Tuesday, April 7, 2009


God, I hate anxiety. I sincerely believe that panic and anxiety can, at times, be more crippling than depression. I tend to swing back and forth between severe depression and severe anxiety. My depression is treated, my anxiety is not. Rarely do my anxiety and depression co-exist at the same time and so I've been told, that is why it it difficult to treat my anxiety symptoms.

I'm on the anxiety upswing right now. I wake up at night in a cold sweat with my heart racing. My brain quickly follows their lead and my thoughts start spooling up without me knowing how they will unwind. I can't stop it. I lay there awake until I am sure that my pounding heart is going to wake up my husband.

So I get up.

I clean, I read, I sew, I crochet, I play with the dog, I watch TV, I write... We have the cleanest house on the block. We have a maid and in my worked up state, I retrace her steps.

I'm not bipolar. I've been down that road with one too many shrinks and I am confident that the last one was correct.

I don't handle stress well. Actually... let me correct that. I don't handle stress at all; I stuff it. Eventually I run out of places to stuff my emotions and it explodes. At that point, I'm either depressed or anxious as hell. It is miserable. At times I feel paralyzed while sinking in quicksand when I am on anxiety overdrive. That is where I am now.

Like I said, my anxiety is not treated with medication. I self-medicate instead. Last night I washed my antidepressant pills down with vodka. It that isn't the picture of health, I don't know what is...

I'll be OK, I always am. Despite how this all sounds, I am attempting to deal with my anxiety in healthier ways. I will go to therapy this week and actually talk; I will also write more. The weather is nice and hubby suggested, as he watched the vodka/pill display last night, that we start taking a walk in the evenings. I can do that too.


English Rider said...

Wow, Hubby sounds impressive! No scolding or criticism but helpful partnering and a constructive path to help. I want one of those!
I find myself attracted to grumpy old men. I am married to one, but occasional twinges of attraction elsewhere seem to repeat that direction. How did I get here?

Shattered said...

LOL! You know what's funny...? Hubby is a grumpy old man. ;) He's 10 years older than me and I call him that at least on a weekly basis.

However, despite being grumpy and telling everyone to turn their music down, he really is a helpful and supportive guy. He's nearly 15 years on the other side of recovery so he actually "gets" a lot of what I go through. I can't express enough how grateful I am to have someone who understands me, knows where I'm coming from, and then partners with me along the way. I really am blessed.

How did you get there? I'm not sure but I do know that there is something endlessly endearing about grumpy old men...

Anonymous said...

Anxiety really does suck. Mine was highly related to the PTSD. Now that many of the symptoms have subsided (thanks to EMDR), I still suffer anxiety, but I no longer seem to get that 'oh my god am I going to have a heart attack' sensation, with a heart about to break out of my chest.

Thank goodness.

Hubby does sound like he knew what to say and how to be helpful, instead of being a pain in the ass! ;)

Going to therapy has definitely helped me, and I hope you do keep that appointment.

Right now, I'm dealing with depression, and I find that if I can just get myself out of the house and walk or go for a cycle, it makes all the difference.

So, keep up the good work, and do try to keep the vodka consumption and pill taking as seperate activities ;)

Stuff could always be worse said...

I take Buspar for anxiety and I find cleaning so rewarding also. Great hubby, mine says "it is all in your mind".

mtyler77 said...

Hmnnnnn--vodka and antidepressants--breakfast of champions (not!).

Dear Shattered--I know that depression and anxiety often coexist. In fact, we have recently learned that stress plays a big role in anxiety (which we knew) and depression (which we did not know), so it is very likely that the stress is really contributing to both.

So, hopefully, if you can do things to treat the stress that will help with feeling both depressed and/or anxious. I know for me that stress plays a huge role in my mood. These days, I manage my stress with daily workouts (these are crucial), biofeedback, and acupressure massages. This has helped me so much! I hope that you can find some tools that will help you manage your stress also.

Take care, my friend--


Polly said...

Hi, Sweetie, you sound so very much like my daughters and one of my sons. Bless your heart, I know how hard the road to recovery is. I am glad your husband has "been there", so at least he understands. I am about to fall asleep on my keyboard, but I will be back. Please remember, you are not alone though I know you feel like it. Something out there will work for you. What has worked for someone else may not help you at all as we all have different metabolisms, different strokes for different folks! There is help for you, I promise you that. Please do not be discouraged. I am just such a softie when I see someone going through this extremely painful experience. Also my grand daughter suffers from the same. It is genetic, I've been told by several doctors. Please take care of yourself. I care.

Annie Coe said...

Sending lots of big hugs. No advice, but to breath and know that it will pass.

Shattered said...

Thank you all for you kind comments. I've fallen a little behind in replying... I guess I needed a little down time.

Svasti: I am really interested in EMDR. My therapist has considered it but in the past he hasn't thought I would be able to handle it as I am highly dissociative. Maybe it's time to re-visit it. I'm glad to hear that it is working for you!

Stuff: I'm glad you are able to take something that helps with your anxiety. I wish that your hubby had a better understanding of what you are dealing with. (((())))

Melinda: That is very interesting to hear how stress is connected to both anxiety and depression. It certainly makes sense. You are very right about the daily workouts. I used to be good about working out everyday until I broke my foot and had to have surgery. Hubby and I have been walking in the evenings and it does seem to be helping.

I'm really trying to lay off the alcohol too...

Polly: Thank you so much for your kind reply. It does help me to know that there are others who struggle like I do. I truly hope that your son, daughters and your granddaughter are getting good care. Thank you for your encouragement; I'm not going to get too down on myself. I might fall sometimes but I will always pick myself up again. Thank you for caring.

Annie: Thank you for the hugs. It is passing... thank you for the encouragement.

Polly said...

I do care! I know how great the pain can be for you. I am glad you are feeling a little better. All my kiddos are doing as well as they can right now. It is a constant struggle, but, like you, they fall, only to eventually get back up, shake themselves off and slowly begin to function again. Always know that no matter how bad things are right now, the sun will still come up in the morning. Be sweet and smile!

La Framéricaine said...

I thought that was simply my middle name--ANXIETY. Do you mean to tell me that there are other alternatives? You couldn't tell it by me. I've been working on staying out of the ER for the past year for panic attacks that had me convinced I was having a heart attack. And I'm still not convinced, I'm just trusting in the assessment of the white-coated ones.

My mother shot herself in the head on 3/31/91, two weeks after her 58 b'day. My father drank himself, very determinedly, into a upper-GI hemorrhage and death at 58. My sister has been beyond the pale since my mother's death, although she'd been walkin' after midnight for decades before that event. And my brother is a Scientologist/survivalist. What can I say? I'm just trying to do that normal thing that you talked about in your most recent post. Does anyone hear that Edvard Munch guy screaming on the bridge?

I have a different site where I stash all my survival stuff if it would be of interest. Holler at me some time...

Shattered said...

Hi there, La Framericaine! I just found your comment. We certainly share some things in common. I would love to see your survival stuff if the offer still stands...

La Framéricaine said...


The offer will stand 'til the rivers all run dry and the stars fall from the sky. If time permits, please let me know how I might email you an invitation to visit: halfwaytofrance at gmail dot com.


Shattered said...

La Framéricaine,

I think I emailed you... let me know if you didn't get it. Thank you!