|Courtesy of lol-rofl.com|
In my 40s I started having anxiety. I didn't even know what to call it, but I'd have swirly thoughts, started having a hard time falling asleep because of all the insane thoughts in my head. Then during the day I'd have swirly thoughts. The trouble with swirly thoughts is no one else really knows you're having them and if you lash out they are generally left scratching their heads wondering, "WTF?"
I'd get worked up, heart thumping, mind jumping, turning all of those molehills into huge ugly mountains.
When I first got divorced 10 years ago I started having panic attacks. Holy Hannah. Those are fun. The first one I had I remember vividly. I had something to do or somewhere to be, was getting ready, and bam - there it was. I remember feeling exactly how I felt when I did Speed back in my 20s. I never really liked that feeling and that might be where I first discovered, delightedly, that a life of drugs was not for me.
The panic attack can be described in my experience as doom. I felt an impending doom. It made me keep taking deep deep breaths. Like I just needed to breath (isn't the body a wondrous thing?), like I just needed a minute.
Except you can't get that minute and no amount of air makes you feel better. Doom. Something BAD is going to happen. Something very bad. Luckily, for me, nothing BAD ever did happen. Except the anxiety.
In our family we have joked over the years about the L-Family Mental Illness. We'd joke how we do this crazy and that crazy, but we're still lovable.
I don't particularly feel lovable all the time. I think this anxiety helps me keep people at arms length. I don't want too many too close and when they are too close I push them away with a bit of bad behavior.
I know you can't change what you don't acknowledge so I am saying this out loud here in my little confession-land. It feels safe here although that is simply a crazy thing to say! This is the most unsafe place (meaning internet-land), but it feels safe because I don't really know who might be here and this emboldens me.
How strange and magical that is.
Change can take place now that it is acknowledged. I will hang on to that.
Wowzers! Fantastic and wonderful!
Love and smooches to all of my therapists.