I live in a glass box

Sometimes I just don’t know what the hell is going on.  Do you ever feel that?

I feel like my version of reality is twisted and distorted so much sometimes, it’s hard to know when I’m feeling something worth feeling or when I’m just overreacting.  All I know is I get that pain in my gut and cloudiness in my head.  My heart starts beating faster and I’m consumed with my thoughts, completely unable to escape.

I live with my partner who has been an integral part of my healing.  (More on him later.  More on everything later.  My past, my relationship with my parents… OH that’s a fun one!)  I see a psychologist weekly and am on medication (an SNRI).  I started taking the medication about four weeks ago.  Week one was amazing.  The depression was gone and I was feeling happy and cheerful.  My stressors nearly disappeared and my anxiety was now under my control.  Week two changed.  I flatlined.  I wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t sad.  I didn’t feel anxiety, but I didn’t feel optimism either.  Two weeks have passed and I’m still stuck in this phase.  It’s so hard.  I got a glimpse of what life should be and all of the sudden it goes away.  I reach for it and hit an invisible wall, keeping me from going where I want to go.

I wake up upset because my partner, from now on referred to as “E”, forgot to get dinner started for the next night.  We use a crock pot to cook a lot.  It makes things easier since we both go to school everyday and are often too busy to dedicate a lot of time to preparing a meal every night.  Anyways, back to tonights dinner.  He forgot.  No biggie right?  Well, to me it was.  To me this nearly rocked my world.  What were we going to do?  This wasn’t part of the plan?  How could he forget?  I didn’t forget to cook the meal before then?  For the next six hours I sat on this issue or rather, the issue sat on me.  How stupid and irrational.  I knew it was but still I could not get the pit out of my stomach.  I wanted to tell E because talking about it is the only way it goes away, but I know how crazy I sound and I know how irritating it can be to hear things like this on a daily basis.

What am I supposed to do?  As I explain to E, and to myself, I just can’t help the feelings.  I admit they are not firmly bedded in reality, but that doesn’t take away the horrible feeling I am experiencing.  I want to let things slip off my shoulders because 99% of the things I worry about mean nothing.  But I can’t.  Everything gets to me.  My happy mood can be shattered, in an instant, by one little trivial thing.  I see the other side but so many things keep me from walking over that line.

I think about this and I realize how screwed up my version of reality is.  That’s a scary thought.  Not knowing what is real… I guess it’s not that I don’t know, it’s what I feel.  My feelings are so fucked up sometimes and it keeps me confined.  I want to escape and I try so hard to escape.

Is this blog for you?

Hello and welcome!  My name is not Joe, but for the sake of anonymity I’d like to be henceforth known as Joe.  So call me Joe!

I have anxiety.  I actually have a lot of it.  The diagnosis is currently labeled “severe anxiety”, meaning that the 4 D’s of psychological abnormality are in full swing!  It’s noticeable, too, and it’s very embarrassing at times.  I know I’m not alone.  There are a lot of you out there who suffer from anxiety.  It’s mind-numbing, isn’t it?  What’s worse is it’s not something that we can share with other people.  They don’t seem to understand.  It’s not their fault, of course, but how can you explain what it feels like when in the midst of an episode?  How can you put in to words the pain your chest, the violent thumping of your heart, the sickness in your stomach, the blinding cloudiness filling your head and distorting your reality into a twisted ball of crap?  You can’t.  And what’s worse is the wildly misappropriated self-diagnosis of “anxiety” for every person who experiences an inkling of stress and starts bitching and moaning about how much hard it is to be them, when in fact they have no idea what anxiety really feels like.

This blog isn’t just for my anxious friends, but for those who are friends with them, or dating them, or even married to them.  I’d like for this to be a safe place for us to talk.  Every once in a while (hopefully I don’t lose focus and keep this blog going) I will share a story about my past and some of the causes of my anxiety.  I’ll also include some retellings of my worst moments dealing with this sickness, and talk about what parts of my therapy/medication work and don’t work.

I hope that as I continue to write, readers will jump on board and share your stories… perhaps share some of what you find works for you.

Until next time, take a deep breath and keep on moving forward!

-Joe