Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A fearless warrior.

Sometimes I wonder how I have attained even the smallest measure of success in my life – with demon lizards on my shoulder, chunky Sheniqua on my ass and the biggest hangup I possess hanging out with me 24-f*cking-7.


That huge hangup is ANXIETY….which in reality for me - is fear.

Sometimes it cripples me. Always it weighs me down.

Sometimes it’s just too much extra baggage to carry. Always I just want to be normal.

I used to be able to hide it better. Before I took on two extra jobs. And before Rambo became even more politically involved than he was previously. And way before he took on his 4th job as a semi driver.

Being social wasn’t so much of a requirement. One full time job for me and one for Rambo at the prison – neither required nothing of me outside of our home.

Now?

It feels like the phone never stops ringing. People never stop coming over. I’ve turned off the instant chat messaging on my Facebook. It’s impossible to stay a hermit these days.

So the anxiety level is often through the roof. The tension in my body is something I physically feel.

I say it’s a wonder I’ve been successful because my extra jobs and Rambo’s require phone calls and visits and meetings. All things for me that induce hives and often make my stomach physically hurt.

I wait until the last possible moment to “speak” to anyone. Even when it’s not business…like last night a friend called for the second time. On my cell phone. That I was holding in my hand.

I watched it ring. I couldn’t pick it up. I let it go to voicemail and heard her “annoyed tone” that this was the second time she called and could I call her back?

Um nope. But I’ll text you in the morning. Which I did. I did not call her. I could not.

There are only about 3 people I speak to without hesitation. Rambo, Jenny and my mom. That’s it. Everyone else is questionable and highly unlikely.

I use email like it’s the only form of communication on earth. I text about everything. Anything to not have to talk to or make eye contact with someone.

All of this makes me angry. It pisses me off. Even if I love you – it’s hard to talk to you or spend time with you or leave the house for you….even when everything in me misses you and wants to talk with you and love you.

I wish I could just say to everyone – how I behave or stay away or cancel is never personal. It’s all on me. And I’m sorry. Please understand.

I cannot control it…but I can force myself to fight it. I don’t want to be the girl who never shows up. I refuse to miss out on everything in life because of some asshole chemicals in my brain that try to control me.

And even if I could just tell people – I’m not sure they’d believe me. The people I have told often are in shock. I get the “but you look like you’re having so much fun” – “how can you be covered in hives and want to throw up when you’re so happy?” questions.

Ugh. Listen – my MIND is overjoyed to be here with you – people I love. My ENTIRE BODY on the inside is revolting and by the time I get home I’ll be sick. I’ve had 30 some years to master never letting it show….but trust me…I’m dying on the inside.

Pride wouldn’t let me tell you anyway. Instead of accepting this is a part of me and learning not to blame myself – there is still shame in not having the strength to have overcome this after all this time.

Irrational? You bet. Still true? Absolutely.

There is still hope for me though. In figuring out how to stop my 4 a week migraine cycle – I finally had to admit to my doctor that I suffer from debilitating anxiety.

I looked her straight in the eye and said, “I want to be in this office with you figuring my health out. I admire and respect and like you. I am not afraid of you. Yet I almost cancelled this appointment and didn’t come. My body would rather be anywhere but here. But my mind is exactly where I want and need to be.”

And then I showed her my chest. Covered in hives.

Her response?

There’s no way things like this should be this hard for you. The amount of exhaustion you feel mentally and physically every day must be crippling you.

Um yah. By the way…speaking of exhaustion…I don’t sleep and if I do it’s never restful.

Holy Christ – no wonder you have migraines.

Sigh. I finally did it. I finally told a doctor the whole truth. It nearly killed me but then again – so did the migraines, anxiety and insomnia.

Fear of judgement is a powerful thing. Fear of being thought of as weak. Fear of not being in control. Fear of feeling shame and guilt. Fear of being less than the person I pretend I am.

Just fear. A little 4 letter word that can ruin me ….if I let it.

Little by little, I am learning to let go of the fear and shame….

