Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Crazies. Yes, again.

It comes out of everything and nothing. Suddenly and gradually. I sense it happening and I try to ignore it. I know that the worst thing I can do is fight it, and I fight it every time.

Ah, The Crazies. (The Crazies = E's and my word for my anxiety.) My dull grey friend. My cold, controlling buddy. I should have seen it coming.

About Wednesday of last week I started a slow descent into exhaustion that generally precedes this kind of thing. I stayed too late at school one day for some meetings and spent the rest of the week catching sleep and catching up. I find that kind of disorienting disruption to the routine so annoying; the rest of my week becomes about that one day where I didn't do XYZ or the day when I did too much A rather than B. I spend the week trying to "fit things in" like exercise, relaxation, and sleep, and then ultimately I spend time lamenting the futility of not being able to cram in some more freaking serenity.

Rhino now! (Ad's version of "Serenity Now"? LOL)

I should have seen it coming. Of course I got sick. Of course I didn't eat right. Of course I didn't run. Blisters, stress, guilt over not doing enough grading for work, a cold, too many things to do, uncertainty about the new routine... I let them all take over and let things go that I know combat The Crazies. By Monday I found myself sick, in bed, and wide awake because my heart wouldn't stop racing. The best sleep I've had all week was Benadryl-induced in the hopes that I'd salvage the next day and accomplish something. Each time, I woke up groggy, cranky, and no more rested than if I'd just stayed up the extra hour.

I spent yesterday in bed trying to be tired when I really knew I was. By last night I was one big ball of crazy and making myself even more crazy over the fact that I couldn't have The Crazies because I had to get back to work tomorrow. Crazy.

This resulted in my being awake until 2:00 AM, and I think I only slept because E finally made me so mad (when he wouldn't "make me" all better. Yeah, I see the error there...he's a good guy for putting up with me...) that I took another Benadryl. Then he made me watch The Office so I'd laugh. I instantly hit a wall and slept like a rock.

Today I'm trying hard to release it. Not to fight it, because as we know that only makes things worse. I got to work early this morning and made a big list called "Crazies." No, I'm not joking. Every day I get to work and make my 'to do' checklist and today I made a Crazy list. I wrote down everything that was on my mind--every blasted thing that's been in my brain and fighting me for sleep and strength. It was a long list, a whole sheet of paper. Side note: binder paper just feels really good for some things. This was one of them. Instantly I felt a little better. At least it's on paper and not in me anymore. Nothing's solved, but at least it's not for me to worry on. For now.

My tendency, when it comes to stress and worry, is to feel like I have to worry, like I have to think on things or they won't get done or solved or fixed. This has no actual relationship with reality. There's no correlation between the worry ratio and whether or not something actually gets solved/brought to a close/amended/perfected. I think it gives me a pseudo sense of control over the uncontrollable. The problem with that is that it's an exercise in futility. There's no solution where I can worry myself into peace. I need to consider the lilies of the field. Darn it. Stinking LILIES!

Rhino now.


  1. Sorry to hear you're fighting off the crazies again. Remember all the wonderful advice you gave me last time I was feeling that way...maybe one of those things will work for you!

    On a side note, I really enjoyed catching up with you last night. I hate to hear you're feeling the way you are, but appreciate your honesty and transparency. It makes me so much closer to you as a friend!

  2. Hang in there. I know this can be a tough time. Try to get out in the sunshine and walk...I know you can't walk right now, but try to get out for a walk. That helps me.

  3. Heather-
    Have you read the book The Color Code? It is really good. It will help you realize your personality (I think you are a blue all the way-like me) Anyway, it just describes different personality traits into four different colors. It has helped me in my marriage to realize that I am so different than my husband and that it is okay. I worry and stress and try to do everything, too. I am sorry you have such anxiety but I am glad you are working through it. Just remember to pray for help, too.

  4. followed the "Rhino now" link to this page. I thought I knew what it meant, but haven't gotten that confirmed by reading. It's about what Rhinos do, right?
    I do have my own crazies, and I know that writing/listing helps. I tell my self "everything is going to be okay" over and over . . . and diaphragmatic breathing.