Tag Archives: Anxiety

Anxiety? “It’s All In Your Head” Naysayers

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Today is suppose to be a fun light-hearted post, courtesy of the Muse on HUMP Dizzle!! But nooooooooo. I shall try to post something more “fun” in just a bit, but I wanted to address something.

Do you get anxiety?? Ya know…. the debilitating kind that makes you pull over on the freeway because you are seeing black “spots” and feel on the verge of passing out??? Well, I do. I have for many years… and while it is better than at other times in the past, it is insanely debilitating all the same.

Now… ever meet Mr/Mrs. Sunshine, the ever optimistic do-gooder born under a lucky star… never having experienced depression “just because” that is how their brain sometimes does… and never having experienced anxiety or a panic attack…?? I have met some of those people… and mental health is a topic to be avoided with people like this. You will only go blue trying to explain it, you will become crazily frazzled, and you will walk away knowing that they are a lost cause. These people see the silver lining to their car being stolen… with their 4 kids in it.

Serious.

I really hate when these individuals pretend to be concerned… and when you tell them you simply cannot do something that would seem easy to them, and they just don’t get it, and out of there mouth, without fail, (said in a condescending voice with all authority and perfection) … “It’s mind over matter, you just have to put your mind to it and do it”…

SAY HUH??

~I wanna choke those words out of there mouth.~ Shit, I bet they may understand anxiety if that happened… but then again, I’mmmmmmmm not so sure. (Shakes head in disbelief).
I want someone to make them drink 10 espresso’s and inject them with epinephrin… and then tell them, “mind over matter… come on, its not that hard, just control your mind, meditate, do deep breathing exercises”… THEN they may learn.

Cause those like me, well we already know– THAT’S NOT EASY TO DO IS IT?!–

I do NOT have to drink caffeine and get injected with adrenaline for that to happen…. MY body and mind like to malfunction and give me hell. NO NEED for any outside source. It is insane. I sit here, and I can completely FEEL little “dumps” of adrenaline, followed by an odd fluttering sensation in my chest… for what you ask??

For NOTHING. It just does. As quickly as it comes, it vanishes…

If you are just a friend or loved one who is just trying to understand better… if someone you love experiences severe anxiety, and severe panic attacks, and it isn’t something you experience personally, please, please … do not belittle the situation. Do not tell them it is “all in their head”. Do not make it sound like all they need to do is sit and practice breathing exercises… (yes, these can help with practice, but it is not overnight, and it does not get rid of them completely).

What ever you do… Do not make it seem their emotions, their fears, are not valid. This will simply worsen the situation, possibly making YOU personally a ‘trigger’ for future anxiety episodes. Wouldn’t that suck when all you are trying to do is help??

© bipolarmuse 2015

My Extra Heart Beat

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There was a time during 2008 and 2009 when I was under severe amounts of stress that I could not escape from, and no matter how hard I tried to “calm” myself and use “mind over matter”, I could not get it in control. This was the kind of stress that kills people, I am sure. It is a long story so let me condense it for you.

My ex, who was my husband at the time, was deployed when I was 37 weeks pregnant with our daughter. The doctors would not induce, and there was no way to delay the deployment. So, when I was to go in and give birth, I did so all alone. Once I was home, my fears over powered me completely. I developed an irrational fear that I very well may die, leaving my itty bitty baby and her older brother at home with nobody to care for them. I know that seems so crazy, but it truly was a thought I could not get out of my head… and I started going crazy. I became sick with every bite of food, losing 45lbs in 4 weeks. My blood pressure was through the roof and had to go on anti-depressants, anxiety medicine, and blood pressure medicine. I feared for my life every second of every day.

Needless to say, I could not sleep. Every time I started to doze off, I would jerk myself awake because if I allowed myself to sleep, I wouldn’t know if I were to have a pulmonary embolism, and if I did, my babies would be all alone until someone beat down the door… and how long would that take?? I know the fear was completely irrational, but mentally, I could not convince myself of how insane my brain was being.

What were the signs of this extreme stress? Aside from being unable to keep food in… I could hear, and feel, my heart beat, constantly, and I could HEAR every time it seemed irregular.

I WAS TERRIFIED.

Of course, I thought that perhaps seeing a cardiologist would put my mind at ease, and so I did just that and got an appointment instantly. The cardiologist performed several tests including a stress test and he also had me wear a halter monitor so my heartbeat could be recorded as I went along doing my normal activities in my day to day life. The results?? The Doc said, “Your heart is fine. You do have extra heartbeats, which is why you will feel that light “punch” that comes from inside, but I do believe that all of your issues will go away once you get your anxiety under control”.

You would think that a clean bill of health would put my mind at ease and the issues would go away, right?

FALSE

The pounding of my heart continued to scare me so much that my anxiety medicine didn’t even scratch the surface. I felt like it was a placebo… it did nothing. Literally nothing. I tried everything under the sun, and even used Ambien and Lunesta. Neither of them helped me sleep.

