It's been a rough second semester and I'm feeling the pressure. I'm writing to relieve the tension in my body.
I'm starting to have rush of thoughts again. To be fair, I've been consuming an average of one and a half cup of coffee a day. What can I say? It's exam time again.
The rush of thoughts contain the same old. Irrational fears, intrusive images, and unpleasant feelings.
Now, I am afraid of somehow developing schizophrenia, I am worried about failing my exam for the third time, and I'm afraid that people will misjudge me for my mental illness.
E rush of thoughts is making it difficult to study. I think I should abandon the coffee.
Recalling my first day at the Fortress.
Not much to tell, I was taught where to find the testing materials and client forms. It was mostly just three people. Me, JC, and Ma'am J. They were quite happy to receive me and I was glad to be working there as well.
JC was friendly, we had a lot of common interests. It was amusing to see how he was asking personal questions. For example, What do I want in an ideal boyfriend?
Since I didn't want to give away that I'm gay, I was very vague with my answers. Surprise, surprise, it just made hime more intrigued.
2nd day at the Fortress
We had a client see us today. I helped administer a couple of tests. It was quite satisfying experience. Especially when I know that I was able to relieve some of the client's nnerves regarding his frame of mind. From his interview, I gathered that he was experiencing Pure O OCD not unlike what I experience. I decided to share my experienceand he confirmed that it is how he feels, Over analyzing, obsessive thoughts, the whole she bang.
Anxiety Disorder, intrusive thoughts, irrational fears. Incredibly annoying things to experience. Despite the immense inconvenience and worry that it is giving me, my experience with anxiety made me realize something profound.
Before anxiety, I have struggled with depression. As a young teeneager I became so desolate at some points that I had attempted to end my life several times. I hated everything about me, I was in denial about my sexuality, I was afraid to befriend girls cause god help me if I'll have a crush on them.
Fortuntely, I managed to reflect on my thoughts and actions, I knew it wasn't right. I wanted to be happy, or at least less miserable. So I started to think, what can I do to stop being miserable?
And from then on I managed to reduce my depressive episodes, I forgave people who bullied me, and learned to let go of bad feelings, I still had depressive episodes but I was less suicidal.
Everything was alright, or at least better than ever for some years. I got my degree and made good friends in college. I even like myself now.
Unfortunately, due to a cup of coffee with an extra kick, I had a panic attack and had anticipatory anxiety which was accompanied by worry and obsessive thinking blah blah blah. And I became afraid like I've never been before in my life.
So the profound thing that I realize. I just want to be well, compared to my experience with depression, my anxiety isn't rooted from self-hate or destruction, I just want to be well. That's it.
I am still working on it, I am hopeful, it's just difficult sometimes but life goes on.
I have been scrolling through my tumblr when I saw this post on a favorite blog:
-How do I banish the anxiety loops in my head, that I know are ridiculous, but my stubborn mind won't quit scared my fragile heart with?-
I found lazyyogi.tumblr.com answer to be poignant:
Had a great day today! I went out to have my professional license documents sorted out and decided to visit my old university for kicks with my friend Sam. Sam was decent company, the faculty was really nice. I had a lengthy conversation with an all professor about my anxiety and about meditation etc.
The best was when I we walked along the corridor and my old statistics teacher ushered me in her classroom when I waved at her. She introduced me to her class proudly as one of the few who passed the board exam. I was flushed but I appreciated it. I have to admit, it was nice.
Had some anxiety peppered here or there but I managed to ignore it. I hope this will go on.
For the rest of the day I just hung out with Sam.
I was going home this afternoon when I felt like I wanted to pee. I had an intrusive thought about vaginas. When I was going to the bathroom I thought '' Time to drain the lil puss puss'' which I thought was inappropriate. So I became a little disgusted with myself which in turn made me anxious and I couldn't take the words ''lil puss puss off my mind. Next is I had intrusive thoughts about swallowing coins. When I came into my room, I deposit the change in my pocket into an ice cream container. Seeing the amount of coins in there I had an intrusive thought about swallowing them. I attribute this thought to watching a television program in my childhood about a child who died because she accidentally swallowed a coin. I had quite a large amount of small change, I was planning to have it changed into bigger bills at a store.
I decided to do that today. I counted all the coins until I had the amount of one hundred pesos, and during the time I was counting, I had intrusive thoughts and images of swallowing them. I pulled through and got it changed without having a panic attack.
