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Archive for the tag “anxiety”

Day 105 of Isolation: Food Anxiety

I fear I’m on the verge of a serious eating disorder. I know it’s happening and yet…

The problem is I’ve developed a new symptom of whatever is wrong with me that makes me extremely sleepy any time I eat. Doesn’t matter how much I eat or when, as soon as I’m done, I’m falling asleep.

Think after-Thanksgiving food coma sleepy. Every meal. Every day. I could eat a sandwich or a bowl of cottage cheese or a handful of popcorn and instantly be nearly comatose.

I don’t know what’s causing it. Could be part of the anemia or maybe the hypertension or perhaps the beginning of diabetes?¬† I don’t remember exactly when it started, but I’ve been complaining about it for several weeks now, and only just realized last week how bad it was.

It’s so bad that I’m now avoiding eating because I don’t like napping all day. And by “napping” I mean lying in bed like a slug, unable to do much of anything but also not sleeping because my brain won’t shut off. I end up just simmering in anxiety over everything and get up four hours later just as tired as when I laid down and usually with a killer headache.

It’s actually, funny enough, exhausting. My whole life is exhausting. Being awake is exhausting, being asleep is exhausting, being alive is exahusting. WTF body? Why?

So now I don’t want to eat. I have so much anxiety over the lethargy that comes after eating that I can’t eat even when my stomach is rumbling and I feel sick from hunger. I wait until dinner and even then I don’t want to eat because 5pm is too late for a nap and too early for bed. I hold off eating until 7pm if I can then try to stay awake a couple hours after.

I managed the other night by downing half a pot of coffee at 8pm. Caffeine really does nothing for me.

My husband says I should just eat and sleep if that’s what my body needs, but I don’t know how to explain this lethargy/exhaustion. It’s not a fun kind of sleep. It’s more like being trapped in a body that can’t really do what I need it to do (stay awake) but my mind is racing all over. It just causes so much anxiety that I don’t rest. I can’t rest. I lie there, tossing and turning (when I can gather the energy to roll over) with my thoughts tumbling all over.

Normally, I fall asleep by thinking of story plots to focus on. I can’t even do that. I can’t grasp on to anything in my head. It’s a tornado of thoughts that won’t ever settle. Occasionally, I pass out from exhaustion but wake at every noise. I wake randomly in a sheer panic (heart racing) over nothing. I started taking old anxiety pills at bedtime just to get any rest.

I’m stuck in this cycle of being too exhausted to stay awake but too awake to sleep but not awake enough for my brain to make sense.

I literally cannot explain it. I feel like I’m going crazy. More crazy than I already am. I’ve suffered from severe chronic insomnia before (lasting years). This is different. It’s terrifying. And food seems to trigger everything so I’m afraid to eat now.

On one hand… that’s bad. You need food. On the other hand, I weigh 263lbs so I could stand to eat less. Except I know it’s still bad because starvation diets are just bad for your health. But but but… ugh.

I go back to the doctor on Thursday. I mentioned the food/sleep thing right at the end of the last appointment, but I’ll be bringing it up more this next time because it’s out of control and scaring me. I am no longer a functioning human.

 

Day 81 of Isolation: I Just Can’t

I wanted to post something about Black Lives Matter… maybe one of those posts with a bunch of resources to support those that need it since I can’t physically or monetarily help in any way, but it’s just too much for me.

The constant bad news from around the country, the interruptions from my kids who are bored and anxious because of current events, the constant overwhelming anxiety and depression as I watch the world fall apart…

It’s too much.

I need a break so I think I’m going to take a few days off from my daily posts so they’re not all just doom and gloom.

My oldest son graduates high school on Saturday and my grandson turns one on Sunday so I should have some positive posts by this weekend. Maybe I’ll stay off social media altogether and read or work on one of my fanfics.

Day 80 of Isolation: More of the Same

Eighty Days.

That’s how long we’ve been sequestered in our houses here. You could go around the world in that time if you had a balloon.

It’s another night of protesting and rioting across the country.

And, oh yeah, there’s still this pesky pandemic going on.

In Washington state, the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order has ended. Apparently, people think that means they’re free to do whatever they want now despite the fact our county is still in Phase 1 of reopening and moving to Phase 2 has been postponed after a large outbreak at a food-processing plant.

