Monday, August 11, 2008

State of Anxiety

I have tons to write about my birthday -- the fabulous plans cooked up by my husband, the bizarre gifts and cards only my friends and family could have thought of -- but right now I can't really focus on any of that because I find myself in the midst of a two days long anxiety attack.

As I type this I am repeating to myself "it's just anxiety, I am in control," trying to make it go away by identifying it and owning it. Usually that works, but this time it hasn't been doing the trick. I have talked it out with all my usual sounding boards -- Ryan, my Mom, and Tara -- in the hopes that making the anxiety known to other people will make it go away. It hasn't. I have taken so many deep breaths that I feel I must be depriving others of oxygen, and I have drank so much water I should be wearing a catheter, but still nothing.

There are people all around me in the newsroom, and I'm pretty sure none of them have any idea that there are alarm bells and sirens going off in my head. That's probably for the best since most of them already think I'm pretty crazy. What I really want to do is stand up and scream "DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW I FEEL RIGHT NOW?" I think that would probably be frowned upon though, since we are broadcasting live. Maybe I'll wait for a commercial.

It's weird how anxiety always seems to express itself in the same way, yet it always feels surprising when it hits. I feel slightly electrified, and constantly on the verge of tears. Then, when it starts to peak, I'll just feel so angry, or so sad that my skin seems to be about to rip, or my fists are about to fly out on their own, or my legs are about to start running until I am a safe distance away. Oh, and I feel hot, like I'm having a menopausal flash. But while all of this is going on inside of me I'm also eerily calm. I never spell check better than when I am in the middle of an episode.

The fact that I know exactly what caused this attack, and that it has nothing do with me and everything to do with physical factors beyond my control, I think makes it worse. At least when it's just my mind messing with me I feel I have some control. We've done battle enough that I know how to deal with it. But I'm 34 years old and still not quite at home in my skin.

And poor Ryan. If this post makes you feel sorry for anyone, feel sorry for him. He gets the brunt of it. Last night I exploded because he fell asleep on the couch while we were watching a movie. We had had a long weekend, and he was tired, but I still took it as a personal affront. If this doesn't end soon he might need the name of a good shelter and a bus ticket.

I guess it could be worse. I could be this lady... I do like puppies though.


Cate said...

I think breathe, it's just anxiety is the family motto. I have been repeating it to myself all day. Maybe we should put it on a shirt.

Emily-Ione said...

I think you need a day at the spa with your sisters.
If I remember correctly they suffer from the Mitchell Anxiety Syndrome as well.
Take a day. sit with people that understand and talk to them about it, get your toes and finders masaged and polishedthen have vodka tonics.

So says I.

Amanda said...

What was it yesterday?? I spent the entire day in the midst of a nasty anxiety attack - apparently so was Cate - and you were too. Damn. Some sisters cycle together, but our crazy genes make it so we have anxiety attacks at the same time. Ahhh... DNA!

Hope you are feeling better. If not, I will loan you my sounding board, who by her comments here, knows well the treatment of MAS.

Amanda said...

That lady was featured in Trent Harris' book "Mondo Utah"