Anxiety Skincrawls

Although it sounds like a possible character name for one of my more surreal stories, it’s in fact an accurate description of what I seem to be unexpectedly dealing with the last couple of days.

The imagery accompanying it is a little more flamboyant than usual. Rather than just a feeling of my skin not fitting properly, this time it’s as if my skin is going to unravel and flail around like uncontrollable whips unless I keep my calm and focus.

It’s extremely uncomfortable, and I’m not sure why it’s hitting me right now. It’s all very odd.

Tracking Anxieties

I’ve been given some homework by my counsellor to track the occasions when anxiety rises and to try and identify the sources. The overall aim I expect is to show me that the excuses picked out by my brain are all minor things that are being boosted out of all proportion by my misfiring brain.

So far so good, if only to confirm the usual suspects of timeliness and situations that I cannot immediately resolve. Intellectually I know the anxiety is out of proportion to the triggers, but it isn’t particularly helpful at the moment.

The other complication seems to be a side effect of the citalopram that makes my skin crawl and makes me want to keep stretching and rolling the joints of my limbs – and that does seem to be making it more difficult to draw a line underneath the anxiety and depression.

Oh well, I’m seeing the GP on Friday, so I’ll discuss it then and see what options we can come up with

Not the kind of rollercoaster I enjoy

Today’s been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, as opposed to the type that I’m normally found talking about. It hasn’t  even been easy to define quite what the problem has been either – so it was fortunate that the worst of it happened during a counselling session. Cutting a long story short, I basically had an anxiety attack – the first in a good couple of years – while talking about minor odds and ends that are currently whirling around in this this thick skull of mine. Small but disparate issues suddenly triggered a tightening circle of panic and agitation that on a purely conscious level are complete non-issues.

I was talking about the logistics of last week’s holiday, the planning and health preparations for our honeymoon, the article word count due this week, the progress of my novel, my tax return paperwork – all things that are entirely in hand and yet suddenly I felt trapped between a wall of things I want to do and a complete inability to motivate myself to do any of them, followed by a wave of frustration and guilt and catastrophic “what if” contingency planning that all pulled together into a spiral.

Perhaps part of what sparked it was the knowledge that I was in a safe place to unpack all these elements that were obviously kicking around in my head. I’ve been seeing my counsellor now for over ten years, so she’s got a fair idea of what makes me tick and how to help prompt me to think around issues from different angles so I can work my own resolutions out – and today was no exception. By identifying what elements were coming from the Id and Superego I was able to frame what my rational response to each as a mediator needed to be, and that seemed to be what I needed to do to make sense of it all and pack it all away again in the right perspective.

Its left me in a somewhat introspective mood for the rest of the day, but ultimately a productive one, as I was able to focus this afternoon on the most important elements of things that needed doing and get them completed/resolved/scheduled for another day as appropriate.

Still, very odd…

Positive news today though was the bright and bouncy look on my daughter’s face when I popped round to see her after her first day back at school. She took great joy in deconstructing the two week lesson rota that her school have decided to adopt for the first time this week, especially as it was a science-heavy first day back at school. She even got my nerdy physics joke about looking out for her teacher taking them up on the roof to tell them they had potential…

I know, I know…. get out more…