, , , , ,

My anxiety level is through the roof lately. I’m constantly worried, keeping myself absurdly occupied at every moment, trying really hard to not start new projects, struggling to focus on anything, and feeling on edge emotionally. You know, where you actually have to try not to cry once in awhile. I don’t know how much of the anxiety is about the anxiety itself, but there’s that too. I looked up the symptoms for Generalized Anxiety Disorder and they fit to a T. Super.

Chill out and just take the drugs, already! (photographed with a pinhole body cap on a digital camera)

I haven’t been taking the lorazepam much and I’m starting to realize I probably should, but I’m hung up on stupid details – do I take it when I rate anxiety at 7, or at 8? Does it even matter? I get to the point where I’m so anxious that I don’t even remember that I have that option, despite the fact that the pill bottle is literally sitting 18″ from my hand. I sit down with the intention of working and immediately feel sick to my stomach. Sometimes my hands start shaking, hovering above the keyboard.

This level of anxiety makes me get compulsive about some things, even though I know they make no sense, to the degree that it seriously interferes with work functioning (and bordering on OCD). And the longer this goes on, the more upset I get in general, which feeds into a downward spiral. This is why I’m trying out a higher dosage of sertraline and the brand-name Wellbutrin XL – they might help quell anxiety. And this is exactly what I remember happening in Octobers past. It’s awful. I’m willing to try any number of modifications to the meds regimen to make it go away (please, science, make it go away!)

Oddly, I’m now looking forward to DBT. Emotion regulation, I need you! I also need to dig into a couple of new books on bipolar and anxiety that I just got, not that I’ll be able to make the time to read. I keep trying so hard to budget my time, focus on productivity goals, use any and all of the many strategies I’ve learned for cranking the work out under pressure. It all seems useless, a waste of time.

My best attempts at scheduling and allotting time for different projects is always woefully off. I cannot figure out prioritization except when there are hard deadlines attached to each task. I’m totally ineffective at trying to break my work down into the right-sized tasks to make to-do lists useful. It’s all part of executive dysfunction, I know, but I’m at wits’ end for dealing with it. If I haven’t learned how in 30 years of trying really hard, I’m never going to get it. My therapist says I need a coach and I agree, but that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. Fortunately, although I’m very unhappy about my supervisors having to intervene to get my workload under control, I’m also really looking forward to their advice and help. Maybe I’ve finally started to accept that some of these mental illness-related cognitive limitations aren’t going anywhere…

Hippie Dude also says I need to give myself a break, that I’m one of the worst people he’s encountered in terms of being so hard on myself. He’s also stopped saying that we should plan to end therapy. It’s a subtle thing to notice, I know, but I don’t think I’m reading too much into it. Even though I’d like to “graduate” from it, therapy does provide some kind of a safety net of objective perspective. I’ve gotten more open to therapy lately and it actually does seem to be helping at this point. I suspect that I’m just inordinately slow to trust and to accept that I need help, plus pretty much all of my prior therapy experiences have been shitty, so I had to get over resisting therapy before it could do any good.

Anyway, if you have any suggestions on how to stop crucifying myself, they’re more than welcome.