Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Was Kidding, Sort Of.

I naturally have sort of a high anxiety level about, well, everything. It just happens to be the frequency I run on, and mostly, I've learned to cope the constant sort of high-pitched whine of worry that sort of plays in my head all the time. I've always been like this: just a little high-strung.

It's like this: I feel like, by worrying about everything, I'll be able to cope with anything, because I'll have thought of it. I'm simply covering my bases. The problem is, life has a bad habit of throwing things I hadn't bothered to imagine at me. What hits me is seldom the thing that I've worried about.

Dan has a meeting in Bladensburg after school, and he gets anxious about going places alone that he doesn't know well. That worry, at least, makes sense. What am I anxious about in this particular scenario? I'm embarassed to admit it, but I am anxious about car accidents, carjackings, and my totally high-strung husband lost in a really bad neighborhood.

It's ridiculous, I know. We don't have a vacation planned, let alone one to the Grand Canyon. Nevertheless, I see a story like this, and I start imagining having to make a phone call to my parents to tell them that something horrible has happened, and before I know it, Max is standing in front of me, asking "Mama cry?"

I just can't seem to stop. Anxiety has been kicking my ass lately, and I can't seem to get the image of speeding cars and steep drops and my unattended son in a full bathtub out of my head. At its best, it's that high-pitched whine in my head that I described. At its worst, it's paralyzing, and crippling. I feel like I've had a headache for three weeks. I have a lab slip to have Max screened for lead, and I could tell that his pediatrician thought I might be a little nuts when she checked him over, pronounced him healthy, and I asked for the screen anyway.

Chances are that nothing awful will happen to my family today. Chances are everybody will have a fine day, my husband will go to his meeting and come home and we'll have some leftover chicken and rice and watch some stupid reality TV and go to bed. But in my head, I'm not envisioning that scenario. I'm envisioning car wrecks and ambulances and doctors delivering bad news.

I have a lot of perepheral stress right now, what with closing on the house and having guests for pretty much two months straight. That is what's causing this gigantic explosion of anxiety. I have got to get a handle on it, though. This is no way to live.

Two days ago, when I spouted off about my incredibly high level of stress, I wasn't serious about needing to be medicated. I didn't think I was, at least, but as it goes, it may not be the worst idea ever. Just something to get me over the hump? Something so that I can turn off my brain for a few minutes at a time. I manage, mostly, but for some reason, this time, I'm not managing that well at all.


Kimberly said...

Chill, woman! I understand what you're going through. Not so long ago Michael and I were scrimping and saving pennies for a down payment, and it is an open door for a whole host of worries. For me, (and I know a thing or two about high strungedness) the extra worries, like about car wrecks, are brought on because the mind has just gotten used to being in a worrying state, and so grasps for anything. Also, I think one starts to worry about things totally beyond their control because it is somehow easier than dealing with the things within our control. worry about random possible accidents requires no action; whereas saving money for a house might get you thinking you should rent a metal detector and take a daytrip to a National Park. A stressed out mind is not easily consoled. You could medicate, but I advise the old fashioned method-- start drinking. Hang in there. I'm pulling for you, and here to listen.

merseydotes said...

Make the decision about getting medicated after you close on the house and move. Give it all a month to settle out and then see how you feel.

Treen said...

It's not crazy. Well, it probably is crazy, but you're not alone. I ruminate constantly about crazy things like that. One night Gerry wouldn't answer his phone on the way home as I left work and I saw a terrible accident and I know his car wasn't in it but by the time I got to his apartment I was in hysterics. He just gets really bad service in there. I always freak out about the wrecks and freak accidents and heart attacks.

It's not fun at all. My family is very high anxiety, so we all get pretty bad. I think if you got something mild, just for really bad days or moments, it could help. It helps me and I take it a lot less than I originally imagined I would. Just having it as an option relieves a lot of anxiety and helps me to think more logically. It would really suck to not be able to enjoy closing on your house at all because you just want to have a panic attack. It's hard to explain to people that you know it doesn't make sense that you feel this way, but it doesn't make you stop wanting to hyperventilate.

Jana said...

Oh, man do I understand that anxiety. I envision disasters on an hourly basis.

Thanks for posting on my blog regarding the Velvet Touch. I can't believe they have a branch campus!

And thanks for your nice words about my daughter. Charlotte is almost 16 months. Your Max is a doll, too. Love that curly blonde hair!