I had a pretty terrible day. I should clarify—my anxiety was probably only about a seven (ten being the worst!) but I’m just damn tired of it. I hate feeling like I’m only operating with half of my brain. To me, that’s what intense anxiety feels like. The back half of my brain is this constant train of thoughts speeding by–leaving only the front half (or less!) of my brain to function. And that part of my brain is attempting to function with a railroad running behind it. Imagine trying to study at Grand Central Station. Sounds like a great idea, I’m sure.
While I’m not consciously aware of the content of the racing thoughts—it just seems like loud noise in the back of my head. I catch pieces here and there, but mostly it’s just a sense of generalized anxiety (hence the name “Generalized Anxiety Disorder”).
I left work about half an hour early today because my brain lost the battle to the train (I could make that into a nursery rhyme—next blog!). What started as a whisper eventually worked its way to an all consuming noise. After staring at my computer for an hour and not having read a word—I got on the train and went home. I did some meditation—which lowered the volume to a medium hum. Like the train is no longer shaking the whole house…just the windows are rattling.
Running through my head this whole time was “You have survived anxiety before, you can do it again.” And I have worked through it….over and over and over….and over…and ov—ok you get the point.
But I am
The question is—how much longer do I have to continue to fight this? The answer is rather bleak. I am not going to kill myself and despite jay walking at every possible opportunity I have yet to be hit by a car. So for the foreseeable future—I get the distinct pleasure of picking myself up over…and over…and….over
You might be thinking “stop feeling sorry for yourself”, after all—other people starve day after day. And maybe you’re right (about the bad attitude part—unfortunately it’s true that people starve everyday). But this is my reality, and if I’m being honest, today—I’m tired.
So I could leave you, my beloved reader, at this rather depressing point—but what good would that do either of us? After all—I want you to keep coming back! And it doesn’t do me any good either. Because guess what? Tomorrow—I get to wake up, with the same messed up brain, and do it all over.
So where will I leave us instead? Below I’ve listed a few techniques I’ve learned in therapy of dealing with these kind of days. And if I may be so bold (and I may, it’s my blog) I think the tips apply to anyone going through a rough time—not just mental illness.
- Stop Predicting the Future: I do not know what lies ahead. Whenever I would say, “so there’s no cure for bipolar” Rick (therapist) would say “not YET”. So maybe one day I won’t have to feel like this.
- Accept: Be ok that today is a bad day. I touched on this a bit above, but don’t compare yourself to others. Your hell is your hell. Trying to pretend it’s not a bad day is not going to make you feel better—it’s just going to wear you out.
- Let it go: Cross something off of your “to-do” list—without doing it. I’ve had a huge mess of clothes in our guest room for a week that needs to be put away. Sometimes, avoiding something you don’t want to do can be freeing, and give you back a sense of control. And hey, it makes selecting an outfit in the morning easier since my clothes are all there on display.
- Have fun: Take a bath, watch a funny show, drink some hot chocolate, get a foot massage (I’m currently trying to convince my husband to help with this one….). But make sure it’s something that involves very little effort on your part, we’re trying to get you to relax!
Ok…so its 11:10PM and I’ve done three of the four. And if Sidney would just give in on the foot rub…I’d hit all four and be the poster child of therapy.
However, if I’m honest—it’s not a magic cure. I’m still tired and tomorrow still seems overwhelming. But I do know from past experience, what this did do was unhook a few of the cars off the train. So hopefully it will be a quieter train in my head tomorrow (or at the very least not louder than today!)