Now that the weather is nicer, I’m having to listen to my kids whine about leaving the house. Well, that’s mostly the 14yo. The older girls are pretty much doing whatever they want which includes hanging out with friends (sometimes for days at a time).

The other night, my oldest (almost 20) was heading out since her ex had the baby for the weekend. I didn’t pester her about leaving despite still being under the Stay Home order but asked where she was going. She shrugged and said she wasn’t sure.

“Well, stay out of Portland. There’s a curfew at 8pm and possible rioting all over, especially downtown.”

She scoffed and assured me they had no intention of driving into Portland and definitely not downtown which is a 30+ minute drive.

Of course, the next day I find out where she went that night. One guess.

Meanwhile, my 17yo comes home hungover and my 14yo is pissed I yet again didn’t let her go to Oregon to spend the weekend with her friend despite the friend’s dad and grandfather (who lives with them) saying it was okay.

My blood pressure is up because of the stress despite the pills I was given. My weight is up (267.2lbs) again because I don’t have the energy to do anything still and the stress is causing me to overeat. I still don’t have a doctor and I’m almost out of the pills which is just more anxiety. Now I’m worrying about my kids getting caught up in riots on top of getting COVID-19.

I’m tired.

And there’s that guilt again because how dare I complain about being tired of my boring middle-class white problems when there’s so much else going on.

I’m to the point where I just give up. Let the kids run around wherever. Let the 14yo go to Oregon. Let the 9yo play with his friends. What difference does it make anymore?

I need a drink.

But I’m not supposed to drink on my meds.

So I sit and stew in my anxiety and depression instead.

So tired.

 

Day 79 of Isolation: Watching the World Burn

I’m having a hard time processing everything that is going on. I’ve been alive long enough (43 years) to have witnessed a few riots on TV including Ferguson, MO in 2014 and the LA riots after the Rodney King verdict in 1992 (when I was in high school).

I don’t know if it’s because I’m older or because 2020 is just such a shitshow already, but this feels so different. We had Ferguson protests here–they were all over the country, but I don’t remember them turning into riots. Riots everywhere.

I don’t have cable/TV so I’ve had to keep up through social media. It’s been hectic and stressful even though there is no rioting near us. Watching cities I love, cities I’ve called home, cities where I have family and friends burn in the face of the discontent of the residents… it’s overwhelming.

My brother lives in Portland. Up until recently, he lived on the east side of the Willamette, within walking distance of downtown. I know he loved the vibrancy of the city center, but I’m glad he’s not there now.

 

riot_portland

c/o KATU news

 

Watching this amazing city that prides itself on being weird and inclusive just self-destruct was heartbreaking.

Then I started getting reports from family in Michigan that the protests in Grand Rapids had devolved into riots and looting as night fell.

riot_grandrapids

c/o wzzm13.com

My mom and her family are from Grand Rapids and many still live in the area. This was a second home growing up. I have fond memories of playing at John Ball Park with my cousin (and even once, sneaking into the zoo!).

My hometown of Chicago is, predictably, not any better. The racial divide in the city is old and strong, and the underlying fury has been smoldering for generations, just waiting for a spark to light it up.

riot_chicago

c/o Chicago SunTimes

I grew up here–on the southwest side of the city. First in the Back of the Yards and then West Elsdon (near Midway Airport). My dad grew up here. My grandmother grew up here. I have family and friends all throughout Chicago and the suburbs. It really wasn’t surprising that Chicago melted down, but it still made me sad, especially knowing the history where protestors and police are concerned. There are going to be deaths.

And then there’s Seattle in my current home state. I have friends there as well. And it is falling apart up there.

riot_seattle

c/o KOMO news

I just don’t even have words for the violence and destruction I watched throughout the evening. I had no idea things were so heated there.

I’m watching the world–my world–burn, and little parts of me are dying with it. All those years I was enjoying post-apocalyptic movies, books and shows, I never thought I’d end up living through the apocalypse part of the story. But more and more, it appears that’s what 2020 is aiming for.

It’s only the end of May and we’ve nearly had WWIII, Australia almost burnt to the ground, a plague, murder-hornets and now rioting across the country. I just…

I don’t know how to deal with this anymore. How do you keep going when every day things fall apart a little more? If I don’t even know what normal is any more how can we ever get back to it?

