Monday 16 April 2018

Undulating Anxiety Waves

Undulating Anxiety Waves

By Casey Douglass

It’s been a few days, and thankfully, my visit to the doctor last week did reassure me somewhat that things were probably okay. I say somewhat, because things are never that simple with anxiety.

Despite my best efforts to relax and be patient, by the time my evening appointment finally arrived, I’d become very tired. This dented any resilience I had to my intrusive thoughts of catastrophe, and so I found myself pretty wound up. Even though some of the tension and fear had gone by going to see the doctor, my mind was still very much in health anxiety mode.

When anxiety hits, it plunges the body into fight or flight mode. Besides the physical changes this brings, such as adrenaline and a racing heart, it affects thought too. After the appointment, my thoughts were still back there, picking things over and trying to find any reason to worry. This wasn’t a conscious thing, more a fearful peeping under the bed to check that the bogey man really wasn’t under there. It was exhausting and upsetting, and my anxiety/OCD being the skilled agent provocateur that it is, it did manage to find areas of uncertainty to latch onto. I felt quite bitter about this, as it’s a sad thing to not be able to find reassurance reassuring, but a common issue with anxiety disorders.

This mental state has improved over the days since, but because it put me into a frame of mind that I’d not been in for some time, it pulled the scabs off a lot of, what I’d thought were, healed mental scars that relate to health. My mind has been like a fly buzzing around a meadow of cow-pats, landing here, then there, then there, rarely settling, but still finding the same old shit to chew over. This general state has also bled into other areas and agitated my OCD to start niggling at things that I was doing well with. Tiring. Fatiguing. Exhausting.

I’ve managed to mostly hold on to my progress in many areas however, which is something. This morning alone something that would have plunged me into despair was dealt with quite nicely. I’m mentally giving myself a pat on the back for that one, hell, a cheeky slap on the backside too. Why not. I did good after all.

Letting time pass is what I need to do, so it’s probably a real bonus that I can’t really delay time anyway, even if I wanted to. The hard thing is doing what I can in the day to not be idle enough to give my thoughts room to wander, but not busy enough to agitate my chronic fatigue syndrome. I get more fatigued as the day goes on at the best of times, and with this comes the lowering of my mental resilience. It’s damned tricky at the best of times, and a balancing act I often feel far too fat for.

Going for a rest now. Thanks for reading :).