I’ve made it for another day of Just Jot It January. Impressive, if I do say so myself(and I do, obviously, since I just did). I may just be proving that I’m not quite nearing today’s prompt of “sane”. Which would be kind of ironic as I spent 3 years as a psychology major and had thought about going into child psychology, possibly a school psychologist. It wasn’t for me, though. I did enjoy my classes(I actually still have my copy of the DSM we used in my clinical psych class), but I was burning out and fast. And it was bringing up a lot of my own issues. And I can to the conclusion that it might be a good idea to deal with mine before I tried to help anyone with theirs.
That’s about the time my anxiety started up. That’s probably not true. I imagine it was there in high school, too, I just didn’t notice it or didn’t understand what it was. I also probably skirted around the edge of depression. That was the same in high school as well, though it was never “that” bad, I suppose. I actually scared my best friend with an email I’d sent her, then she couldn’t get in touch with me(wasn’t in my room & didn’t have a cell phone at that time). I haven’t had those feelings(the anxiety is a different thing) in quite a while. Other than when my kids were firstborn. Although, I think a lot of that was tied to trying to breastfeed. That wasn’t an easy thing for me. My daughter never wanted to, so I stressed about that. A part of me felt like a failure already because I couldn’t even do that. Then, my son wanted to all the time and I couldn’t keep up. I was a mess. It’s part of the reason the whole “breast is best” thing tends to bother me. It wasn’t best for us. We were all happier(and my kids are both pretty healthy even now at 8 & 5) when we switched completely to formula.
This post will probably be very long if I even get into my anxiety issues. And I’m already second-guessing whether or not to even post this. This is why I struggle with posting comments. I’m always second-guessing every thing I say. What if they take it in a way I didn’t mean? And even with that, communicating by the computer is a lot easier for me than anything else. Maybe because I can fine tune my response until I get it right. And then fret over it once it’s sent of course. I have to give myself a pep talk just to make a simple phone call. Basically write a script in my head and hope the person on the other end sticks to it.
Yeah, that certainly doesn’t make me feel very sane. And most of my anxiety attacks happen in public, since they’re mostly triggered by social situations(also certain noises/echoing sounds put me really on edge). It can be very exhausting to try to appear “normal”. And let’s face it, I likely don’t quite succeed there. But, I at least attempt to seem functional.
I’ve found ways to cope with it. If I can feel it coming on, sometimes focusing on my breathing can help. Sometimes “slipping into story world”(as I call it) can distract my mind. But, it’s always there, feeling like something coiled in my chest, waiting to strike.
Except for when I’m on the motorcycle with my husband. Which seems really odd to me. Especially since riding in the car is stressful for me. I “see” all these accidents happening in front of me. It’s all in my head, and I know this. It’s like a quick flash of a movie or something, even though I know it isn’t actually happening. But when we’re on the bike, I don’t get that. And even that feeling in my chest that can make it so hard to breathe goes away.
Of course, we haven’t been on the bike since September or October. So, I haven’t had much of a chance for that anxiety to drain away. This week, I’ve found that puppy snuggles can help ease some of it, too.