It is indeed that time again, and once again it’s obvious that I am really bad at keeping up with this thing. I’m not even entirely sure I should be doing this post, and I’m even less sure about just where it’s going to go or even whether or not there’s a point buried somewhere in my subconscious.
Yes, we’re moving again. They say that moving is high on the list of big stressors in life. I think we’ve done it enough times that it doesn’t feel like one…on the surface. The things surrounding the move are more impactful at this point in my life.
Quite a few things have had a really intense effect on me as of late, and my entire system has felt it. Things have been hard, physically, emotionally… I had one of the most intense periods of anxiety that I’ve had in many, many years. Though, the more I really try to sit and dissect it now that it has largely passed, I’m realizing that what I had been feeling at the end of the last duty station (while James was gone) was less about depression, and very likely more linked to anxiety.
My past with anxiety has been less intense than these two experiences. The things that I went through in general were short in time span, and just weren’t as obvious in their symptoms as I had become accustomed to.
I’m not sure I can put into words at this point what I was feeling, but I’ll try.
As a quick aside, James has been an absolute rock.
If any of you have ever heard of invasive thoughts (or intrusive thoughts – An intrusive thought is an unwelcome involuntary thought, image, or unpleasant idea that may become an obsession, is upsetting or distressing, and can feel difficult to manage or eliminate.) my brain was completely taken over by this.
The worst thing was probably the realization that it was happening. It took about a week to realize it, but I did. And there was nothing I could do to stop it. One instant to the next, no matter how hard I tried, the worries, the negative thoughts, the speculation, the paranoia, the self-doubt, self deprecation, the complete inability to focus on anything useful, barely being able to hold on to anything realistic during my day… barely hanging on to my sanity for the sake of my child and my marriage, let alone anything else or anyone else in my life…. this was close to one of the hardest things I’ve dealt with internally in my life.
Weeks on end wave upon wave of intrusive thoughts distracting me from everything in my day to day. Finding a few minutes here and there to hide from my kid so I could cry and get it over with so I wouldn’t have to try to explain in the moment why mommy was crying.
Crying myself to sleep at night more times than I could count, relaying so much of the ridiculous, absurd, stupid, pointless, and completely irrational thoughts to my husband before passing out in his arms. All the while repeating like a mantra “I know it’s all in my head.”
There are things that influenced these things for me, that I won’t go into here, other than a triggering of feeling the most alone I’d ever felt in my life. Endlessly, vastly, cavernously, alone. It was heartbreaking, even if it wasn’t fully real. It’s a feeling I hope I never feel again, and I hope that my anxiety never gets that bad again.
I felt hopeless, helpless, frustrated, and knowing just how irrational all of it was, the keenness of that was amplified by the self-awareness to know I was going through a severe episode of anxiety.
When it wasn’t the emotions tearing me apart on the inside, my body felt like it was in over drive on some days… my heart would race, I’d be shaky so I’d cut out some of the coffee I was drinking, make sure to eat, and sometimes it would level out for a few hours before spiking again. Some days I could barely eat, others, no amount of food was enough. Insomnia some nights, others I’d go to bed early. No amount of sleep was ever restorative enough. Exhaustion, muscle tension, soreness… my body wouldn’t process things properly, I was drinking Pepto straight from the bottle.
Inside of me it was a hurricane colliding with a tornado with periodic explosions from a volcano. All the while on the outside I was trying to be as normal as possible, especially for Zoe. And who am I kidding, it was also for me, if I could fake it, perhaps I could convince my body and mind to fall in line.
There are things in my life that I have not really addressed and dealt with, which certainly isn’t helping me in the slightest. I know that. But I can only take so many things at any given time, and sometimes compartmentalizing things for a while is the only way to get through one thing in order to make it to the next.
I broke down the night before last, the most recent in my breakdowns these past few months. There is certainly a lot of unpacking that I need to do, but this just isn’t the time to do it. When is it ever the time to do it? How many times am I going to need to unpack the pile of shit that is my emotional subconscious? Realistically I’m going to have to do it many times in my lifetime, but I feel like I’m allowed to roll my eyes and huff over having to do it at all, once in a while.
There was a lot I had come to terms with over the course of my life, or at least, I thought I had come to terms with. And perhaps I have…to a point. And perhaps it’s really just my anxiety dragging things up, triggered by other things…and I’m allowing it to take over too much of my brain-time.
As usual, I have no idea how to even start dealing with any of this, and it’s of course at one of the worst times. My rock is leaving, and I don’t want him leaving thinking that I’m less than capable of getting through. Thankfully the worst of the worst has passed, and it’s not like this is super normal for me.
Well, the words just aren’t coming to me anymore, so I guess I’ll leave it at that.