I’ve had the worst anxiety episode that I’ve had in a long time. This is going to make me sound crazy, but fuck it. If I’m going to write about the intimate details of what it’s like, then I’m not going to sugar coat it. When things get bad, sometimes people don’t understand because they don’t see what you go through. You want to know, then keep reading.
I’ve learned how to manage my anxiety, but there is a recipe for misery that exists. First of all, we are dealing with an issue that is inconvenient. I won’t go into details. However, we have a lot to do in a short amount of time to resolve this inconvenience. This costs money. Not a huge amount, but it’s during an inconvenient time. My husband just got a new position at work, but that means we will have to wait a couple of weeks for his check to come in again. So we’re a little under budget this month.
On top of all this, I’m sick. I’m very sick. I’ve missed a few days of work. We already had delays in training, and now it’s more delays. My work schedule is off and this disrupts my routine. One of the ways I deal with and minimize anxiety is to have routines and plans. When plans go wrong, I start to get anxiety build up and typically, I fix this issue by making a new plan. There is little planning that I can do for this, other than try to get caught up and accept it if I can’t.
The first day of class starts a day late due to delays that I had no control over. I go to work and I start sneezing and blowing my nose. I warned all agents to stay away from my desk and use purell on their hands frequently. I don’t want them to get sick. I feel miserable by the end of the day and I decide to stay home the next day. That night was horrible.
I couldn’t breath, my throat hurt, my head was clogged and pounding. I was frustrated. I have so much work to do at work, and I have so much work to do at home. I was so tired, but I couldn’t sleep. When I don’t get enough sleep, my anxiety feels worse than it normally is. I took some medicine for this cold, but it turns out that I really did not like the way the medicine made me feel. It’s hard to explain, but it’s not a pleasant feeling. As the night went on, my lips got so dry.
Not all that long ago, I kicked the chapstick addiction. This made it so hard for me. I drank a lot of water, but it didn’t help. My mouth and lips stayed so dry. Not putting on chapstick was incredibly difficult… but I’m proud of myself for not doing it. I can only imagine how a drunk or drug addict must feel in hard situations.
I was desperate for relief and I badly wanted to sleep. So, I had the bright idea to take a couple of sleep aids to help me fall asleep. That was a big mistake. It only made me feel three times as tired and I still couldn’t fall asleep. It made my anxiety that much worse. I started thinking about how miserable I was and how bad I wanted it to stop. I felt trapped inside my own head. Everything around me was hazy. This agony reminded me of the way I felt when I was ill many years ago which was a horrible time in my life. I felt overwhelmed and I started to cry alone. I wanted to wake up my husband and have him hold me and tell me things would be okay. However, I don’t want him to catch this miserable bug and I want him to do well at his new position at work. So, I let him sleep, and I suffered alone. I tend to rock back and forth when I’m in pain, so I decided to retreat to the recliner.
First, I decided to take a bath to help me relax. I must have been cold because I barely ran any cold water. After a little bit, I dried off and went to the recliner to rock my pain away. I turned on the tv, with low volume, wanting to distract myself. I kept telling myself, “This won’t last long. The first night is always the worst. I’ll fall asleep eventually. You’re in a good place, this isn’t what it was before. It’s just a miserable cold.” and then I migrated to “You have a great job. It’s okay. This isn’t a regular thing. It’s okay to be behind sometimes.” and then I was back to “You’ll fall asleep and then you can just sleep it off. Once you’re asleep, you are home free!” and then I broke away from my thoughts and tried to just focus on the tv. At some point, I was out. It was well after midnight.
The next morning, I woke up early in the AM and I was feeling just as miserable. On top of that, I started my period, which always makes my emotions stronger. All day, I’m suffering the same pain and anxiety. I couldn’t breath through my nose (neither nostril) and my throat hurt, which it hurt more to breath. I barely eat anything and I tried to drink as much water as I could. I have low blood sugar, so it’s important to eat. When I have low blood sugar, I tend to be cranky. So, I was surrounded by this bubble of agony all day. I had the same racing thoughts about wanting the pain to stop, wanting to sleep so badly, and convincing myself that everything was okay. It’s just the anxiety. Once the cold is gone, you’ll be able to manage this anxiety. I wanted my husband to be here with me. I hated being alone.
Even though I’m sick, I did some of the work that we need to get done by Monday. This wiped me out. I sat back in the recliner to rest and stare at the TV. As the anxiety beat me, I wrote updates on my facebook expressing a little bit of the misery I was suffering. To me, it was a way to not be completely alone.
My husband finally comes home and just having his presence made me feel a little better. He brought me a bologna and cheese sandwhich, to which I was craving. He brought me some vix which help clear up a little breathing room in my nostrils which gave my throat a much needed break. He talked about geeky things, Marvel, DC, and Sabbat, which made me feel good inside. He touched my hot face with his cold hand, and I felt warm inside. Of course I demanded that he purell his hands immediately there after, to which he did.
I dreaded him going to bed and leaving me alone again. I still had a huge amount of anxiety within me. I got tired but I didn’t want to fall asleep yet. I wanted to spend as much time with my husband before I was alone with myself. In those few moments of comfort, when I was just a little less miserable, I fell asleep anyway. I woke up sweating. Strangely, I didn’t notice any anxiety at that moment and in a daze I commented that I was feeling better. I didn’t look better. We took my temperature and I was running a fever. We turned on the fan and cooled off a little. At this point, even though I was still hurting, I could actually breath out of one nostril, and I was so out of it and anxiety free, that I actually slept in my bed.
This morning I woke up pretty early to find that most of the work I had gotten done was undone (long story, accidents happen). I had an anxiety break down. I cried in anger and frustration. I was reminded of how sick I was. I hacked up a lung of goo. I laid down on the bed hoping to just go back to sleep. After laying there an hour or more, I was in a spiral of drama in my head. I wasn’t going to sleep.
I got up and debated with myself on whether or not to shower. I shower every single day, missing one isn’t going to hurt me. Then I thought that showering might make me feel better. I’m glad that I did, because it helped. I also decided to eat something, which upset my stomach and reminded me yet again how sick I am. I re-did some of the work, then moved on to another task. I managed to get some stuff done. My husband is going to fix what was undone this morning, so that I don’t have to stress over it anymore. I felt so exhausted and hot. I sat down, coughing, wrote an email to my boss explaining our situation further. I am hoping to stay home tomorrow to work on things and hopefully rest and recover.
As I’m sitting here writing, I don’t feel the torment as intensely as it was the past two days. My throat doesn’t hurt unless I cough. I can breath out of my nose. I can sleep in my bed, instead of sitting up in a chair. My ears have been irritated and now I hear rushing fluid behind my ears. My head is still stuffy, but clarity has widened it’s bubble around me. I’m not rocking anymore. When I sit back, I don’t feel like I’m being suffocated by everything. I think today is the first day of recovery. THANK GOODNESS!!
I hated that feeling. It was like a giant weight on top of me that I couldn’t get out from under. Normally, my head doesn’t get that bad, but it’s just all the things that happened in one go that completely disrupted my ability to subdue the anxiety. It overtook me and I could only endure and seek small forms of tiny relief. It’s a battle. Note to self, being stressed, sick, between pay checks, and on your period all at the same time, equals a lack of anxiety control. Another note to self, do not take sleep aids when you are sick. It doesn’t help, it just makes it worse. Also, learned… vix is amazing, baths are great, water is essential, and tv is a good distraction.