Well the tagline of this blog says “Anxiety” so let’s get real – I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder at the age of 17 so it’s been about 10 years since that enlightening news. With some research and help from my mother we realized I’d been showing symptoms since the age of two.
So how broken are you Bianca? Do you wear an aluminum foil hat and refuse to leave the bunker you call a house?
Alas, no I’m not that interesting, and I’m *knock on wood* not agoraphobic. Keeping my mind busy keeps my mind at ease so I have no trouble holding and exceling at a job. Some call it anxiety, my bosses call it “thinking 2 steps ahead” – it’s all marketing really. I fear and loathe driving; someone cutting me off can leave me in tears. Yep, that grown ass woman crying in her car, that’s me. I dread and panic the hours leading up to driving somewhere unfamiliar. Social interactions are filled with my constant worry that people are judging me as harshly as I judge myself. I follow up these interactions with my stressful mental revisiting of everything I said that night and how it could have possibly been interpreted.
I don’t sleep. I’m a night owl who never sleeps in past 8am, so that’s fun.
Today I reached a new milestone, after years of on again off again therapy attendance, my doctor said those loaded four words: “Have you considered medication”.
Ahh! Hit the breaks! Screech! My years of promoting in ending the stigma for mental illness and it all goes out the window; there I was frozen, my pride screaming, “I don’t need medication.” I can tell you, being there in the doctor’s office, you’re not ready to hear those words, because maybe you’re just weird and the anxiety isn’t real and everyone has these thoughts. I told him, “but like I know my problems are just petty” to which he replied “no, no they’re real problems.”
Having my problems validated isn’t as satisfying as I thought it would be. Having anxiety, I’ve always jumped back and forth on whether I thought it was real or if I was just a pussy. I even stayed in shitty jobs to prove that I wasn’t a pussy, took a while to realize those were situations that normal people wouldn’t sit through.
So, what do I do? As much as I’ve been doing my own little part trying to end the stigma of mental illness and here I am battling that little Gollum voice saying, “meds are for the weak!” and “they’ll just turn you into a zombie or a vegetable”. Then that other voice that’s more like Xena going “think of all the people you know personally who are doing great on anti-anxiety meds!”
I’m probably overthinking this, as before I jump on the medication pony I have some legwork to do. Literally. Along with going to see a brand new shiny psychologist, my doctor also instructed me to get daily cardio.
“Arrrggghhhh nooooooo!” My inner child screams. Flashbacks of horrid gym classes pass before my eyes, barely passing, clumsy four-eyes, uncoordinated, out of breath nerd person. As I hate gyms and have no workout machines this has left me with jogging as the only option. So like a rational adult, I’m taking my fiancé down with me – if I have to be up and at ‘em jogging at 6:30 every morning (because who are we kidding, no one goes jogging after work) so does he! Mister-I-love-fitness has begrudgingly agreed to pull his sorry ass out of bed every morning with me.
So here goes it! A (possibly) new chapter of my anxiety life – how bad can jogging be?