Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Fog is Lifting



My fog is beginning to lift.  The anxiety I've been feeling over the last few weeks (maybe longer - probably longer...yeah - longer) is beginning to subside.  As I type this I'm coming off a bout of rapid heart rate/shortness of breath/mild dizziness which I've come to recognize as my own, extremely mild version of a panic attack.  I've had them for years but they've been almost constant for the past few weeks which is what initially called my attention to the whole anxiety thing.  Once I started really analyzing it I realized that, when it's coupled with a wave of depression...well...if you've been reading this blog then you know what happens.  Sherry gets a ticket on the crazy train. 

In fact, if I'm honest, this particular train ride started around the holidays last year, culminated over the last few weeks and maybe, just maybe, is on it's way to being over.  (Hmmm...If I remember correctly - that's just about the time I started fucking around with my medication...point taken.)  HOWEVER the absolute best fucking thing about this whole mess is that, for the first time in my whole messed up life I've been awake, aware and sober for the whole freaking trip!  And, while it's been quite a journey, I'm beginning to think that I've actually learned something about myself this time...little things that I've been filing away to look at later.

I think it's later.

Yeah...it's later.

Here's what I've learned:

When I get depressed/anxious, I get a little bipolar.  Not in the clinical sense in that I'm not in control, but in the cause and effect way that I totally bring on myself.  The more depressed I get the more I try to artificially boost my mood.  The more I try to artificially boost my mood and fail, the more manic I get about it.  The more manic I get and still fail, the more depressed I get.  Can you say vicious cycle?  I think that you can...

Now, prior to getting sober I would just numb the feelings,when possible, with copious amounts of wine.  But it wasn't always possible to get myself blotto and escape.  Before I started drinking at home, we only went out occasionally so I had to look for other ways to make myself feel better.  So I did stuff

Stuff that I still do.  Stuff like...

  • Sleeping all the time or wanting to sleep all the time. 
  • Enrolling in graduate school.
  • Looking for a new job.
  • Eating too much sugar.
  • Rearranging one or several rooms in my house.
  • Changing my hair color (length, style).
  • Planning an entire redecoration of my house.
  • Switching templates on my blog, switching blogs, switching back.
  • Either starting or thinking constantly about starting a new (several) diets.
  • Becoming way too critical of myself and listening to the bitch that lives in my head.
  • Exercising to the point of injury (my knee is shot but I'm still thinking about taking up running?).
  • Ignoring my yoga and meditation practices.
  • Making my husband nuts and obsessing about our relationship.
  • Baking (baking, baking).
  • Researching and analyzing (anything and everything).
  • Buying and reading so many self-help books that I end up completely confused about what's wrong and what I'm supposed to do about it.

And that just in the last two weeks.  Multiply that by 40 years and you can see how I've gotten into some of the issues that I've gotten into...add alcohol and...boom...instant fuckedupedness.

This is the first time since I've gotten sober that I've gone through a full cycle and been aware that I'm taking the crazy train the whole time.  Now that I'm approaching the station and will (hopefully) disembark soon, I've decided to put the brakes on some of my insanity and maybe take a more relaxed and realistic look at things. 

  • I'm deferring my graduate school acceptance to at least the spring semester.  If I'm still gung-ho then, I'll move forward.  If not, I've dodged that particular bullet.
  • I've spoken to my boss about what I can do with this job that I have rather than trying to jump ship and get myself into a totally new and maybe not so good role.  After all, that's how I ended up getting laid off all those years ago - instead of staying with the job I had where people knew and loved me, I sought out and got a new role that ended up being redundant. 
  • I'll keep my doctor's appointments because I'm still not feeling right but, since God has my back, the appointments are another 3 weeks away - ample time to slow down and reevaluate if necessary.
  • Stop obsessing about my weight and my diet.  Now that the crazy train is slowing, I'll bet my reliance on sugar and chocolate will also slow and I'll be back on a better path soon.  That will also take care of the baking.  I'll review the material I ordered on bariatric surgery but I'll probably end up throwing it in the garbage.
  • I've begun meditating a little again and I'll bet money that and my yoga picks up again very soon.

It's funny what a difference a day can make....well...maybe not.  In the shower this morning I prayed for God to draw me a picture, or hit me with one of His bricks, or just be a little more specific with me because clearly I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to my own sanity.

Poof!  The fog is beginning to lift.

Gotta love those answered prayers.

Namaste

8 comments:

  1. You are invited to follow my Christian blog

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  2. Hello Sherry- I am glad the fog is beginning to lift for you. :)

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  3. ha, right! Ya, wished God would draw me an image last week, but he does not work on "my" time insert patience - so I've gotten better with chilling - insert acceptance - and life kind of just rolls and unfolds as its meant to - we, me and God, are FINALLY getting this stuff worked through; so happy you're doing the same :)

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  4. Is this cyclical as it comes and goes...me thinks that the train ride is more sane when you can take charge of the throttle...
    I love you, baby!!!

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  5. Ooohhhh lovely lovely Sherry. I want to give you a big squidgy hug!! A big hug and then put the jug on and 'lets sit here at the table shall we' and 'I like what you've done with your hair/living room' and 'yeah me too I got sick of MyFitnessPal I'm all about the 5/2 diet now, what are you going to eat on your fasting days?' and 'shall we go for a walk in the sunshine' and 'this is lovely tea you've made me' and so on and so on and so on. I love your insight into yourself and your active alive alert crazy-racing-too-much-at-times brain and your big huge heart ... one day we will get that hug xxxx

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  6. Super post and great self knowledge and recognition.

    It's a continual process. I find myself in the middle of stuff and go - "hang on how'd I get here again" and trace back and realise the signs have been there, sometimes I've even acknowledged them but done little about them and so it drifts to a point of not feeling well, not a peace with myself and serenity has drifted away over a distant horizon.

    Re the diet etc. I was obsessed with exercise, probably to the point of an exercise addiction. I went swimming 3/4 times a week lapping up to 1k each time, days I didn't go there I went to the gym and pushed myself for better times on the bike on the rowing machine etc. To top it all off (nothing wrong with me guv this is all under control :-/) I used to weigh myself on every gym trip and put the result in a spreadsheet so I could graph it all out!... Nuts! I was driven mad by an obsession of an "ideal" number on these bloody scales.

    Now I can't remember the last time I weighed myself, am I overweight? Probably the doc/nurse tell me to lose some whenever they weigh me but you know what - to hell with that, the shorts I bought 5 years ago still fitted this summer when it got hot, that'll do for me.

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  7. You've done a fabulous job describing all the ways we try to escape ourselves and how the process ebbs and flows. Maybe it's triggered by increased stress at work or with family and then more things fall like dominoes. I do relates so well to that panicky/manicky feeling when nothing quite seems to work.

    Just really glad you're feeling cautiously optimistic, and also that you're pointing out the healthy choices, like meditation and talking to your doctor and even postponing major choices for now. I thank you for sharing not only where you are, but how you got here with your usual openness and honesty.

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  8. I started reading a few posts up and decided I needed to get back to work. So, I'll comment now: You have a wonderful perspective and you are funny. I'm secretly jealous of funny people because I am more serious. Hope you don't mind if I tag along in your sobriety. Lisa

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