Did I Make Myself Sick?

The last few days have seemed like this never ending eternity of nausea and anxiety. I got sick a couple nights back, threw up, felt nauseous the rest of the day. I started coughing hard in the evening and threw up again… not sure if it was my stomach or if it was my whole body tensing up in coughing fits. Not sure if it was a bug I caught, or if I’m really SO anxious about Monday’s appointment that I’ve made myself ill.

Monday is my first appointment with a new neuro-ophthalmologist for my intracranial hypertension. You’d think with all the doctors I see, all the appointments, all the new ones, I’d be better at initial appointments. I’m not. I’m a mess. For me it’s the interview process on both ends – he needs to know if he can treat me, I need to know that he can understand my needs during treatment.

Any first appointment is like this. What makes this one hard is how long waiting periods are to make initial appointments and this is my brain… I can help a psychiatrist understand that I know my conditions and my body because these are problems I’ve dealt with for years. It’s harder for me to convey my level of self awareness of my symptoms to a doctor that treats the physical side of things.

It’s paralyzing, this particular fear. That’s the only reason I feel that it could even create physical symptoms. The fear grows as the day draws near. I have about 40 more hours freak out about it. I’d been getting painful panic attacks for days even before I got sick. Shortness of breath, pain in my chest, etc… Those ones where you know the pain will go if you can just calm down, but the pain is freaking you out more. I hate those.

I haven’t been around and I make no excuses. This is what the last couple days and even weeks of my life look like. Fear, pain, throwing up, coughing til I cry. Let’s be honest, it sucks, and it drains my motivation.

So, appointment on Monday. Update on my condition or treatment options on Monday night or Tuesday. Stay tuned as we get answers.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Motivation may be the first thing to go.

It starts with “I’ll write something later.” It continues on with things like “I’ll just do it tomorrow.” “Maybe I’ll do it this weekend.” Weeks go by and you don’t even really realize that you’re slowly going down. It’s not that I’m lazy… I’m just slowly sliding into depression.

I stopped talking to people on Facebook. I stopped talking to people in other chat platforms. I stopped playing Ingress. I slowed way down on my Clash Royale (for those just joining us, these are games I play on my phone close to the point of obsession).

I stopped caring. I ended an almost 8 year friendship. I told people exactly what I was thinking even if they didn’t ask because I couldn’t just pretend anymore. I probably upset family, maybe friends… I don’t intentionally hurt them, but I can’t take on the emotional burden of lying to them either.

I don’t even feel like writing this. I just know I should. I know that somewhere there is someone who is flipping through posts wondering where their motivation went… and I want them to know that it’s not just them.

Anxiety can paralyze us and stop us dead in our tracks, but depression works a little differently. It often just slowly takes away the enjoyment of everything you love… It’s called anhedonia… and it’s not just you, it’s not your fault, and it will pass.

It just really fucking blows when it’s here. Be kind to yourselves, the best you can.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

I would apologize…

but I’m trying really hard to stop apologizing for things that are beyond my control. It’s been like a week since I posted and it’s because life gets in the way. The first few days it was my anxiety and working on getting the correct medication until my next psych appointment. After that it was a road trip to take care of some things.

I am slowly bringing the list down of things I have to stress about. One by one I am trying to cross each thing off an invisible list. I can’t even write the list out because it becomes so overwhelming… However, I did make that appointment for a neuro-op finally, it’s not for two months but the appointment is made! I have my psych appointment in a week and a half. I have resolved one of my personal issues this weekend.

Three things off the list. It’s getting there. I didn’t take my laptop with me and I can’t write a post on my phone – the typos would be glorious but I am sure my point would have been lost. Perhaps I should try it one day, just to see how that works out for us. I bet we could use the laugh.

I still have a long list, but I’m feeling less paralyzed by it. I hope that means I will be able to check in with you all more. Maybe then we can explore the rest of reality and not just where I’m stuck in it that particular day.

In the meantime, do what you can to cross one thing off you list, doesn’t matter which thing… but if you have a list… pick one thing, ignore the rest, do that, move forward. Pick the rest up tomorrow. Much Love 🙂

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Drawing a blank…

It’s the anxiety again, I know it is. I have too much to do and not enough whatever i’m missing to do it. I can only handle a couple things today, meaning only a couple things CAN be handled on any given weekday morning. I, however, also have running in my head all of the things I can’t do anything about until the day they happen.

I need to make phone calls, I need to make appointments. I also have a road trip coming up to handle some things this weekend but I can do anything about that til this weekend. I also have an appointment September 7th that I can’t do anything about really until then.

These extra things weighing on my mind are making it feel impossible to do the phone call things. I stop everything I’m doing. I look at the phone. I stare blankly at it and either go back to the computer or open a game because I start to get so anxious I can’t think at all. “Do you need help making these phone calls?” Yes, yes I do… but I don’t think it’s help that anyone can give me from afar.