I think I need a break from all of this–the rioting and disease and anxiety and depression. But how do you check out from reality without the overwhelming guilt that you aren’t doing anything to support the oppressed? The guilt that you are “ignoring” the situation?

For my own mental health, though, I think I need to focus on something else. Not sure if my brain and anxiety will let me. I’m stuck in this cycle of reading about the riots causing severe anxiety but when I don’t look at the reports for more than a few minutes, I get even more anxiety that I might miss something awful happening in real time. I just don’t know what to do.

On top of all that is the guilt that I’m sitting here safely in my middle-class neighborhood where it’s quiet, and as a white woman, I don’t ever have to worry about the systemic racism inherent in our culture… and I’m whining about a little anxiety over looking at pictures.

*smh*

 

Day 63 of Isolation: Unisolated

I left the house and went somewhere for the first time during lockdown, not including my trip to the ER which was unavoidable. Other than that, I’ve driven my daughter to the store twice and rode along with my husband when he got gas the other day just to get out, but I’ve never actually gone anywhere myself.

But the women of the house needed certain supplies my husband refuses to buy so out I went. Originally, I was just going to run to the Safeway in town to pick up a few things, but instead, my husband drove me to Walmart.

It was a weird experience starting with the fact the Walmart parking lot was practically empty on a Friday afternoon. My husband’s done all of the shopping the last two months. I haven’t been to a store since March 13. With my health issues (anemia and now severe hypertension), I’m considered high risk. It’s bad enough I have to worry about catching this virus from my husband and daughters who go out to work/babysit. We decided it would be better if I don’t put myself out there as well, upping my chances of infection.

This was just one of those essential trips that had to be done, though. I mean, my 19yo could have bought the stuff on one of her numerous snack runs or on her way home from work, but instead, she’s just been taking my personal supply. Then suddenly three of us had our cycles hit at the same time and we were nearly out. She still didn’t think to pick more up, leaving it to me. Figures.

So, yeah, I went out. And now I’m full of anxiety and guilt. Guilt because I’m still not completely sure I’m well and these symptoms are related to my hypertension. What if they’re not? What if I am sick and passing it to everyone? Nevermind my husband refuses to wear a mask (I was wearing mine).

I got us some groceries and other things we needed, and by the time we checked out, my chest was killing me. Coronavirus? Possible heart attack? Anxiety? Who knows. It hurt to breathe and having the mask on wasn’t helping. I was exhausted by the time we got home and then the anxiety kicked in. Every difficult breath, every slight cough, every scratch swallow makes me wonder if I caught something. Am I unintentionally passing it to my family? To my grandson?

The anxiety is making my blood pressure worse. It’s been way up the last few days to begin with, but I can feel my chest tightening the more I worry. I’m ready to dig out the leftover supply of anxiety meds I have except those are actually blood pressure medication that happens to help with anxiety. I no longer have a doctor so I have no idea if they would be safe to take with my actual blood pressure pills. This sucks.

I don’t ever want to leave my house again except to walk around my neighborhood. There’s just too much anxiety involved. Now I’ll be worried for weeks if I’m developing symptoms. I can’t deal with this right now.

If anything, mental health professionals are going to have a boon when this is all over and everyone needs to get their anxiety and depression treated. I’ll be in line for sure.

Day 55 of Isolation: Freedom!

I’m free at last… sort of?

Here’s the thing:

My quarantine has ended, but I’m suddenly experiencing overwhelming anxiety about leaving my room. I’ve been looking forward to getting out of this tiny space for weeks, but now that I can leave, I’m afraid to step outside the door. It feels like something catastrophic will happen. And I don’t know why.

Anxiety is weird that way. It springs up out of nowhere and often makes no sense.

I have this overwhelming feeling like I don’t belong in the rest of the house anymore. Like I’m a foreigner in my own house. I need to get past this because life must go on.

Since this anxiety has sprung up, I’m taking my transition slow. I got up this morning and just did my normal thing–bathroom, check Facebook, check my blood pressure, take my pills, chill. It’s now almost noon, and I’m hungry. Guess it’s getting close to time to get my shit together and venture out in search of food. There is leftover pizza calling my name.

Maybe I’ll sit on the porch and eat it. Or in the backyard while I make a list of all the things I want to do today.

Most likely, though, I’ll just sit here until my husband gets home from work and forces me to leave–probably to go on a walk.

Life sure is strange.

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