I’m sitting here at 8:30 in the evening. The room is dark, save for my monitor. Music is blaring in my headphones. I don’t want to hear the outside world. Normally I would find something resembling calm in this situation. I’m certainly trying to.
I can’t. My heart is racing for absolutely no reason. I can’t bear the thought of meeting up with anyone — I haven’t been able to all day. There are very few people in the world I’d even want to talk to. Even they don’t understand what’s going on in my head now.
I have generalized anxiety disorder and it has absolutely crushed my day. I didn’t feel this way yesterday or a week ago, I haven’t felt it this strongly in a while and it’s usually pretty well-managed with the SSRI Citalopram. I’ve taken it for a little over a year now.
But I screwed up. I ran out a couple of days ago and have been so busy with life that I kept forgetting to go in and get it refilled. I finally did that tonight but here I sit. Just waiting for the world to pick itself back up off my back.
This has affected my entire life for as long as I can remember but I hadn’t talked to a doctor about it until last spring. It changed everything. I am so glad I did it. And while I’m here in a dark room, just going over my day and tomorrow and the rest of the month in my mind, it does help recognizing that all of this pressure, the feeling that the walls are closing in, and the obsessing over every little detail to make sure I didn’t screw up — it’s all in my head. It sucks that I can’t flip a switch and just be okay with it, of course, but it does help just recognizing it for what it is. Knowing that there’s a decent chance I’ll wake up in the morning and everything will be fine. At the very least, I have my SSRI again. Even if it’s not bright and cheery, it’s manageable.
My anxiety isn’t based in or a result of depression. There are similarities between the two, for sure, but they’re not one in the same. Sometimes family and friends don’t realize this. I have extended family members that have dealt with major depression and so it’s a familiar topic. It is incredibly difficult to explain how my anxiety is different. That it has different triggers. That I’m not necessarily sad on a bad day. While I’m probably affected daily, the really bad days are few and far between. When they happen, though, they’re absolutely crushing and the thoughts that fuel them are completely irrational.
For instance, earlier today I had to take something into the post office drop box. There were 3 stop signs on the way through town and someone was following me. Any other day, I’m not even thinking about driving. Today? I’m worried at each stop. Did I stop abruptly in front of the person behind me? Why are they so close? Did I do something wrong? Are they on my ass because I pissed them off? Did I stop long enough at this stop sign? Did I take too long to move forward? I had the right of way there, right? I know I had right of way. Did that other person reach their sign at the 4-way before me?
I stopped at the gas station before I headed home. I said hi to the cashier. Did I smile? Was I frowning? I hope they didn’t think I was a dick. I hope they don’t remember me. I hope I don’t run into anyone I know today.
When I wasn’t freaking out in my head about the mundane day I was having, I worried about all the stupid things I have said to my family, friends and the people I care about in recent weeks. Do they all think I’m an idiot? Am I sure I’m not an idiot? Am I just a giant joke in the back of their minds. Do they even count me among the people they think about in the back of their minds, ever?
I suppose that’s where the depression similarities kick in. But I’m not so much sad about it. I just have to keep going over it again and again and again, even though I know everything is fine.
Then there’s the future. It’s a whole other beast. You get the idea. Fear and panic and obsession. Today was a shit day. I don’t mean to sound whiny — I’m just trying to get some thoughts out about how these days happen. I’m not alone. It’s fairly common. It’s just really difficult for people who don’t deal with it to understand.
Tomorrow’s gonna be better though. I’m feeling better now. My heart stopped racing. Hmm. Go figure.