….and embrace the warrior in me.

Warriors don’t get hives. They are fearless.

And

So

Am

I.

16 comments:

vickyd said...

I'm so proud of you for telling your doctor about your anxiety. As a fellow anxiety sufferer I truely understand how difficult that is. The few people that I have told about it react the same way your friends do...they can't tell because I do a great job hiding it...little do they know that the entire time I am with them I am fighting an almost uncontrollable urge to run out of the room.

I hope that you get some relief soon...from the migranes and the anxiety. Medication has helped me tremendously in dealing with my anxiety but I really wish there was a magic switch that would just turn it off and make it go away...

terbear287 said...

I feel your pain. There are so many many days I just want to stay in my bed, in my little home. Curled up with the covers over my head. I fought my mom and dad telling me I needed medication, that I shouldn't be this emotional that I shouldn't want to run screaming from Costco because there are too, way too many people. I have been on lexipro for about 3 years now and my anxiety is a lot better. I take a xanax if it gets really bad. I still can't go to Costco on a Saturday, but I get out of bed and go to work and do what needs to be done. I hate that my daughter asks me to go to the park and I tell her no because I just want to cuddle with her on the couch and not face strangers. I go where I "have" to go. It makes me feel like a horrible mom.

Good luck my friend and maybe some of our cases aren't as bad but know that you are not alone with the suffering.

Beth Ann said...

That truly sucks that you even have to deal with this, but good for you for facing it. You are an amazing person and I know you will not let it win. Big hugs, friend!

Ice Queen said...

You are amazing. And I am so. proud. of. you for telling your doc what is really going on. That took courage and strength and an incredible need to practice self care. Good for you! I hope that you and your doc can come up with something that will make life and interacting with others if not easy, as least less difficult and hive filled.

I salute you! <3

Cat said...

I seriously adore you. I'm so glad you took the step to reach out to your doc. I hope you can work to find peace. You deserve to have some restful sleep.

*heart u*

On a related note, I despise talking on the phone. Robyn is the only person for whom I will answer immediately. I much prefer text communication. You are NOT alone.

Lap Band Gal said...

Nicely done. It's all about facing it...head on. :)

Chris said...

Sometimes saying it out loud, no matter how hard it feels, is the best thing to lessen the anxiety. I'm really proud of you - I'm sure that was hard, but you did it!

Joey said...

I love you my darling!

mommykinz said...

Thank you for this post.
I'm battling the migraines and anxiety too. I'm trying to manage the anxiety but some days its overwhelming and the most difficult part is making others understand how real it feels, how painful it is.
Hang in there, you've taken some BIG steps in feeling better.
We're always here for you.

tz said...

anxiety and not being able to sleep...they feed on each other.

Even without anxiety, texting and email is really the way to go.

Brenda said...

I could have written this. Really, you aren't alone in this AT ALL. I live in Anxietyville too.

((HUGS))

Sam said...

They do say admitting you have a problem is the first step. I am glad you have finally been able to take that step with your doctor. Here's hoping that you can work on controlling your anxiety so that you stop the migraines and can lead a more carefree life.

Sending hugs to you :o)

Dawnya said...

You should order one of those scarfs that they sell during breast cancer month. It's pink and it's a warrior scarf.

Tina @ The Bandit Girl said...

What a powerful post! That took immense courage and honesty. I am proud of you for talking to the doctor. And I can relate. I think I suffer from this too to a lesser degree (no hives). I don't sleep, get migraines and die inside if I have to speak out in a group. I avoid social situations and people outside of my immediate family. I do the same thing with the telephone. Phone calls=stress. People = stress. We don't have dinner parties, my son who depends on me to help him make friends because we homeschool is friendless. This breaks my heart. I think you have just inspired me to deal with this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Catherine55 said...

Sending you a hug. You did the right thing in telling your doctor, though I am sure that was difficult. Major props to you for doing that. xoxoxo

Andrea said...

Thank you for being honest about your struggles! Hopefully that will help the fear to have less of a voice in your life! You're on the right track!