Thursday, July 24, 2008

Anxiety

{Disclaimer: Lately I am trying to focus more on my blog being like a journal, to record for my own sake and to have a reference to come back to- Thus, these types of entries are probably only for my benefit and no offense is taken if they are not read by anyone but me. I'm just sayin'.}

Today I realized that I can tell a definite difference in my attitude and my stress levels since changing my medications... Just over a year ago I was on somewhere between 4-6 medications, working with my doctor to find the right combination that would suit me. When we moved, I whittled myself down to two antidepressants which has been pretty standard issue for me for several years now. When I got pregnant I stopped taking one of them because I felt it was unnecessary for the time being and the less medication the better, at least for my present 'condition.' So- in case you're not following all the changes- that leaves me on one medicine (Wellbutrin), which has been the only constant in the 8ish years I've been treating my depression.
Today I was making bread and I was fighting cursing the whole time. I have issues with this recipe, but that's another post for another time. I was getting so worked up, it would have been funny if I weren't so pissed off, trying to scrape too-sticky dough from my fingers and multiple surfaces of my kitchen. My problem is when I am stressed out about something, it immediately snowballs. My mind starts reeling, grabbing onto any other stress, obligation, worry, frustration possible- no matter if it is relevant (which is usually isn't) or important, or impending. For instance, I'm mad because my bread isn't turning out and I have dough all over my hands and I have to clean my mixer with a toothpick- then suddenly I have a whirl of thoughts that combine to create some sort of the following medley: "And Joy School is starting, and I still have to make the house for that, and how am I going to do that with a new baby? And the cats need their stupid baths, that window has smudges all over it,I have to organize the top of Bella's closet, the car is leaking some mysterious fluid, that conversation with a friend is still bothering me, I haven't finished picking up my studio, the yard looks a mess and I'm never going to get around to cleaning/landscaping/gardening it, and what if Bella doesn't take a nap again today?! I don't think I can handle that. What if someone needs something from me? Timm's leaving again soon and then I have to do this all on my own again. I'm so tired."
It doesn't always contain all of those thoughts, but it is always a rush of unrelated stresses and frustrations that seem insurmountable at the time, especially when looked at collectively. They range from the dumbest of things, to every insecurity I have (which is a lot right now-), to valid concerns, to things I have no control over, things that don't matter, and real problems. The result of this is that I always feel like I am performing at my limit. I don't always feel stressed or anxious- sometimes I feel at peace, like I have things under control and have eliminated what chaos I can in my life. Then most often, my immediate thought is :"But what if-? What if a friend needs me? What if (whatever) happens? What about when I have the baby?" Basically, even when I feel calm and under control, I wonder what change is going to come and upset my very delicately balanced perspective. What needs someone else will inevitably have that will force me to push myself even farther.
I'm either performing at full capacity, only feeling calm and capable until I imagine the next upset, fearing the next task or obligation that will break me- Or I feel like I'm already at my breaking point. I know this isn't normal, although it is more normal for me than for most others I realize...
I think part of the problem is I am taking a medication that helps extraordinarily with depression, but can tend to add to the problem of anxiety. I usually counter it with another medication to calm me down. I'm also facing a major change with our new baby due in less than 9 weeks, and I know only too well how I adapt (or don't) to change. I am also coming off of a vacation with Shell where I felt more support and friendship than my daily life is accustomed to, and am back to the mundane and everyday tasks of maintaining a household. Oh, and I'm pregnant and have even more hormones and emotions than my usual crazy self has. So, that's something.
I really want to learn to be more adaptable, easy-going, and at peace. It's hard to change something about you that seems so ingrained- a basic trait of my personality has always been intensity, which can have it's benefits, but more often than not seems to lead to stress and frustration.
*sigh. Talk to me another day when I've had a nap and some time to form a better perspective...

8 comments:

Rin said...

I think we all suffer from some form of anxiety or another. I feel like I have CONSTANT battles going on in my brain. I need a vacation from myself. It's the worst. I can't imagine being pregnant and having all that is on your plate right now and not being 100 times more crazy than you think you are...so I think you're doing great :) Insecurities are awful...and I feel like I can let them get the best of me most days. I try to combat the fear I have with love, but it just doesn't work that way for me.

Mom said...

I have more to comment on when it's not 11:00pm and I still have a few hours of work to do, but for now, my immediate thought was to re-read the quote I sent about The Spirit. He adapts all feelings to their needful ways. I know this. Read that for now, breath, pray, and imploy an increase of faith.

I love you. I pray for you every single day. Bread woes.....not so bad!

rmt said...

I love that you are opening up and put this out there for us to read. Sometimes just saying it (or writing it) helps me to relax a little, so I hope it had a similar effect on you.
I wish I had some better answers for you, but I'm still trying to figure it out for myself as well-in fact, I have an appointment with my doctor next week.
I do know that when I am feeling anxious or overwhelmed, it helps me to just stop and do something for myself, like take a bath or read for awhile (or call Hannah-she seriously needs to start a life coach business or something.) But anyway, taking a break sometimes helps me go back with a better-calmer- perspective.
Hang in there.

Jill said...

Did your doctor advise you to wean yourself off the other medications? Maybe the anxiety meds would prove helpful right now.

I know what you mean about feeling like you're operating at full capacity. I feel like that sometimes and fear that having to do one more thing will push me over the edge. Usually I'm able to talk myself out of this anxiety, because it's so irrational. Most of the stuff I do or think I have to do is not nearly as important as I think it is (like the window smudges).

I hope Bella continues to nap and I hope you are able to find some peace. Take care Jessie!

Diana said...

I'm sorry. I'm always here for you.

Denise said...

Whoa--I can really relate to the snowballing thing (just ask Mark), and I'm not on any depression meds! It happens to me usually when I'm already tired, it's late at night, etc. I know then that I just have to stop, go to bed, and try again in the morning. Maybe not quite the same thing you're dealing with, but I totally relate to the overwhelming snowball syndrome.

michelle said...

Yes! I totally relate to the overwhelming snowball syndrome as well. But for me, it's usually despondency, not anxiety. I do think perhaps you should consider adding back in the meds that help control the anxiety, because I felt somewhat stressed out just reading this post -- can't imagine how it is to be in the thick of it. Or rather, I can imagine, and it seems like more than you should have to deal with right now. I hope you find some peace and calm very soon.

Tasha said...

I tend to spin like that, one thing leads to another, and then I am have a laundry list of things weighing me down, few or none of which should be shaking me up so, but together, and at that moment, are. I know you didn't ask for advice, but my thought is that at this stage of gestation an additional medication or a change would be easier on the baby than in early pregnancy. I am sure you know this, but Wellbutrin covers epinephrin and norepi, but not seratonin, so you could relatively safely go on an SSRI to cover the depression and anxiety. Lexapro isn't being used as much in late 3rd trimester because of respiratory incidents after delivery. I guess you have to weigh how much you feel like you can function, how much of your capacity you do have. No one wants to be on medication, well, few of us do, but I tend to think better living through pharmaceuticals is better than crappy living without.

Mainly Jessie, you are doing a great job. Moving to a new place is HARD, and being pregnant and parenting a toddler is hard. Having a husband who is gone a lot is hard. You're doing it all, and you are doing pretty damn well.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...