Anxiety is one hell of a roller coaster ride. One that you don’t need a ticket for. One that has no safety harness or lap bar or restraint of any kind. Anxiety can be – and often is – severely crippling and disabling. When you feel like I feel while writing this, you are mentally all over the place while physically being in one place. You’re like a duck swimming across a still body of water. You may appear to be calm, cool, and collected on the surface. However, just below the water line the duck’s feet are paddling up a storm. That’s your brain. Everything gets overwhelming. Suddenly you’re on Jupiter and everything, every action, and thought weighs 2.4 times heavier than on the reality of everyone else’s Earth. It’s easy enough to try and dilute the stress and anxiety by way of chemical interference. Whether that means using medication as prescribed by a doctor, or abusing illicit drugs or binge drinking alcohol. I have been guilty of this in the past, as many a young person have before me. This is not a healthy coping mechanism as it can lead to a lifetime of addiction and other dependency issues.
Instead, I am attempting to do something to distract myself. You are currently reading the result of this attempt. It is easier for me to express myself through the written word as it just comes most naturally to me. I am taking anti-anxiety medication as prescribed by my psychiatrist. While it does help maintain a certain level of calm through my day overall, it does nothing for the random panic attacks that I get. Like the one that is happening right now, they have been happening more and more frequently. Often they are triggered by me stressing over things that I cannot control. Sometimes they are triggered by things that I can control, but not knowing how to just builds it up until I’m in full blown panic mode. My brain races a million miles per hour. I’m hyperactive in my frontal lobe. Every sensation is heightened and I can’t sort it all out. My heart races… trying to keep up with my mind.
So far, this blog post hasn’t helped me calm down entirely quite yet. I am tempted to alter my state of mind in the unhealthy chemical way. I do not want to do this. However, if I were to try and reason or justify a poor choice on my part, that would just be a fallacy. I don’t need chemicals to feel normal. Except that I certainly do need chemicals to feel “normal.” That’s what normal is… just specific chemicals and their reactions with other chemicals. In the grand scheme of things everything is molecules of one chemical or another, right? Endorphins are some of the chemicals that we share that alter our sense of being. My brain has a “natural imbalance” of chemicals that control or alter mood. This is why I take medication as prescribed by my psychiatrist. Recently, the drug Ativan – the generic name being Lorazepam – has been suggested by numerous friends on Facebook whom also suffer from a general anxiety disorder and panic attacks. I have a check up with my psychiatrist on Monday morning. I will certainly ask about Ativan and if it may be what I need to control these attacks on more of an as-needed basis.
For now I will resist temptation of an extra dosing or introduction of alcohol to my system. Despite how shitty I feel right now. I need to follow the rules. I tried playing my guitar, that’s my go-to stress reliever. That was only making me more anxious. That’s how you know it’s a panic attack for me. That’s one of the ways, anyway. Right now I am listening to some music by way of the Apple Music streaming service. It is helping a bit. I think I will continue to listen to music. I may write some more, but it might not be on this blog. I would paint since I haven’t done so in quite some time. However, when my anxiety is as strong as it is right now, painting does nothing but frustrate me more. I need to be inspired to paint, not dependent to paint… if that makes sense. Anyway, I’m rambling. I need to focus on my breathing and listen to some more music. That’s probably the best thing I can do right now.