Normally, I have very vivid dreams… and at one point, I also practiced “lucid” dreaming, but because of the extreme stress and anxiety, listening to my heartbeat “swoosh” in my head 24 hours a day, sleep eluded me and it took years for me to begin dreaming again… 4 years after the fact. Let me repeat that… it took 4 YEARS for me to dream again. Imagine that. Imagine being terrified to fall asleep, imagine not getting enough sleep and going from several dreams a night to no dreams whatsoever month after month. Wishing to get over whatever crazy thing my brain was going through so I could live, and thrive, and to stop merely existing. To stop feeling so scared and like I was losing my mind. Imagine the crazy depression it caused.

That was my hell.

Then one day… it stopped. Just as quick as it came on, it went away. Not because of anything I did… it was on it’s terms, certainly not mine. The experience was unbelievable. A true testament to how I don’t have “control” over every single little thing. “Control” is an illusion. At any point and time, my brain is trying to get me.

Psychosomatic? Indeed. I was told so anyhow.

Do I still hear my heartbeat in my head?? Yes, from time to time. I have had instances where the “swoosh” came back, thudding, terrifying me and making me pray for it to go away… and luckily, it did go away fairly quick. I hope I never experience it to that terrifying level again, and I am so jealous of those who have never experienced those wicked beats… ignorance is bliss.

©bipolarmuse 2015

Ugggghhhh… come one Medicare! My Rant.

money

MONEY. I hate it and love it at the same time. Why is it that I will seem to be fine, then all of a sudden, I am broke for the next three months? Seriously. I know I don’t have much coming in, but I am very scrupulous with it because I know that a little must go far. That being said… this month I will be in the hole to my man about 500$. Yep. The mean green paper is taking a toll.

After Doc visits, prescriptions, plane tickets to get the kids back to TX on July 1st… I am flat broke… and will need my return flight paid for, and my prescription at the end of the month that is 170.00$ paid for as well. On top of the money I already owe him, yeah, I am looking at a 500$ bill. Not to mention that I have other bills to pay.  Grrrrrr.

**BUT, good news! My medicare begins on September 1st and my Doc visits and prescriptions will be covered. I cannot express how happy I am about this. Only two months to endure and then all will settle down and be great. I won’t be rich, but it sure will help with my  monthly expenses. It will pay for itself and then some…

I can’t believe that, being mentally ill, they wait 2 years before giving you medical coverage. This needs to be revamped. We have so many horrible crimes committed in the name of mental health issues but nobody wants to pay for Psychiatry or Psychological counseling. What is that about? We have gunmen going into schools, high school and college kids with mental disorders plotting bombings and other terrorist acts and I have had to wait 2 years for any type of medical assistance though I was deemed disabled with Bipolar 1 Disorder with Psychosis, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Anxiety Disorders. Know what I was told when I asked my case worker what to do for my mental health *care*?? Her response- Go to the ER.

Really?!

No… I am not comparing myself to those who commit these horrible crimes, and I do not believe they ALL have mental health disorders (because I do believe that some people are just bad people), but seriously?… I waited 2 years for medical assistance? That is like a person diagnosed with terminal cancer waiting 2 years for treatment. Especially when suicidal… ok, maybe not identical situations here… but you get my drift.

Sorry for this rant but I am seriously flustered at the system. I am grateful that something is in place for assistance, but it literally needs a program change and reboot.

!!I am grateful that medicare is on its way and I only have July and August left to pay for my own medical care and medications. Now I just have to hope I don’t get a CDR (continuing disability review) and be deemed no longer disabled. Wouldn’t that be a nightmare?? I don’t even want to put that thought into the Universe. Not that I plan to be on this all my life… I just want to make sure I do not make an impulsive decision to work before I know that I am stable enough to stay employed.

Thank God I have a wonderful man who helps me stay afloat…

Recovery From Manic Depression ~ Patty Duke Quote

My recovery from manic depression has been an evolution, not a sudden miracle. – PATTY DUKE

hopeJoy

When we suffer from mood disorders such as manic depression (aka Bipolar disorder) we want instant results from the hell in our brains. We want it NOW because the hell we live in is brutal to mind and body. Not to mention the high risk of suicide, but also the damage it does to us physically. We are at higher risks for many health ailments (high blood pressure being one), and have a shortened life span.

“Heart disease was the leading cause of death for each group.  After statistical adjustments were made for gender, race, education and marital  status, the greatest differences in cause of death between the two groups were seen in suicide, cancer, accidents, liver disease, and septicemia.” Psych Central

 In recent studies, those with chronic mental health issues (like Bipolar, Schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety) have reduced life span by approximately 6 years, permitting that the individual doesn’t take their own life.

Everything takes time whether  it is healing from physical pain, emotional pain, or practicing coping skills. It certainly does not happen over night.

So keep up the good fight my friends, and know that this life is like an adventure… it will take time to recover from Bipolar disorder, but it is worth the ride when you come out of the darkness.

Bipolarmuse ♥ My Poison

My Poison

Damn! I can’t get in touch with B.

This morning was dreadful…there was  something in his eyes that didn’t sit well with me. He is highly agitated, withdrawn, not making eye contact, and acting “off” to say the least.

