Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sick of Worrying Myself Sick

I worry so much. It is ruining my health, my life, and my relationships with my family.

I wish I could just stop worrying but I just can't turn it off. It is almost like it has a life of its own. I also never know when my anxiety is taking over the driver's seat. It's like one minute I am fine and the next minute, I am struggling to take deep breaths.

I really really hate this. I wish I could be fine and not have to take medication to help me stop worrying. I have nothing against medication and would gladly swallow all those tiny pills but the side effects are killing me. The latest medication that I am trying has given me such bad constipation that I actually had a backache. I don't know what to do about this. It seems like the benzodiapenes do not work well in the long term and the SSRIs do work well in the long-term but cause me such a horrible GI discomfort. I called my doctor immediately and she told me to try some things like flax and coconut water but really the best thing that helps is my stimulant medication. I actually have to have both components to feel like a normal person.

It is at times like this that I think about how my son's body is handling his own little pharmaceutical goulash. Does he feel as uncomfortable as me? I suppose I should be checking his stools too. He is still so young that he can't verbalize a lot of feelings but I should start asking him more. Maybe I can make some visuals.... hmmm....

I wonder what would happen if I just dropped all the drugs and just did yoga for an hour a day, everyday, undisturbed. I bet that would make a difference but who could guarantee me this time? Only I could and I know that I could never swing this. Maybe I can try once the two boys are off to school but then I promised myself that I would use the time to find a part-time job. I know women who are raising two kids with special needs and have a full-time job. I should at least try to manage a part-time job, right? I am sure people will tell me to take a break and I will but that break will last until the first day that I don't have a mile-long to-do list, I will think about getting a part-time job.

I will never win against myself. If I want something, there is always another part of me of equal size and strength to say why I shouldn't have it. And so sometimes, I talk myself out of it and go nowhere.

My mother used to talk to me this way. I used to tell her things and she would always play devil's advocate. She never -- just listened. A good friend of mine one day pointed out that I do this too. She was quite pissed off at me by the time she blurted it out. I guess I am not a good listener, just like my kids.

But I have to get better, right? I have to at least try to move in that direction even though I don't know what I will be doing next week. This is so hard to do and thus, I end up feeling like everything will fail.

I wonder how I can be a good example to my kids if I constantly worry all the time. My kids have similar problems so I should be particularly mindful about showing them how to be calm. It is just so hard sometimes when your challenges are great and those same challenges seem like they were created just to pick at your most weakest points.

Rise to the occasion? I suppose I can look at this as an opportunity to do just that but I still feel like I am at the barely-keeping-head-afloat stage.

I did notice one thing about this medication despite all that discomfort it causes me. The plain truth is that it really works. This new anti-anxiety medication has pretty much prevented my panicky feelings. I have been able to take a step back and I have been a much more patient and effective mother. I do think that I am probably less productive but maybe that is all I can handle and I should accept that, at least for now.

Taking care of yourself is just so hard... When I first starting taking medication, I never thought I would still be taking it two years later but here I am, just a couple of months shy of a sad two year anniversary of the day when I first went into an ER with chest pains, not knowing that I was having an anxiety attack. Now, I have so many bottles of pills in my cabinet of treatments that failed. I should throw them away.

I wish this new medicine wouldn't produce such awful side effects. They are so bad that they cause its own hindrance to having a good life and being a good mother. So I may be coming to a crossing point: should I choose to live a life in a constant battle to fight constipation and gas or should I choose to live a life where I am sometimes in a panic or should I keep slamming my body with new drugs to see if any of those is the golden ticket?

It is so depressing just to even think about it so I am just taking it day by day. Luckily, the anti-anxiety portion of medication is indeed working when I am not in complete discomfort, I can make some good decisions. So far I have decided to see where this medication takes me. I like how I have been more patient with Logan in the mornings. I love being more patient and I can tell that Logan loves it too. If only patience could come in a bottle.....

One thing that I have decided is that I do not want to keep doing this anymore. Eventually I would like to be off of everything. I think I can do it, even if I have to wait until they go to college! I will do it! I think I will try seeing a new psychiatrist next year. I am waiting until next year because I do not want to pay an insurance deductible twice within 6 months. I hope I can afford a good one. My mental health benefits are the worst. I really need to move on from this and the pills don't seem to be an exit strategy for me. It is only maintenance and because of the side effects, it almost feels like a holding cell.

I need to be free.

photo: My summer miracle. My water-on-the-face-defensive child, Spencer made a monumental achievement by going under the sprinkler. Just a month ago, he was screaming in the bathtub and now he wants only sprinklers at the park. The key is that I have to get completely soaking wet too. The kids in the park do not know why a grown-up is getting wet. I don't think the grown-ups know either. We have made lots of social gains under the sprinklers too. Spencer didn't have a meltdown when someone poured a bucket of water on top of his head! If I did it, I'm sure that he would have. I try not to be too self-conscious doing this therapy but I do feel like a oddball parent but if I didn't get wet, Spencer would not either.


Hartley said...

Hey you --

You aren't alone -- we all worry too much. I hear you. But it turns out that you are doing an AWESOME job -- look at that photo of your sweet boy in the sprinkler! That is a victory -- surely of many more to come! :)

Hang in there -- and know that even when I am not commenting, I am still thinking about you!!


Penny Williams said...

So now you are worried about worrying? I am there with ya. I worry all the time. I am constantly checking on social interactions, need daily reports from school, worried about the other drivers on the road, etc. Sometimes it takes over for me too. But I am trying really hard wait for something real to actually worry about. I am trying to focus anxiety on facts, not fears. We all certainly have more fun when we let go, our kids (who we are worrying about) too!

{a mom's view of ADHD}

Claire Hayes said...

Hey, I know what you are going through. I get the prickles up the backs of my legs....Luckily a while ago I discovered a way of dealing with anxiety (and a gret deal more)called EFT. It works for me and many others. When I have that prickle and heart pounding to do with my ASD daughter, (or anything else),I do some tapping...
best wishes

Clara said...

Hi! I also feel the same whenever my family gets sick. I also feel that I worry so much more than you, darling. I mean, it's normal for us to feel that way, because we are all mothers. But just always keep in mind that you must never let your worries ruin your day. If we all get sick, we must at least try to be positive for everyone. Anyway, I'm wishing the best for you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Indeed. Anxieties are sometimes an added burden, if not a self-administered impasse. One shouldn't be stopping, especially when he or she's ought to be going forward. So press on and keep on. Find the right remedy and health service. Good luck!

Meghan @ Aurora Diagnostics