Making Up For Lost Time


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.


8 thoughts on “Making Up For Lost Time

  1. Oh, Matt, I’m sad I missed the earlier post. I’d have been in there rooting for you. As you know, I’m a person who has had my share (or more) of boots to the soul, as well. I can tell you this with certainty: if you’ll keep looking for the answers tenaciously, you’ll find them. Really. Think who is saying this and what you already know she’s weathered. You can do it, too.

  2. Matt, I didn’t read your prior post so I’m sorry to hear about this difficult patch you’ve been through. Sometimes it’s good to disconnect from everything and simplify. It’s very easy to add things in and around your life, and next thing you know, you’re weighed down with all kinds of activity that robs time from doing things that are important. Simplify, simplify, simplify.So glad you’re back amigo, even if you are a Sox and Patriot fan…

  3. LiI – Sometimes I wonder if I could have replaced the Celexa with more fun, or perhaps just less work… Course, one has to pay the bills! certainly feels like a thorn’s been removed from my side though. Delores – Thanks! That’s a great way to put it too… It’s not like it was terrible weather, but it’s definitely better now. 🙂 Though, I do so love a cloudy day. I swear that sun is trying to kill me!Chris – Thanks! You said it! Life is definitely too short. The thing about the whole deal that bothered me the most is I’d spend my daughter’s waking hours barking and complaining, and the hours she was asleep I was feeling like a jerk because she’s growing so fast, and it wont be long before she doesn’t want me around. Life’s far to short. Leslie – This too shall pass, I’m certain of it… Just sick of looking forward to things being better, when there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to enjoy the things I have… I think that’s the most frustrating part is that I KNOW things are fine, and will ALWAYS have room for improvement… But couldn’t get it to stop irking me. Now I can focus on the REAL problems, like the fact that I’m out of ice cream! :DWendy – Thanks, I will certainly take you up on that. 🙂 I have some blog reading to catch up on, I’m sure I’ll be posting comments to yours soon. 🙂 Up2DaRack – All things in moderation, they say… Though I’ve always found it difficult to abide by. I’m one of those full-tilt until I need to completely stop, sort of folks. I’m sure I’ll go through a dry spell again, only to inevitably come back! 🙂 And boy… It’s not easy being a Red Sox fan lately. Right now they’re losing 9 to 1, and that’s par for the course! The Pats are a much easier team to route for! 😀

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