Toggle Switch

When people are less knowledgeable in the area of anxiety and clinical depression than I expect, I usually say, “If it were a toggle switch, I would have turned it off a LONG time ago”.

trigger pic.jpg

I have incessant worry.  I get so excited when I don’t have something to worry about – I realize it and say to myself, “Oh my word, I’m happy right now!”  (But I’m usually pretty good at cooking up some type of worry.)  Thankfully, I have a handful of friends who realize this, and I call/email each of them with my worry. They all say, “screw that” in one way or the other, and my worry will usually slowly fade away.  Incessant. Toggle Switch.

Pay it Forward

Sarah

 

High Anxiety

High anxiety = perseveration.  Sometimes, ok, a lot of the time, I spend perseverating.  It’s not a word most people know at the tip of their fingers.

per·sev·er·ate
pərˈsevəˌrāt/

verb

PSYCHOLOGY
  1. repeat or prolong an action, thought, or utterance after the stimulus that prompted it has ceased.
ORIGIN:  early 20th century: from Latin perseverat- strictly abided by, from the verb perseverare (see persevere) .  Note this word persevere – it’s how we go into survival mode when we have anxiety.
It’s not a pleasant part of anxiety (yes, there are good parts to anxiety).  It’s a part of anxiety we wear on our sleeve – people recognized it and get aggravated by it.  I don’t blame them for getting aggravated when I perseverate.  I’m like a broken record and cannot move on.  I roll things back in my mind over and over and over, thinking, “if I had only said this”, or “if I had only said that”.  Seinfeld has an episode with George perservating on what his comeback reply could have been and spends the whole episode trying to come up with a “good enough” one in his mind.  In the end, his comeback was silly, which goes to show you it doesn’t serve you well. (George and the shrimp store episode). Sometimes I get caught on a memory from years ago that I go over and over in my mind. My poor husband.  (He hears it, over and over and over).
My therapist is the kindest person around, and she helps me to work on coping mechanisms for it.  Mindfulness, mostly, and this little image she had me draw in my calendar that I picture each time my mind is stuck.  And Xanax. Xanax, of course.
Pay it Forward
Sarah
PS: Where are the paragraphs I formatted?

Ready to Move (locally, that is)

Years ago I blogged about how I did not want to move from our house…we built our house almost 30 years ago.  It’s been through a lot of different phases.  Marty (my husband) has had our kitchen remodelled three or four times (no, he’s not a cook nor am I).  We’ve finished our basement to make an additional bedroom, gym, bathroom, and family room down there.  (There’s a lock on the door, so overnight guest were sometimes “inadvertently” locked down there – I crack myself up.)  We’ve added a bigger dining room.  We’ve changed the siding, the color, etc.  But I’m ready to move on.

We live so far from everything.  When Marty was working, his drive was five minutes to his office.  And I always said I’d be keeping this house because of my hill in my backyard for my grandkids to sled down as I had with our own kids.  Now I am tired.  I’m tired of the long commutes.  All my doctors (a lot!), my hair appointments (there is a lot of upkeep on these greys), my grandson, good food, are all at least 30 minutes away.

Not only the commute, but my knees are asking for a one-story home.  And the only room I’m ever in, is my bedroom.  And I’ve come to realize I can bring my bed to wherever I choose.  I could not have made this decision three months ago! After this last year of deep depression, I am ready for a new outlook.

The memories which have held me tight to this house have faded (probably medication induced, but it’s fine – and necessary).  I will not rush, since I know I’m still prone to ups and downs.  But if that right house or lot (preferably a lot) comes along, I’m taking it!

Pay it Forward

Sarah

 

 

 

High-Functioning Anxiety

I had never heard of this term before.  My friend, Bonnie, sent me an article with this title asking me, “sound familiar?”.  It was me.  Totally me.  Google “high-functioning anxiety” or “high-functioning depression” – that’s been me my whole life, until a year ago, when I hit the brick wall and became nonfunctioning!   But now I’m back to, well, “functioning”.

The perfect description of having high functioning anxiety/depression is that commercial  for Rexulti (which I take).  rexulti image

You present this persona of someone who is OK, but you’re not. I wasn’t “just sad”, I wasn’t “just nervous”.   The ones who knew I was not OK were my husband, my kids, my doctor, and my closest of friends (well, and my poor therapist).  Most of my friends saw my ubiquitous smiley face I presented but thought I was just a little cooky and worried a lot.  I am both of those latter two!

Interestingly enough, if you followed my blog/book from years ago, I had intractable migraines.  My internist and neurologist both said, “which came first, the migraine or the depression? ” After talking with my new psychiatrist, the depression and anxiety have been there all along.  So the migraines are part of my depression, I guess.

The migraines are good now! I only get them about, five, six times a month now, and my “rescue drugs” help, along with my two preventative drugs I take daily for them.  It’s all so weird – don’t you think I should donate my brain to science when I’m finally gone? What a hey day those scientists would have in their lab!

My friend told me May is Mental Health Awareness Month. So here ya go. I’m educating you.

Pay it Forward,

Sarah