Round and Round I Go

My anxiety seems to exist in a cycle. Is that how it works?

I actually started this post one month ago with those exact words, and today I feel the same way. I don't think it's a coincidence.

My period and the lunar cycle both seem to influence how my body and mind react to my anxiety. I only know because I cross referenced my little mood tracker app with my reproductive health graph. I've since learned that menstrual cycles do influence anxiety, and while I haven't researched my moon theory yet...I'm fairly positive I'll find some connection when I do.

Having said that, I think I've reached a plateau with my progress. I've stalled or something.

I still don't feel like me and that is really, really hard to accept. I still feel I'm watching myself experience my life. I still consistently get caught up questioning the point of all of this...most especially my purpose. It's hard because I so badly want it all, all of these feelings, to just go dissipate with each new anxiety-related understanding I uncover; but the "why" of it all continues to define some of my days and the "I miss how I used to be" still refuses to quiet down.

These days I leave the house freely and can be home alone (which I am definitely not taking for granted), but overall my anxiety hasn't gone away; it's just behaving differently, again.

Some weeks back I watched a guy talk about peanut allergies on his anxiety vlog. One thing you need to understand is that he doesn't actually have a peanut allergy. He just fears he has suddenly developed one. So he eats a peanut and then spends the next 15 minutes wondering if he's dying, questioning every twinge or sensation.

Crazy right?

Absolutely irrational.

I know.

Except I've had the same fucking thoughts. Not so much recently, but I did. Over the summer when stuff was real bad and I didn't know what was wrong with my body, I literally questioned every single thing I put in my body thinking it might be something else that was going to make me feel shitty in some way. I knew even then that it was crazy talk, and so I didn't tell anyone.

It wasn't fun, but those thoughts have mostly passed. Thank god for that.

According to an anxiety scale I've begun using, my days fluctuate between experiencing "slight" anxiety (a 1 on the scale) and "marked" anxiety (a 4 on the scale). This means I range anywhere from "a passing twinge of anxiety" to "wondering if I can maintain control" on any given day. This also means I have been fortunate enough to have had a few months with no full on panic attacks which would register between a 6 and 10 on the scale.

That alone is wonderful.

And so I just keep "putting in the work". I meditate. I journal with my workbook. I keep a gratitude journal. I limit the opportunity for me to be stressed out by making sure I have plenty of time to accomplish tasks. I proactively mind the things I think are important in life, while also letting go of things that don't fit into this same category. This week I've started some progressive muscle relaxation and imagery techniques.
I continue to make myself do all kinds of "preventative maintenance" so that I don't end up in the same situation as last summer; because if I'm being completely honest, I am absolutely terrified that I will end up like that again (without any sort of medication to instigate the situation).

I've been watching the TV show Girls. A few episodes depict one of the character's struggle with her returning OCD. The character best explained how she felt as though she was unraveling.

"Unraveling" is a great descriptor for how my bad days make me feel. Cycling though my anxiety leaves me often feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, even when I'm doing everything I can to help myself...even when only good stuff is going on around me.

I've been pretty quiet with my blog over the last couple months because when I went to share my last post, a discussion arose about how this post too was going to be about me dealing with my anxiety; and I realized that since June, it is all I've written about. I never shared that last post and I haven't wanted to post since.

I decided I'd just journal.

Except my journaling doesn't "share" what I'm going through, and my workbooks explain how important it is to be open with these experiences, because anxiety thrives on non-disclosure. And since I'm willing to basically do anything to kick this (except medication) I am again.

I'm here without solution.

I'm here because I'm just incredibly tired of all of this.

(Husband--for you)


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