High Anxiety

The reactions to my Monday therapy experience have not gone away. This morning I was as nervous as I’ve been in many a month.
I don’t get it. Maybe a therapist could tell me. For two weeks, I unpacked some fairly traumatic experiences in my life. The first week was work, the second week was family. This may be because the entire conversation centered on trauma.
I hate that I can’t control the ‘willies’ as I like to call them through conventional means. My brain races too fast for mindfulness techniques and Ativan will only take me so far. It’s not good to either drive or try to work popping too much of that drug.
Yesterday in a meeting I got the ‘willies.’ I hoped no one saw me taking the deep breaths in through the nose and slowly out the mouth. That DID buy me time.
This week, routine meetings have become ordeals of nervousness and paranoia. Today I have to attend a noonday awards banquet which I am dreading. At least I get a free meal which is about the best I can say about the experience.
My new therapist promised to teach me some techniques (which I probably already know) for managing these issues. I wanted to unpack some more personal garbage but perhaps I should give my continuing reveal a rest. She’s already diagnosed me as PTSD (and surprised other mental health professional haven’t) and knows enough about me to get to techniques. I suppose the rest of the shit package can be unwrapped later.
The rudimentary Cognitive Behavioral Therapy hasn’t been of much use either. I KNOW I will survive the day. I KNOW I can make it through this awards luncheon. I KNOW I can somehow manage my workload. My rational brain knows these things and keeps telling me I’ll be OK. But all of that knowledge seems to be overridden by – what? I don’t know. Some part of the brain that likes to fuck with me.
It is one of the most frustrating parts of the illness – getting mad at yourself for not being in control, thereby starting a vicious circle.
Yesterday something else happened. I had an eye appointment and went to get glasses. While waiting in the mall for the glasses, I experienced phenomena that comes about every 18 months to two years.
I will write a post in Facebook or Twitter and then come back to that post in 20 minutes and the post will look foreign to me – I didn’t write it that way. I can remember I wrote a post – right there – but not using those words and phrases. It’s like someone, not me, completely rewrote it.
It’s a scary thing. I tend to panic and start looking at other posts and tweets, making sure I haven’t written anything odd or offensive. I used to joke that I think my ghostly rewrites were better than the original text.
So I did post about it, trying to explain that my posts might not be written in my normal style and that if I wrote anything people found odd or offensive to forgive me. I said I’d look at them tomorrow and correct or delete them if so.
Of course, while writing that post, I was fully aware that these words might not look the same to me 20 minutes later. So I stared at the post for about 10 minutes trying to make sure.
When this happens I feel like I’m losing my mind or possibly having some kind of weird stroke. The episode lasts about 6 hours, always comes in the late afternoon or evening and is usually gone after a night’s sleep.
By posting it, I was also hoping someone would recognize the process and maybe help me with some advice. I’ve talked to doctors and the only thing that was ever done was switch me from Xanax to Ativan. It did not help.
But it’s worrisome. The best thing to do is to sign off social media, stop writing anything, and take a walk and connect with the environment around me.

My fear is that one day I’ll get an episode that might not go away.
This entry was posted in anxiety, ativan, bipolar, meds, paranoia, PTSD. Bookmark the permalink.

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