all new to me and I'm trying to work my way through it...but it is tearing me apart at the same time. I definitely have all the pity parties for myself and wish for anything but this to be happening to me! But, I know I will eventually get past it b/c I have my faith and hope in the Lord...He is the healer!

I will continue to read your blog and thank you soo much for your brutal honesty! I will also keep you in my prayers :)

God Bless,


Coinneach said...

I never really found out what was meant by a "nervous breakdown" - although it sounds dramatic. We think we should be able to see a process that is part of our own psyche. We can't really, but feeling it is a different matter. Well done with fighting anxiety. Taking your own steps,not comparing with others and "noticing what you notice" is a good way forward. All the best. Coinneach

Anxiety Girl said...

You're definitely not alone & you're not going crazy. I like how Dave Carbonell ( says that so many of our anxious predictions are a case of "let's pretend something bad" - those thoughts feel so frightening in the moment & as we ruminate over them, but they're absolutely not real. I wonder frequently too about what a nervous breakdown is, but then remind myself that those thoughts are merely symptoms of feeling anxious. One of my favorite "go to" books is "Facing Panic: Self Help for People with Panic Attacks" by Dr. R. Reid Wilson. I went to t a weekend group with him & he's great. Take care of yourself. :)

Anonymous said...

hi. thank you for this blog. i understand what you are going through. i have a tip for eating when you are feeling sick. plug your nose. i swear, it helps! when my anxiety is bad, i normally throw up in the morning, too.

Anonymous said...

i normally eat small portions every couple of hours when nausea sets in. like a bunch of peanuts. then two hours later, a banana. i get overwhelmed by big meals. i also log what i eat and when. that way it's a choir and i have like i have control over it. it works.

DSoltis said...

I can relate to your anguish. I suffered from anxiety related issues for 30 years such as panic attacks, GAD, OCD, disassociation, etc...and I tried all types of therapy too - mindfulness, meditation, yoga, positive thinking, exercise, CBT, REBT, MBCT, Exposure therapy, a dozen therapists and all the medications out there. They may have helped briefly but they are not enough. Then I finally found my recovery. Let me tell you that the solution for me is a wonderful therapist who specializes in so-called "talk therapy". I have changed my way of thinking 180 degrees. I don’t (try not to ) fear the anxiety anymore. I can understand why people hate their anxiety, I did for so many years but you can learn, over a long period of self analysis to welcome it. In fact, as horrible as it seems these symptoms are – here we go with an unbelievable statement - a "gift". A gift of human resilience. Without them you become emotionally and psychologically void. Your body is trying to tell you something and the reason you have anxiety is you are basically not listening. You have internal conflicts going on. Oh yes you think you are…all the horrible symptoms (felt like you are dying, going crazy, cannot control yourself, heart rate sky rockets, heart palpitations, physical pain, cannot look into a mirror, wash your hands constantly) you name it, I have been through it. The more you run the worse it gets. Then medication stops working. So then you say to yourself, hey I am listening because I am suffering all this stuff, are you stupid? This is not listening, it is avoiding. Avoiding all the real emotional pain you feel inside. The root problem is still there not going away because it is a part of yourself even if it is repressed and hidden in your unconscious. That is what I did for 30years, run from these symptoms. Suffer in silence. Yet actually they are repressed issues that have come out sideways. They are a form of distraction to the real problems you have not faced or not faced thoroughly enough. The most effective form of human distraction in this life is fear and pain. But these symptoms are road signs (although designed to distract) leading you to the root cause of your emotional pain. Psychoanalysis reaches deep into your unconscious to the beginning source. I know it sounds strange and unfamiliar, me too, but as I found out it was like putting the pieces of the puzzle of my life together. Like an awakening inside. Terrifying? Yes, absolutely. Necessary? Again...yes, absolutely. I began reading psychologists like Alice Miller (the one who talks abouot “gifts”, Jung, Gary Whited (not so famous), Calvin Sandborn, Dr Sarno (mind-body connection)… and more.

I realized that I had to confront and grieve over my past going all the way back to a little innocent helpless child. In a way, exactly what I have been avoiding for 30 years – that helpless and innocent child I was. From what I can see, all those of us who experience anxiety symptoms have many issues in our past to reconcile and embrace. As I have found out, talking and insightful analysis about your past will lead you down the road to recovery. Sooner than you think, you will be able to gain productive insight. Milestones will begin to collect. There are some who laugh at the opinion that it stems to your childhood or “you are playing the victim, boo hoo”. Well let me tell you it takes courage to rediscover your past and recollect painful memories. There is no victimization in that. One thing that applies to men is that we are taught by our culture that men should never grieve or talk about our feelings. I was brought up that way and every male that I have really known was taught the same by our fathers. The problem is that it is repeated –intergenerational. But I don’t subscribe to that patriarchal ideology anymore. I have become aware of its existence and will be different than my father or mother for that matter. Then slowly but surely and sometime hesitantly I chip away at the symptoms.

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