Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

I have 23 blogs in my reader and not ONE single post today! That has never happened on a regular old weekday before. But it freed up my blog-reading time for some blog-writing.

It's been a rough week on call. Will be happy relieved around 7pm tomorrow. Sometimes it's hard to stay appropriately detached. Life really isn't fair. Of course I know this, I've done this for many years, but instead of getting easier, its getting harder with age. I used to feel immune. But now I keep seeing myself and my loved ones in every story. My heart keeps breaking. I don't really have a good mechanism for processing this.

I've been unbelievably exhausted this week. Maybe its the emotional load? I'm sleeping OK, but still yawning and drowsy and headache-y all day. I skipped working out this morning because the thought of it just made me want to cry. I make it through the day and head straight to bed after the kids and escape into a book until I get drowsy (or until I get the anxious-not-going-to-be-able-to-fall-asleep feeling and take an ambi&n).

I really thought I had learned how to manage my anxiety. But the past couple of months, it seems to be completely out of hand. Partly its because I've been lax in doing the little things that help (5 minutes meditation, journal at night, limit social media to be more present). I need to re-instate those things and see where I end up. My therapist is still on maternity leave until July. I don't know how effective she's going to be even then, with a newborn, considering I felt she was phoning it in by the third trimester and was getting little out of our sessions (she listened and asked questions but basically had stopped offering much in the way of suggestions/advice/tips, which is what I want. I don't need someone to just listen to me ramble, that's what you guys are for ;)... I want actionable advice for changing my thought process).

I am really not keen on the idea of taking medication for anxiety. I've read about all the meds, I know the options, and none of them sound right for me. I'm afraid of being "numb", which I've seen with friends taking SSRIs for depression. And adverse effects on sleep. Weight gain. Loss of libido. Considering I'm functioning (at a pretty high level!), I really want to continue to try to work this out without meds. I'm holding out hope that I can figure out a lifelong way to cope with and relieve my anxious thought patterns.

I think G forgot that my birthday is next week. The kids mentioned it, and he pulled out his phone to check the calendar. So I guess I need to keep my expectations low. I don't want flowers. Maybe I should make that clear to him. I did get a sitter for the weekend after---I should make a reservation, too. Sigh. I'd LOVE to have him plan something but its never ever going to happen. On his 40th I did a scavenger hunt at home, made him a double layer cake with homemade filling & frosting (on a weekday!) and planned an outing for the 4 of us. Nothing major, I'm not a "party planner" type, but I did put a lot of thought and effort into it.

Clearly I'm feeling grumpy. I'm going to take some NSAIDs for this headache and eat something. Maybe head outside for a minute. Fighting the urge to buy & consume french fries or mozzerella sticks from the cafeteria (I've had both in the past 10 days).


  1. I have 200+ blogs in my reader and there have been 5 posts today, so I guess people aren't writing much right now. The summer doldrums have come early. ;)

    I hope you can find something that works for your anxiety. My sister is dealing with some pretty serious anxiety (but is not high functioning like you are) and she cannot find an SSRI that works for her. She is really struggling with it. SSRIs are definitely not for everyone. If anyone can figure out a way to manage anxiety without meds, it's you. I hope you figure it out soon, because anxiety is exhausting!

  2. Delurking to say why not just try an SSRI and if you don't like the side effects you can go off after a certain amount of time?

    I don't think that you're high functioning without it should be a bar to taking medication if you're also frequently miserable while high functioning (which has been my own situation). I've been on medication for several years and just consider it something I need to do to correct brain chemistry that's a bit out of whack (anxiety and depression definitely run in part of my family). I've never felt in a fog, only like a gray film that had been covering the world had been removed and that my mind was able to stop catastrophizing.

  3. Anything I could say about SSRIs I'm sure you already know.

    I know I've already mentioned CBT (and given book recommendations from the center I went to), but here's another plug for it. Centers where they do research are probably the best places to get it, if there's one in your city.

  4. Ana, you've been talking constantly about how your anxiety is messing up your life now, well, ever since I started reading your blog. Yoi've tried therapy, it's not enough. G you were your patient, what would you suggest? Think about it.

    1. That should say "if you were your patient"

    2. I want to second cognitive behavioral therapy. It is life changing! Try Mind over Mood or When Panic Attacks for work books you can do at home. Also, valerian root helps with sleep and anxiety.

    3. I want to second cognitive behavioral therapy. It is life changing! Try Mind over Mood or When Panic Attacks for work books you can do at home. Also, valerian root helps with sleep and anxiety.

  5. Relatively new reader here -- it's taken me a while to figure out how to say this, and I mean this with much support headed your way.

    I'm worried that you might be downplaying the effect that anxiety/depression has on your life and your husband/children's lives. While you certainly write for effect, I thought your last couple posts have glossed over potential effects. Surely, your husband is not getting upset because you plan ahead with spare clothes and bandaids? Are you conflating basic preparedness with the type of anxiety that sucks the joy out of situations for you and your family?

    You might be high functioning, but you also self-report as being much more frustrated, anxious, depressed, and yelly than you would like -- or think is good for interactions with your family members.

    Maybe medication is not right for you, but it also sounds like it is too early for you to rule it out. medication can help put you in a position so we are better to work on the non-medical strategies -- CBTs, self care, therapy, etc.

    If SSRIs screw up your sleep or numbs you, you can switch or wean off then. Really, there is no shame in medication, and sometimes your posts sound dangerously close to saying that. There are no prizes for toughing it out to the other side of anxiety and depression.