Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Just Breathe

This cursor is mocking me.

I thought today's post through over and over as I drove, not certain how I would attack it.  If I would even write it.  But I think that if I write it, I will feel better.

I hope.

I have come into the grips of some terrifically terribly-awful anxiety over the past year or so.  It ebbs and flows. At first I thought it was seasonal...winter blues.  I just needed some sunshine and warmth then I'd be all good. Then I thought it was totally PMS related.  It seemed that way at least.  Sometimes it was worse than others.  As in, sometimes I can function and only feel mildly anxious and sometimes I feel like my skin is melting off my body and I can't run away fast enough from this feeling.  I've only talked to one human being about this so far.  My perfect and amazing husband.  I'm afraid that the more I talk about it, the bigger it will get.  Yet, I'm becoming less and less functional.  How crazy is that?  You want to know the worst part...

I'm a mental health professional.

Yep.  I know better.  I know that you cannot make mental health problems better by ignoring them.  They are just like physical health problems.  I cannot "cure" this on my own.  I don't know exactly what triggers my anxiety. I don't typically see it coming either.  But when it hits, oh man.  All I can think about is how to breathe.  How to slow my pulse.  How to stop that burning chest feeling.  I want to run into a cave and hide, but I know that if I ever had that chance it would just be me alone with my crazy whirling brain.  Not a good combo when you are filled with anxiety. 

My husband has asked me what makes me so anxious.  I don't have the answers.  Sometimes I am worried about what a bad parent I am.  Sometimes I worry about all the things I've failed at.  Sometimes it is family things.  I have extremely high standards for myself, and have yet to live up to them.  So this worries me.  Then sometimes it is bizarre things, like the other night when I was trying to fall asleep and the newscaster was talking about the Mayan Calendar and our world ending this year.  That really did me in. Couldn't sleep.  Worried about all the things I hadn't done yet and the life left unlived. 

I do feel a bit better writing about this.  It seems less scary now that I see it in black and white.  I cannot live my life riddled with crippling periods of anxiety and fear.  It isn't fair to the people I love.  It isn't fair to me either.  I know that I need to figure out how to cope with it in a way that is healthy.  So this will be the year I do so.  I promise.  I promise you, I promise my family, I promise myself.