What a drag it is being anxious
July 7, 2014 6:26 PM Subscribe
I've finally (I think) figured out that the dreadful speedy feeling I get every day when I wake up (and then off and on throughout the day) has a label: Anxiety. What now?
posted by sockermom to Health & Fitness (29 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Following a recent medical appointment, I was prescribed two pills of Atavan so that I could sleep the night after a difficult procedure. Taking this medication (I took half a pill, .5 mgs, and still have the other 1.5 pills), I started thinking about something that typically produces a buzzing feeling under my feet and in my armpits and my stomach, and I realized that I couldn't feel it at all. It was like something clicked: that feeling that I have every morning, like bees are flying around in my veins and butterflies are dancing in my stomach? That's anxiety. I feel these physical sensations every day when I wake up. To curb this, I usually immediately reach for a distraction upon awakening: Metafilter on my phone, my warm cat, a book - and I don't get started on work for roughly four hours after I wake up, no matter what time I wake up. If I rush things, I feel awful all day - discombobulated - and that bee-blood feeling persists throughout my day. And don't even get me started on alarm clocks: I can't use one. It makes me feel like that, but multiplied by a thousand. Sometimes the distraction works and sometimes it does not.
I have a therapist. She is an LCSW and we do CBT. I have been with her for over 3 years. We've been working on some really heavy stuff - I was in an abusive relationship when I started seeing her, and I left him two years ago. We've finally started focusing on things that are not about him during our sessions. I see her every three weeks or so. She has never said the word "anxiety" to me, and I'm not even sure how to bring it up with her. I'm afraid that it will be a bit of a dead end, and that she'll tell me to "focus on the present" and to "be kind to myself as I work through this." That's all well and good, but I want to be more functional and to rid myself of this monkey on my back, sooner rather than later.
I have a lot of "reasons" to be anxious - an uncertain future with my career, lots of medical concerns, financial instability, etc. But I don't seem to have an anxiety trigger - it's just always there, humming away. It really impacts my life. What would my life be like if I could get some control over my anxiety? How would it feel to not feel this way? And how do I get there from here? I am looking for practical advice on everyday things I can do, as well as tips about how to approach this with my therapist and with myself as I work through this issue. I am also struggling with depression, which may be relevant to the question (as well as a host of other health problems that I do not think are germane, except for the uncertainty I have about my lifespan and my quality of life that result from any chronic condition).
I tried looking through the tag here on AskMe but there were over 1,000 posts tagged anxiety and I couldn't wade through more than the first three pages. I apologize if I missed a relevant previous post, and would definitely appreciate a link to it if it is available.