It’s been quite a while. I’ve thought a few times on what to post when I came back, but sort of a lot’s happened and I wasn’t sure where to start… So I guess I’ll just start where I left off and catch up. Hopefully I can make this entertaining while I go.
Last time I posted it was during a sort of depressed moment where things were irritating, but I felt the need to write, if only just to write. Shortly after that day, things continued wearing on me, and I just didn’t feel like writing either.
I’d been having some anxiety issues for the last few years, and it’s never really been a problem for me before… There was a time, maybe five years ago that you could have told me my something bothersome, and I’d say “Huh. Ok, well let’s deal with this, what’s the best course of action?” In the last couple years, things started bothering me. You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you hear horrible news, like a car crash that might have involved someone you know, or something like that? That twisting, writhing knot in your belly? I started getting that feeling frequently.
At first, I was able to just dismiss it, tell myself I was being ridiculous, and move on. Eventually, simple things like problems at work for which I had no answer… and I work in I.T., it’s EVERY DAY that there are problems I have to figure out. It’s always been a strength, and all of a sudden I found myself dreading being relied upon for someone’s business. Still, I forged ahead, telling myself it was no big deal, I was over-reacting and being ridiculous.
In addition to this, I’d seemed to have completely lost my patience. I’ve always had a rather hot temper, but generally speaking, I’ve got a pretty long fuse. This was no longer the case. Little things would set me off in a shouting rage, and I didn’t like that. I’ve got two young kids, and a job for which one NEEDS patience… By the time I finish with work, I only have a couple of hours to spend with the kids, and it’s not fair to them for me to be frustrated and angry all the time.
Finally, I decided to speak with my doctor about it. She asked if I had been getting sad a lot, and I wasn’t sure how to answer… Which sort of made me think “yes”… I mean, I wasn’t crying or anything, but there were more nights that felt like that last post of mine than there were others. She asked if I was considering self-harm, which I wasn’t… Far from it. “Suicide has never crossed my mind,” I said. “Homicide, on the other had has been a reoccurring notion, however.” She knew I was kidding.
I was put on a low dosage of Celexa. This is an SSRI, and typically given to treat depression, but they find that in low doses it’s effective for anxiety. I started taking this on a Monday following a weekend during which I worked. I’m not going to get into the specifics of the job, but suffice to say things didn’t go quite well, and were very tenuous for almost two weeks before everything smoothed out.
That said, Monday I felt a difference within a couple of hours. They say you won’t, but I disagree. Day two and three were also better. Day four, I woke up an hour before the alarm, and I felt like I was having a panic attack, which I’ve NEVER had in my life. My heart was pounding, my whole body was jittery, I got the sweats, the chills, and that knot-feeling in the pit of my stomach was present, and would not fade.
“Things are fine” I kept telling myself. “Things will work out, don’t worry about it”, but all I wanted to do was crawl out of my skin. I read online that this was a common side effect of Celexa after the first few days, and would go away, but it typically took around two weeks. Nice of them to give me a heads up, I thought. Then again, if I’d had any idea I probably wouldn’t have stuck with it.
Over the next few weeks, I had a several instances like that, and they’d last for hours, though each was somewhat shorter and less severe than the last. I still wake up a little early, but I find it easier to snooze. Whatever slight depression I’d been feeling has gone away. My patience seems to have returned. The anxiety is by and large gone, but that knot-feeling is still present, if a little different. It’s more of a chill that starts at the back of my neck, and goes down into my stomach and sits for a few minutes.
Thanks to those of you who checked back in with me over the last few weeks, the words of encouragement really meant a lot, and had a lot of impact in a time when I needed that sort of thing badly. I appreciate the kind thoughts, and hope I can return the favor some day.
Anxiety is a funny thing, that I only now have a respect for. I always took for granted that because I could just dismiss something as silly, that everyone should be able to. I’ve always said “you can’t do anything about it now, so don’t bother thinking about it.” I never knew what a luxury that ability was.