Relapse away

I am having a relapse.

I’m just going to write here, since I haven’t written in two months, and most of it will be terrible, I expect; I need to talk.

This is real, this is not a drill. This is anxiety, GAD, knocking down my door with a jackhammer. Oh hi, want some tea, I’ll just- *steamrolled over* Right, well, um, just make yourself comfortable. I’ll clean up your mess later, I guess.

Patrick was away for 6 weeks. That was very lonely, especially as my roommates were mostly gone, my students were on holiday, and my supervisor was away too. But he’s back now, and things were going really well until about 2-3 weeks ago.

I started getting upset at little things. Dropping things, rushing a lot. Forgetting more. Pushing Patrick away frequently, when just the week before I couldn’t be with him enough. Then I started having panic feelings – terror at forgetting items or being late, heart beating in my chest, frequently having to try to calm my breathing, acting jittery…Then Patrick forgot to bring home asparagus. And I shut down. I couldn’t make dinner without the asparagus. At all. We had a twenty minute discussion about whether dinner was ruined forever. Now my nightmares are back. I watched something with an alien in it, and now I’m awake at night, envisioning its carapace leaping down on me from the ceiling and sucking my face off with its lamprey face.

I’m not sleeping. I can’t focus on anything – I can’t even play a video game. I just start throwing the mouse around in fury. And today it’s my dad’s birthday, and I want to be a cheerful happy daughter, today of all days, but mostly I just want to call him and cry.

I keep circling around the question of ‘why’. I stalk ‘why now’ like a tireless jaguar. I chase my triggers through brush forest, catching glimpses of ‘causes’ in hunter’s eyes. But I am weak, and they are fast. I have learned nothing. ‘Reasons’ haunt my thoughts, teasing me with a litany of environmental factors – I’m trying to squeeze extra daylight, sugary foods, overworked, financial stress, moving house, lack of exercise, and fear of failure into a monster sized multivariable spreadsheet, as if the only thing I lack right now is sufficient analytical capacity.

Anxiety is making me repeat old mistakes. ‘Why now’ is irrelevant. ‘Causes’ are fleeting. ‘Reasons’ are simply yearnings not to be at fault. Even if I could determine exactly why I was suddenly so anxious that I’m fantasizing about knives and skin, the reasons would not be simple, easily solved, or few in number. All the reasons are interconnected, and influence my feelings in different ways at different times. (Secretly I still am largely convinced spring has something to do with it. Spring is an evil time for mood disorders).

I have to accept that it’s simply here. I just have to ride it out, basically. The more wiling I am to let it happen, the less it will affect me. The more I worry about it and try to control it, the more it will control me.

It makes me wonder where the anxiety was all this time. I keep thinking that once I’m officially ‘better’, this will not happen anymore. That’s a total fallacy, of course. But I still feel as though the anxiety was simply gone for a while, absent. On holiday.

5 thoughts on “Relapse away

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