What Makes Me Anxious.

I’m feeling a good bit of anxiety right now. I don’t express it, I kind of stuff it down. Some would tell me that I should express it – and I suppose that is what I am doing right now…but I think sometimes folks don’t understand the nature of this pathological anxiety. Some folks experience a lifting of their anxiety, a relief, a sort of calm when they share what is going on inside of them…me, well, maybe sometimes I feel that but a lot of the time, I just keep feeling the same way even after sharing.

It makes me think of one good friend in particular who struggles with anxiety. This individual will ask for reassurance about the same topic repeatedly – every few minutes, over days, and months…and when the issue finally resolves itself another anxiety pops up to take its place and the cycle repeats itself.

No matter how much reassurance I or anyone else may give this individual it is never enough and can never be enough…sometimes that is how I feel.

My brother, Paul, is getting married soon and asked me to be his best man. I said yes, of course, and am completely honored – but, I feel anxiety pulsing through my veins. Then there is the couple I’ll be marrying soon – now I ask myself where the blood is, as it is evident that only anxiety could be pumping through me.

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing I want to do more than serve as my brother’s best man and marry this couple. I sometimes don’t want to share these anxieties b/c I know that then sometimes people won’t ask me to do something for them like this – and I don’t want that to happen. For all the pain and anxiety I experience, I still want to live and to give…and I would be deeply saddened if someone didn’t ask me to be their best man or to marry them b/c they were worried about the pain and anxiety it would cause me.

I think I’ve gotten fairly good at saying “no” and “I’m not able to.” I’d much rather folks asked me and I had to say no, than for folks to try and save me from the pain and anxiety by never asking in the first place….and realistically, if I avoided everything that stressed me out and made me anxious, I’d just stay inside all day and do absolutely nothing involving other people…and I don’t think anyone wants that (I don’t).

Tangentially, if folks began doing this (or are doing this), it is unlikely that they are avoiding asking me for stressful things…b/c not even I can predict what will cause me anxiety or grief…and oftentimes what seems minuscule will be a bigger issue than some major stressor.

(big) Stuff that freaks Charity (my wife) out I am able to take in stride, but minor little items sometimes send me into a complete psychological paralysis…

….I think I am about to get my two good hours out of today. It has been rough being physically sick in addition to psychologically ill. Usually I can work for two hours at a time (when I am struggling only psychologically) and then need a break…but now, I find myself with two hours in an entire day. Interestingly, the more ill I feel physically oftentimes the less ill I feel psychologically. I think my bodies’ concern for my immediate physical health overwhelms all senses regarding emotional health.

And now I remember why I began writing this post…after having strayed so far. So I know one of the things that causes me anxiety is when I need to think about something intently (e.g. bachelor party). I want to think about it, but as soon as I begin thinking about it I feel anxiety, depression, and cerebral fog settle in. Then I push it off only to increase the anxiety by lessening the period in which I have to prepare such and such.

David Allen’s book Getting Things Done has been very helpful in this arena as has Asana which has helped me practically implement GTD. I’ve also read several good books on ADD – which appears to be part of my issue in addition to OCD and depression.

So, I continue to read and search…hoping for a cure, or at least a better quality of life…now my research is not only psychological but also physical, as I attempt to get back my health. Today was spent largely in bed with my legs elevated. It feels like there is some sort of waste in them, that is draining out when elevated…but put them back down and they begin to fill again…sit down and its like inserting a dam and I’ll pay for it later.

No real news from the doctors at this juncture. This morning I went in for more bloodwork – this time to test my adrenal functioning. Thursday I have an appointment with an ophthalmologist b/c my eyesight has been deterioriating, and then sometime I have another neurological appointment to get EMGs and etc. Also hoping to get a second opinion from a rheumatologist and would love to get a SPECT scan for the mental health issues, but don’t even know where to begin in looking for that…

So that is where I am at. Yes, I struggle with depression a lot  but in spite of all of the above I’m not feeling particularly depressed right now. I just finished watching a gritty foreign film about the drug trade which reminds me that my suffering is small in comparison to many and how much I desire to relieve suffering, not just my own.

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