So I figured I’d write a blog post, and maybe getting some of this out of my head would make me more capable of handling it. I opened the page and my first thought was “Oh god, I have nothing to write about.” Hence the title.

The reality is that the thoughts come so fast that they’re gone before I can get them all out and I’m typing as fast as I can but I still can’t catch them. “Do I have to make those calls today?” “Can it wait til tomorrow?” “What am I going to do for hours in the car?” “Why do I have to keep switching doctors?” “Why do I have so many doctors?” “When did I finish my coffee?” These are random ones I tried to pull out of the mess up there, they took so long to type, I skipped over the thirty others that came and went…

I just stopped. Stared at my hands. Wondered what to finish this with. Again… Drawing a blank.

Be kind to yourself. Let whatever you do today be enough. Enjoy the eclipse if that’s in your itinerary today… Tomorrow’s another day. We can try again.

~Brutally honest Eccentric~

I am trying.

How many times do you say this? How many times do you tell your doctor, your best friend, your family… “I am trying.” Only they can’t see it. “Are you?” … Yes, really, I am. It’s just there’s this constant fighting going on in my head, and I’m sorry. I’m sorry you can’t see it. I’m sorry you keep asking. I am sorry you don’t believe me. I am sorry it’s been years and I am still fighting.

For some people, depression is linked to an event, such as loss of a job or a relationship. Sometimes just moving forward can help these people out of their depression. This seems to make them think that it is that simple for everyone. “Chin up, this will pass.” It will pass, but for many of us, it comes back.

If you’ve had a depressive episode and managed to come out of it and not return, please don’t assume that everyone has that ability. For some, there is trauma, from war, from abuse… This does not just go away by “getting over it.” You don’t just “move on.” For some, there are chemical imbalances in the brain. Please don’t tell me that you did it without meds, so can I. I can’t. I’ve tried.

I can’t always just ‘cheer up’ – I have learned to pretend to but even that has become so exhausting, I can’t do it often. I can’t always ‘just relax’ because my brain doesn’t understand how to stop throwing thoughts at me sometimes. I’m sorry you don’t understand this.

Someone’s going to read this and think I was talking about them in particular. I’m not. Please know that. This is something that those of us with mental health issues deal with on a regular basis just by interacting with people. Sometimes this is why we don’t want to interact with people.

If we tell you we are trying, please try to understand that the processes we’re going through aren’t visible to you but they are very real. We haven’t given up. We fight every day. We are trying.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

My anxiety is loud.

In a group I belong to someone shared a picture saying “My anxiety is quiet” – it went on to say that others wouldn’t see an outward change. That they are not lazy, just overwhelmed. I understand this. Sometimes, my anxiety is quiet…

However, most times – my anxiety is SCREAMING loud.

My initial reply was, “my anxiety is loud… sometimes in volume and sometimes in action – i cry sometimes. i say ‘i can do this’ repeatedly under my breath until i can really do it, i get overwhelmed and pass out, i get about two minutes warning on that, my eyes start closing, nothing i can do will stop it. i stare off into space… stop talking… words trail off… when i shake my head and see again, it starts over… i organize ideas and shift them, i talk about what i’m going to do and how terrifying it is in hopes that someone else knowing will make it less scary… i have other people dial the phone or even just hit the call button…. i can’t even make myself make coffee some mornings… not because i’m lazy but because i’m afraid i’ll screw it up… my anxiety is so loud.”

But there’s more, isn’t there…

Sometimes i’m doubled over in pain from my chest. Sometimes I overheat until I get nauseous. My anxiety clouds my judgment. It forces me to forget things I am afraid of trying to protect myself instinctively. I lay awake for hours trying to quiet the fear that something horrible is about to happen.

My anxiety is deafening. So much so that I cannot always even hear people speaking to me. I become oblivious to what is around me because I’m so focused I can’t see it… or because I’m so hyper-vigilant in my fear that I see all of it. I fidget endlessly, or I’m stuck unable to move.

I see so many things that say “anxiety is… ” or “depression is” or “having anxiety and depression is…” but let me be really clear a moment. The only completion to any of those is “personal”. They affect us all differently. Knowing one person’s symptoms does not mean you understand everyone’s.

My anxiety is loud. What is yours?

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~

Forced interaction…

Actually this is a topic I could go on for hours about except that right now all interaction is forced. I have been sick again, I don’t know why. I don’t know what to do about any of it and I’ve been neglecting you all and I would apologize if I felt I could control it or change the behavior. Empty apologies won’t help either of us.

I have handled a weekend with my family with relatively no incident, except perhaps how much I drank… I have handled going to therapy. I have not handled making those phone calls. I start trying again in the morning.

If anyone has advice on how to make yourself call places with a level of phone phobic issues, please feel free to offer thoughts and ideas. I’m tired from being ill again and I just have no ideas left.

Hopefully I’ll be posting again soon. Much love.

~Brutally Honest Eccentric~