what irrational fear is like

(This is my internal drama queen, anxiety right now.)
Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

It's been a day.

Not a good one, either.  

The dryer broke.  Not even with an impressive sort of sparks-and-flames display, but a I'm on strike and refuse to dry your ridiculous laundry anymore kind of thing.  That, I could handle.

Then, my body decided to slowly lose the war with a cold/flu virus around noonish.  I was fine when I woke up.  By noon, I was at that phase where your face goes all hot and cold, and your bones start to ache, and your nose feels like you're breathing in very cold air despite it being warm in the room.  That precursor to Yep, I'm Sick time.  It could go either way, depending on your immune system, but your white blood cells are all we're dying for this war.

That, I could handle, even.  Not without some whining, because I'm a horrible sick patient.  But I could handle it.

Then, J came home, and while I whined about being sick, he wordlessly called the unemployment office.

His job -- his supposedly stable, not-laying-anyone-off direct-hire job -- laid off everyone who wasn't essential.  (So, the muckity-mucks and office people.)  This is the fifth time in a year that he's started a job, and literally within weeks, has been laid off through no fault of his own.  His employers literally tell him all about how much they like having him there and how well he's doing, but...budget/contracts/corporate closings.  All those people who like to spout off about how well the economy's doing?  They can suck it.

Let us just say that at this point in the day, I was not handling things as well.

Most of you know that I've got a lovely combination of generalized anxiety and depression that's about as much fun as hitting yourself in the head with a hammer a few times an hour.  I've been pretty open about it in the past few years, after decades of putting on a happy face and pretending's nothing wrong while my brain slowly eats itself.  Before I got smart about it (and got medicated for it), it manifested in weird ways, too -- everything from not being able to get out of bed to not being able to leave the house without severe physical symptoms, all the way to irrational bouts of anger and even more irrational thinking for those few days when it became unmanageable.

In short, it was not fun before.  It's also not fun now, but at least I don't yell at strangers and loved ones or, y'know, turn into a human slime mold for days at a time.

Ah, the wisdom of age and experience.  And a lot of medication.

However, all the little pink pills in the world won't help when blindsided by a group of things that could probably be handled, individually, but end up being a giant Wall Of Suck(tm) that I slammed into today with the force of a mack truck.

So now, I'm fighting the waves.

They're annoyingly frequent.  

I'll be sitting there between them, panting and grasping at the sand under my fingers, and just about the time I have strength in my arms again, the next wave smashes into my back and grinds my face into the shore.  My heartbeat goes all crazy.  My mind tilts sideways and thinks it's dying, and consequently forgets how to make words happen, and sometimes, forgets to make my lungs do that whole breathing thing for a second.  The depressed part of my brain, which loses all tether to reality when I'm mid-attack, starts interjecting fun commentary like, it's just going to keep happening.  You should die now., as if THAT's at all helpful.

(For the record, and because I know there are people who will read into that:  I'm not suicidal.  I don't really get suicidal anymore.  I get passively suicidal thoughts, which I've done a lot of work to be able to identify, isolate, and dismiss as unhelpful.  I know who to call if things ever get scary, and when to admit that things are in the scary zone.  I'm fine.  It's just one of those things I get to live with every day of my life.  Yay.  Yay for that.  Thank you for caring, though.)

The annoying part is how it siphons out my energy like a sponge made of suck.

One minute, I'm planning my day and all the cool things I want to get done for that day, and the next minute, I'm on my back on the office floor, vaguely breathless, and trying to be all Warrior Princess on my own brain.  If you've never had an anxiety attack, you won't understand this, but it is exhaustingIt's like every fight you've ever had on the internet with a faceless opponent over things very important to you, all at once, but coming from your own head.  You can't turn it off.  You can't walk away.  You can't stop the panic.  It's an unstoppable, overwhelming force.

And you're in the middle of it.

Good luck with that.

(Did I mention that it's also a very dramatic feeling?  There's no half-way with anxiety.  It's on, or it's off.  Stark contrast, and everything goes from normal to fifty shades of menacing in about three seconds.  You feel like a drama queen, because anxiety is a giant drama queen.  Which then makes you feel bad for being "dramatic", when it's literally not your fault, but it kind of is anyway, and that just adds a nice little layer of shame frosting on your cake made of suck and irrational fear.  There's no winning with it.)

So, anyway, that's been my day.

Not gonna lie.  I'm not digging today.

I'm distracting myself with bad television and worse books and trying to keep moving while the anxiety burns itself out from banging on the drums of war in my head.  I'm not to a point where I can think about rational solutions to the issues that triggered all this yet.  I will be, soon.  But for now, I just need to ride the waves and take deep breaths between them.

It'll be better soon enough.

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