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.
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.