Tuesday 10 April 2018

Drugged by the Anxiety Rabbit

Drugged by the Anxiety Rabbit

By Casey Douglass

I was trying to decide whether to post a horror story I’ve written, or to write a more personal post. After checking out a particular song, I’ve landed on the latter. The power of music y’all. The song is linked at the end of the post if you want to check it out early doors.

I’ve been having the severest bout of anxiety I’ve experienced in over a decade. It was caused by a health concern that might have some validity, and was something I’d initially dealt with in a skilful, level headed, calm way. By skilful, I mean keeping things in perspective, being accepting, and not going into panic mode with my anxiety disorder. Then, going to sleep later that night, I became very prone to the anxious thoughts hitting home, causing massive whole-body anxiety flushes and agitation. It absolutely wrecked me and kept me awake most of the night. This lowered my resilience in general and left me even more open to my fears.

Anxiety is a bugger. During the day, I can call on more mental elements and tools to balance things and keep myself from chasing the rabbit. Unlike in Alice in Wonderland or The Matrix, following the rabbit when anxious means a topsy turvy adventure into anxiety land. It’s like fake news but more personal, you end up believing your own mind’s propaganda. At night, it isn’t a case of not following the rabbit, its more like the rabbit had chloroform in its little paw, knocking me out and dragging me down that tunnel against my will.

I felt like my mind had been ripped open and become prone to every paranoid fear and thought. I managed three hours of sleep I’d estimate, and none of those were consecutive. I know this shit inside out, have lived with it for more than 25 years, and it still gave me hell. The days since have seen me slowly rebuilding my resilience and perspective, with periods of anxiety rushes, and feelings of fear and doom. Each day has been slightly better than the last in this regard, which I am thankful for, but it all feels so fragile. I am living hour to hour, trying not to think further ahead than that. I’m very tired, very rough, and just trying to gently coax my body out of its sensitized state so that I can make more balanced choices in things. It has also been a balancing act when it comes to my usual Obsessive Compulsive tendencies, not letting myself slip back into old behaviours, as that will just compound things. On the plus side, my anxiety has left me nauseous which has cut down my usual levels of comfort eating. A small positive there at least.

I’ve been trying to write or post something each day, even if it’s just a tweet. I’m not sure how much sense they make as my mind is pretty foggy but at least I’m trying. I’ve had no paid work since 2018 started, and that’s a mixed blessing right now. I’m so so tired. Finding stuff to write purely for myself is helpful to give me a focus without the stress of someone wanting something to be a certain way, but on the other hand, fuck, I hate feeling like such a failure when it comes to making a go of this writing thing. At the moment, I have bigger fish to fry just getting through the day though, so I can think about it and not feel too down.

Thanks for having a read, and thanks to anyone who has interacted with me in the last three or four days on social media, I appreciate it. Social media isn’t the best of places a lot of the time, but it’s always lovely to see there are some nice people on there too.

Oh. The song. Korn’s Jonathan Davis has a solo album coming out, and What It Is is a track from it. Really liking it right now: