Monday, November 11
Today is Veteran’s Day, which means no classes. I am grateful for the three-day weekend, because my anxiety is still in rough shape and I’m in no condition to be in class as it is. I’ve talked about this odd panic spell I’m in a little bit, but I’ll give you the full story in case you’re confused/out of the loop.
About two weeks ago, I started to have some problems sleeping. I didn’t particularly feel super anxious at the time, but I was restless and frustrated with the insomnia. Then, throughout the rest of the week (probably due to sleep deprivation) I started to feel really…wonky. Crying, panicky, nervous, irritated, generally just “off” and “disconnected.” These are all very common symptoms of PMDD and GAD, so I was familiar with the feeling and tried to remind myself I’d be feeling back to normal soon.
I felt briefly fine when I went home for four days so I could completely recuperate, but it was basically hell again when I got back to school that weekend. Slowly, day by day, my anxiety would just sink worse and worse, my crying would intensify, and my overall feeling of “offness” and dread was seriously starting to interfere. These past few nights, I’ve been running on 4-5 hours of sleep, usually interrupted by horrific anxiety attacks, nausea, and even painful legs. It’s hard to get rest when your legs are killing you every night and you’re throwing up into your trashcan, all because of anxiety.
I’d like to make a very resounding note that this is anxiety, NOT depression. I’m not feeling emotionally distraught or hopeless or anything dangerous- I’m just extremely anxious and, as a result, unstabilized. With that being said, I’m not in any kind of danger (or a danger to anyone else), and I am trying my very best to take constructive steps in the right direction. This particular weekend has been a bit rough in particular- I was essentially bedbound today- but now I’m feeling a bit stronger and willing myself to set healthy goals for myself.
The first thing I did was reach out to my college’s counseling program to set up a therapy appointment. Even though my body seems to be having a physical panic reaction that a therapist likely can’t fix, I still think it will be helpful to talk to one and learn some insight. So I’m looking forward to that.
I’ve also resumed taking escitalopram, or Lexapro, at 10mg per day. The medication may take a while to kick in, but I should be feeling at least a little less edgy by the end of the week. I also have my Ativan prescription, which I am utilizing in the absolute most panic emergencies.
Furthermore, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my friends and loved ones to have an extra source of support and reassurance. My mom has been an absolute angel, bringing my medicines and listening to me vent and cry. Eli and Lily, my good friends, have given me so much comfort and great advice! One thing in particular I love Eli said was along the lines of this: “You should not feel guilty about reaching out for help, so don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself.”
Eli is absolutely right. I have to advocate for myself and my health, because no one else will. I am going to set a concrete goal to go to all of my classes this week, register for my spring courses, and meeting all of my important academic commitments. Right now, that’s my biggest goal- just to get through the week academically.
I’ve already broadcasted to my friends via social media that my anxiety and panic is basically holding me hostage this week, and I’m going to need some extra space and distance to keep myself in check (unless I reach out to them first, such as Eli or Lily). I’m usually happy to help people with their problems and listen to them vent, but right now, I need to detach from that and spend some time taking care of me.
The past two weeks have been some of the hardest of my life, purely because of my anxiety. Like I said, I am not depressed or in a dangerous place- I’m just literally hinged and bedbound by my extremely intense panic. I don’t know why my anxiety has suddenly sparked to badly, but I’m going to do my very best to be strong. With any hurdle in life, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and I know this anxiety spell will pass soon!
Tuesday, November 12
It’s currently mid afternoon, and all of my classes are finished for the day. I wanted to jot down some quick updates about my anxiety, and how I’m holding up now that classes have resumed.
In general, I’m doing pretty okay right now. My anxiety is still higher than usual, but it’s not bad enough that I’m crying, bedbound, and throwing up. So I’d say that’s definitely an improvement. I can also go a few minutes without thinking about my anxiety, so I’m proud of that.
In regards to sleep patterns, I’m still in a pretty tedious place. I felt pretty calm when I fell asleep last night, because I called my mom and I had Ativan in my system. I had some severe anxiety around 2am, but it wasn’t bad enough that I threw up or had to call someone. I sort of just waited it out, and distracted myself for a couple hours, and I was asleep around 4pm. So I’m not sure if that’s progress, but it’s definitely not a degression!
I’m hoping I’ll start to notice some positive effects from the Lexapro within the next couple of weeks. I know it takes a while to work, but I should start to feel relief from the edge soon. Tonight I’m going to work on a class project with a friend, then I’m going to take the rest of the afternoon to relax, light a candle, and focus on keeping my panic down. Updates to come.
Wednesday, November 13
I’m in relatively good spirits, albeit my insomnia was awful last night and I didn’t sleep at all. That being said, my anxiety is pretty high so I’m running on pure adrenaline, and I’m not sleepy at all. So, that’s good I guess?
Last night was actually very lovely, and I even made some new friends! (And my existing friends took very good care of me). I decided to go to my university’s pride club, and I had a really lovely time partaking in the discussions and meeting new people. I’ll definitely be attending more meetings in the future!
Anywho, today is going to be a bit busier than usual. I have three classes today, then a study group, then a house meeting. After that, I’m hoping I can find some anxiety relief and get a few hours of sleep. I’m looking forward to this weekend, because I’m going home to spend some time with my mom and stepfather. They take such amazing care of me, especially in hard times such as now.
Saturday, November 16
I admittedly forgot to write Thursday, and yesterday I was busy travelling home, but now I have (finally) found the time to sit down and get some work done! I’m happy to report that I’m in very good spirits, and since I’ve been home, I’ve hardly had any anxiety. I’m even starting to feel sleepy, which is something I haven’t felt in a long time due to ongoing adrenaline.
Today I visited Mount Agamenticus in Maine with my family, with was really lovely. I’m not really a big hiker, but the fresh air felt good and I had a great time. It’s much later in the evening now, and like I said, I’m starting to feel veeery sleepy, so I hope I can get a good night’s sleep. I’m glad I decided to come home for a short break; it’s been so rejuvenating and rewarding to spend time with the people I love. I hope you all had a fun weekend, too!