I was having a blah day yesterday. I had a few minor anxiety swells, but no panic attacks or anything serious. No bouts of cleaning, or obsessive compulsiveness. It was some stress, but nothing to be concerned over. When asked anything, including what I wanted for dinner, it was “meh”. I was saying “meh” a lot. I wasn’t in a bad mood, but I wasn’t in a good one either. To add to my lingering mild anxiety, we started to encounter ants in the apartment. Not many, but my husband has a few bites on his arm and he lounges by the window, so we’re pretty sure the ants are something to be weary of. We sprinkled cinnamon around the window and doors to ward off the ants. We moved on to more entertaining videos on youtube.
Despite that we were laughing hysterically at funny cat videos right before bed, I managed to end up with an anxiety attack as my head hit the pillow last night. It’s hard to properly articulate how it feels, but here’s the best I can do. There was this awful feeling of unease and unrest. It’s like being super tired while being unable to sleep. It was like having a stuffy fuzzy head, which I have due to my allergies and these antibiotics I’m taking for an infection. It was an overwhelming feeling of misery.
That feeling of unease made me want to cry. I didn’t want to feel this way. I wanted it to stop, which lead to experiencing an awful feeling of wanting to escape but being trapped. That made me want to cry more… although, I never did cry.
In those moments, I thought about getting back up and just doing positive things until I was calm or worn out enough to fall asleep. That only stressed me out because I was already going to bed ten minutes late as it is. If I didn’t get enough sleep, I would end up calling into to work, but I already missed two days of work last week due to this ear infection. I considered if I was getting sicker which made me feel dread, because the last time I had a serious cold, I was in anxiety hell. Oh the spiral of anxiety.
I realized that I needed to stop spiraling. I needed to stop dwelling on the negatives. I reminded myself that as a salary position, I could work from home if I needed to. I reminded myself that I have many hours of sick time left. I reminded myself that if I want this feeling to stop, I need to focus on doing whatever I need to do to make this anxiety stop.
Something people often don’t understand is that making the anxiety stop is difficult and often ruins all your plans for the following day. Stressing out about the consequences of having an anxiety attack makes the anxiety attack worse, which ruins more of the day to come, which is a giant snowball of my day is fucked no matter what I do. This is why work is so hard with anxiety. Sure, I can still go to work the next day, but the less sleep I get, the more erratic the anxiety is. The more chances that I’ll have panic attacks during the day while I’m at work. I have a better chance of getting fired while at work than just staying home. This is why anxiety is debilitating sometimes.
With the conscious effort to stop spiraling and just viewing the next day as a loss so I can move on, I considered getting up and snuggling with my husband on the couch. I considered asking him to come to bed to help me fall asleep. Having someone there for support makes a huge difference. Just being able to hug your loved ones and telling them how you feel and hearing positive words helps me a great deal. However, I didn’t want to do it because we had just spent a good ten minutes of happy hardy laughter, only to suddenly have this stupid anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn’t help feeling like a crazy person, even though I know my husband isn’t going to judge me.
I told myself that I was going to be fine, that I would be able sleep, that this will pass if I just calmed down. Normally when I go to sleep, I kickstart my dreams by daydreaming what I want to dream about. So I thought I’d just focus on daydreaming something positive. My background thoughts were still racing, so I had to say it in my head over and over, that I’ll be alright, it’s okay, I’m not sick, this will pass…. and finally I was asleep.
My husband noted that I got up fairly late for work today. We are usually an hour early to work, which even on a late day, we’re usually still over 30 minutes early to work. Today, I was about 30 minutes behind. This was my opening to tell my husband about the anxiety attack I had last night. As far as he knew, we had a good laugh, a fun ending to the night, and I was off to bed to sleep soundly. He had no idea that what really happened was agonizing anxiety. Although tired today, I did manage to come to work. This morning, I’m suffering some awful nausea. I get nauseous when I don’t get enough sleep. I’m just hoping my day goes smoothly and that I’ll be able to sleep tonight without another attack.