No matter his mood, I have to work, even if my gut instinct is to call out to “watch” him.

I have talked to him only once since getting to work and he is beyond cocky and arrogant… not to mention that his tone of voice lacks love and compassion.

My day progresses and I have not recieved any calls from him. FUCK. Every time I try to call him, his phone goes directly to voice-mail. What should I do?? I can tell in my gut, the rancid taste of anxiety in my throat, that something is not right.

I am now freaking the fuck out.

I still have another hour of work and I simply cannot leave.

I call the roommate of B’s sister since she lives in the same apartment complex, and I ask her to please check to see if his car is there, and if so, to please go knock on the door to make sure he is ok.

Everyday it feels like I am trying to keep this wild, crazy man alive. It is so taxing on me that I literally feel sick daily. I have lost a tremendous amount of weight… from 110lbs to 86lbs which is absolutely frightening. I eat, but I get sick from stress and cannot hold food in. This is my life with B… constant stress and chaos.

She checks on him and calls me back.

– His car is there but he is not answering the door.-

Panic begins to set in… not simple anxiety, but panic. The panic that makes me sick and believe that I am going to pass out or die.

Work is over and I RACE home. I am so sick to my stomach that I contemplate pulling over to puke out all my nerves.

What am I going to find when I get home?? B overdosed?? Maybe he got his hands on a new gun (I have already gotten rid of the one he owned).

Oh my God, please don’t let me find him with his head blown off, blood all over the place.

Please be alive.

I walk through the door of our apartment… I am shaking uncontrollably at this point and convinced that he has finally succeeded at killing himself.

The apartment is dark and I fear turning on the lights. What is the fucking light going to reveal to me?

I contemplate calling the police.

Instead, I turn on the light and glance around the room. He isn’t in here, but the bedroom door is closed. That is where he is, probably dead.

I walk past the kitchen and noticed he had written on a piece of paper hanging on the wall that says, “I’m sorry. I love you all”.

My trembling increases and I am on the verge of throwing up. Then I notice a huge ass gun sitting on the island that divides the kitchen from the living area. I am somewhat relieved because if the gun is here, then obviously he didn’t use it.

Now I have to worry about an overdose.

I grab the doorknob to our bedroom and hold my breath. I peek inside and it is pitch black. No light is shining whatsoever. Darkness envelopes me.

I flip on the light and B is laying in bed. I can see his face and I take note of the puffiness under his eyes. He was probably crying all day… I have seen it happen before.

I go to him and see the rise and fall of his chest. Fuck yes! He is still alive!! All my fucking emotions come out and I run to the bathroom and puke up any ounce of food left in my stomach and then dry heaved for a hot minute.

I then wake B up. It is a bit difficult for him to come out of his sleep and he is not very alert. He definitely was high on something. He gets high on anything… muscle relaxers, pain pills, alcohol combined with any downer he can get his hands on. You name it, he will get high on it.

I start to cry, uncontrollable sobs. The type that takes the breath from your chest.

– I love you baby girl, I couldn’t do it. –

I punch him in the chest.

 Sobbing ~ If you ever do that to me again B, you better be dead, or I will kill you myself. And by the way, that gun will not be here tomorrow. I am fucking disposing of it. ~

I punch him one more time for good measure and then I hear the cackle.

Fuckin’ B and his cackle will be the death of me.

My poison.

© bipolarmuse 2012

** This is a little excerpt of my life that took place in the year 2000. The story is true to my memory and feelings in that moment. Thank you for taking the time to read… it truly means a-lot to me. **

Shunryu Suzuki Quote

“When we have our body and mind in order, everything else will exist in the right place, in the right way. But usually, without being aware of it, we try to change something other than ourselves, we try to order things outside us. But it is impossible to organize things if you yourself are not in order.” ~Shunryu Suzuki

Wow! So much truth in this simple concept. We have to have our own minds and BODIES in control. Once we succeed in doing such, all else falls into place…  where it belongs. I know myself personally, I am always trying to control external things that beyond my control. Releasing control takes practice but it brings much relief once you learn how to do so.

Perfect personal example: In 2008 I was in a constant state of anxiety/panic that when my blood pressure would be taken, it was through the roof. Since it was so high, they feared heart problems and sent me to a cardiologist. After running many tests and even using a halter monitor to monitor my heart beat for 24 hours, the doctor told me my heart was fine. My mind and body was not fine though because my mind was convinced I was dying, which made my heart RACE and body hurt. The cardiologist told me, “Once you get your anxiety in control, everything else will fall in place and your health problems will vanish”. He was right. Now, though I still have “white coat syndrome” from the experience, all of my other health problems have disappeared since my panic attacks/anxiety are under control (knock on wood).

A healthy mind will produce a “healthier” body, and a healthy mind and body will in turn affect our external environment.

Here is a little “funny” associated with this post…. when I read this quote, since my mind has been in a silly and fun mood, I instantly thought of Annie… And Miss Hannigan. LOL. Miss Hannigan was a mess and the orphanage was a mirror to the internal mess she was. “We love you Miss Hannigan”. Hahahahaha.