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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Struggling with Anxiety Coping Skills

The last couple of days have been rough. I am off the anxiety med now. I just couldn't deal with the effects any more. The drug interactions kept boosting my heart rate and as much as my doctor wants me to be able to manage the stress in my head, I couldn't stand the nightmares. And on the heart med, I wasn't keeping the BP down. So we will see how this goes and try another med in August if I need a different anxiety med.

Lexapro helped a lot for a while. With the cocktail I was on, I slept. at first it was 15-18 hours a day. So my dream of catting on a daily basis came true. Then gradually, the longer I was on it, the more my brain fought it. My brain has never liked not being in control. My brain is also an asshole when it is in control because it won't shut down when I need rest. My brain always wins. So being off Lexapro is not a good thing because hamster wheels in the sky keep on turning. Staying on Lexapro is not a good idea because nightmares from hell.

It's not in the pamphlet, but somehow the Lexapro means that I can better remember my dreams now. They would last hours after I woke up before but on the med I could remember them for weeks. In fact, one of my first Lexapro dreams is still in my head. And when I told my therapist about it... ruined her daughters wedding buffet for her. And now I can't eat tuna fish. And neither can my therapist.

These road trips, and being out in the sun sand & water have been great. My vitamin D levels are reset and I am starting to feel less pain in my physical body, when I am out and in the water I feel better about life. Heck, I even prefer to sit outside to eat on the hot days than huddle in front of the AC like I used to. That has to be a sign that things are getting better. My anxiety shuts off completely at the beach. For instance, yesterday we went to a new rock beach which I will keep secret and simply call Fossil Beach. Tis a bumpy place. Pebbles are about dime sized, stones are quarter sized to the size of your fist. Any thing larger than your first is a rock. If you can not pick it up it graduates to the term boulder. This place is rocks and boulders. And it is mostly a weird not very collectible fossil and granite. There may possibly be some verde antique marble but I have to have that piece identified. To collect anything of interest one must have shoes. In the event there are no shoes then one must plank.

Yes. I said plank.

You see the water levels in the lake are so high right now, higher even than two years ago when I was out there that there are three distinct berms. You know that puddley line of pebbles, stones and rocks where the wave tumbles the bits and leaves them, where then the beach slopes up to whatever geographic features comprise the parking lot? Yes, that line. It is called a berm and that is where the shore turns to beach. Two years ago the berm was about 4 feet further into the water than it is now. So what is up on the beach on the cove has been tossed there by ice for the last two Winters. The first most of the boulders and rocks have seen light in perhaps hundreds of thousands of years as they are now small enough to move. There is three to four feet of tumbled goodness, a foot of pristine beach sand and then another 2-3 foot berm. To get the goods I was looking for, I had to stand in the short beach in the pounding surf and plank across those three to four feet of tumbled boulders. I'll plank for rocks, but not for planking's sake.

The day had started off with an anxiety attack of epic proportions. My housemate talked me through it and bundled me into the car anyway. I didn't get better until we hit out destination. In addition to some great rocks for the birdbath garden, I got some great shots of geese riding a tumultuous surf, 4 minutes of pure surf sounds in a shoreline video and another bunch of rocks that I would never have been allowed to take home when I was a kid.

You know that Summer of Sherry stuff? Still working it.

But panic is setting in. Summer of Sherry will yield to job hunting at some point. And the reality of being money free is setting in. It is scary because what I was counting on to help has fallen through. I don't know where my last check is and neither does the issuing institution. My IRA tanked and I am only making back about a dollar a day of the hundreds that disappeared with Brexit and the political buffoonery going on. So now I am equal parts chill and freaked the fuck out. Like I said though, the last two days have been the hardest.

Recurring nightmare for this week involves the road falling away underneath me, crumbling into the depths of the earth, right through the planet and threatening to drop me into space itself. No matter the vehicle I am in, as the dreams progress the vehicle shrinks, the road falls away and there I have dangling over the vast terrifying all and nothingness of space. And when I don't have that dream then I dream that waterspouts come off the bay and make F3 tornado landfall with Imhotep's greatness. As the populace panics and runs for cover all of the males faces have turned into my brother's face. As they swarm passed me while I stand rooted in panic then all the faces become my brother's.

They say that dreams mean something. And the only way to stop having nightmares is to understand them. I've also been told that my nightmares hold the key to rooting out the source of the anxiety to better treat it. I'd say, based on the recurring theme of the land falling out from underneath me and everything I think I see becoming my brother for me that the relationship I have with him is central. I'd always thought that it was my mom. But when I dream of her she is not nearly as terrifying as my brother. So there is the issue to cover for the next therapy schedule.

Today I am haunted by the week's traumas. My back is against the wall while I write this but I feel like someone is standing over my shoulder. I want to curl back up in bed but I also want to go back to Fossil Beach and get the angel wing fossil I left behind. I'm short about 8 rocks to finish the birdbath garden and it would be perfect. I also find a delight full granite that I regret leaving behind. It is a weird in between state to be sure. I have a bag of pebbles, stones and rock to sort from Frankfort still, I could content myself with that. But I wan to go. I feel like I need to be off today.

I am supposed to go to Grand Rapids this week. It is all predicated on being able to help a friend. I missed the opportunity yesterday because of anxiety and sleeping through those phone calls and texts. So I do not know now that the trip will happen. My anxiety dips and swells at the thought. And I can not seem to find the identity of those feelings.

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