If you’re wondering what’s happened to me, I think I can sum it up in one word.
Over the last 6 weeks – really, ever since C and I moved into the new house – stress has been gradually building up in me and I have had no place to put it and have not dealt with it in any meaningful way. I stopped going to Soul Sessions to watch and perform poetry because by the time 8pm rolled around on a Wednesday, my tank was empty. A long day at work became a long night at home, secluded on my laptop, trying to avoid doing things. But as I avoided doing things, the list of what we needed to do to the house grew longer. All of our big plans gradually became overwhelming big plans and I just wanted to shut it off.
Of course, that’s not how this works. Dealing with stress isn’t ignoring the things that cause the stress, letting a mound of dirt turn into Mount Everest over time. I wish I could remember that, because I am genuinely terrible about doing the things that can actually resolve my stress. Instead, I turned inwards. I picked up Infinite Jest and buried myself in my coin collection. At work, I haven’t been able to maintain focus on anything because it feels like my attentions are being pulled in different directions. On top of all that, especially with regards to work, my anxiety has ratcheted up to pre-panic attack levels: I am experiencing physical symptoms of something being wrong, again, and I am trying to set it right. My sex drive has been shot. My heart/chest feels all sorts of screwed up. My head – don’t even get me started on how messed up my head has been feeling.
That’s the bad. That’s the ugly.
But what do I do? I could take medicine, but it seems the medicine that helps also has an adverse affect on trying to grow a family. I’m going to a cardiologist next week to check on the heart – family history concerns me. I haven’t smoked in 325 days. I haven’t had alcohol in over a week. Same with caffeine. I’m trying to do the things that should level me out. I went to my therapist and now have regularly scheduled appointments. I went yesterday and following the 45+ minutes of word vomit that I let loose, I felt better. My sleep needs to improve. I haven’t slept well in over 2 weeks, maybe longer. I feel tense right now, just typing this up and thinking about it and I can feel how it’s affecting me.
I don’t like it. I’ve never liked it. This spiral is never fun. I think I hit the bottom this past weekend at Floyd Yoga Jam. Going to Yoga Jam was meant to be a spiritual boost. However, for the most part, I felt like an anxious space cadet, feeling this impending sense of doom and did not sleep well whatsoever. There’s a rebound – I know there is because this isn’t my first trip down this crummy path. But it feels so… so far off. Several times over the past couple of days, I’ve wanted to break down and cry, but when I get to the point where I’m crying, the tears aren’t coming. It’s as though I’ve blocked myself from being able to cry. And, damn it, I really want to cry. I want to unleash wave upon wave of pent-up emotion and tension! I want to unlock this broken thing so that it might be able to repair itself! Because I know that when I am well, I am stellar. But when I am unwell, I am thoroughly un-stellar – I am a black hole. I don’t like not being stellar. That could be a point of stress, ell oh ell, but I’ve accepted that. No sense throwing even more burden on myself, right?
Sorry. Had to crack wise.
Anyway. If you’ve had an interaction with me recently, if I’ve been slow at getting back to you (if I’ve gotten back to you at all), this is what’s going on. I hope you understand. It’ll get better.