I felt glad that I did it, that I managed to count despite having fears. This lead me to a realization that despite having anxiety and intrusive thoughts, I still have control. I feel hopeful that I would be able to go back to normal or close to it.
All of my anxiety and intrusive thoughts have stems and triggers that my disorder blows out of proportion. I will list down my fears and intrusive thoughts and expand on the sources.
1.) I was afraid of thinking the word ''vagina'' or anything related to it because of its inappropriateness. I attribute this to receiving a picture of a vagina from a girl whom I chatted with and it freaked me out. Needless to say, I don't chat with her anymore.
2.) I was afraid of being inappropriate or having inappropriate feelings to friends or people who are girls (especially those attractive ones) , I attribute this to my high school days when I had feelings for my best friend who is a girl. It was a difficult time in my life. I managed to push away my best friend because I was still hiding or denying my sexuality.
3.) Blowjobs, I had intrusive thoughts about this which I attribute to reading ''The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'' where the protagonist of the storywas forced to perform fellatio on her legal guardian. I already read this book before my history of anxiety. I also read this during a time when I was anxious, so there we go.
4.) Intrusive thoughts about incest. I saw the movie ''The Dreamers'' about paternal twins who have an almost incestual relationship. The film was graphic and I saw it when I was anxious too.
5.) Fear of going crazy. This I attribute to having anxiety alone, it can make one feel like she is going out of control.
Now that I know these stems. I know that I am in control, and that the only time that I may lose control is when I get a panic attack because of anxiety. And this is very treatable, can even be cured, or even make me turn out to be a better person.
Didn’t get much sleep last night, just 3 hours until those stupid fucking motorbikes racing woke me up. It was the same old song and dance. I try to go back to sleep, get stressed out about not getting to sleep, get intrusive thoughts, get whacked with sleep deprivation the next day. When I tried to nap the first time I got at least an hour of light sleep which I’m so glad to have but it wasn’t enough. So, I decided to commence Operation Nap 2. Which was a bad idea ’cause I was still in a pretty bad state. As I laid down, worries and intrusive thoughts filled my head. Why am I like this? How I wish I could sleep. I was really tempted to take medication but I refrained, it’s the middle of the day and I would rather not depend on them.
Same intrusive thoughts, and worries came across my mind. What if I am driving myself insane? What if my family learned that I was an atheist. For sure, my mom woud be very disappointed and relate that as a cause to my anxiety, which partly true. I am scared that my mom would find out, that adds to my anxiety.
I am much better now when I am not forcing myself to sleep, I can not wait for my therapy session with the psychiatrist, I want to get better, and I will, I feel better now.
Anyway, have a nice day. :)
The day gave no sign that anything unusual was going to happen that day, it was supposed to be any other day, started with a breakfast with coffee.
After breakfast, I chugg.ed down the last of my coffee and proceeded to wash the dishes, mom was in the living room watching television and my brother was somewhere in the background.
After washing the dishes, I felt a little warm and nauseous, my nose was itching, I thought that I was going to come down with the flu. I sat down, feeling tired all of a sudden when a wave of nausea hit me, my heart beat fast. I turned to my mom, not knowing what to say, I did not want to worry her, I told her that I felt dizzy.
She replied with a reprimand as my mom usually does, so I turned my head back to the television. But I just could not shake off the nausea.
It got worse, my head felt like it was spinning, I could hear my heart beating fast, I was trying to catch my breath. I told my mom calmly, help me I feel dizzy; I think it was the coffee.
My heart beat faster, my feet were constricting and so did my hands, my arms and legs followed until it went up my chest, it feel so tight, I could not breathe and I thought that I was having a heart attack, that I was going to die.
I was told to breathe deeply, and I did, my brother bought me a glass of water, my mom massaged my arms with oil, they yelled for my dad.
I remember my mom telling me to pray. I was scared as fuck so I tried it and went ''God, please''. Of course, as an atheist, I immediately felt silly and dropped the prayer and focused on my breathing.
They took me to the emergency room, the nurses sat me down. The doctor checked my vitals. She said that my airways were not blocked but my pulse was abnormally fast and that I was probably having a panic attack.
They put me on bed and gave me a paper bag to breathe in. I must commend the nurse for making a sturdy bag out of used bond paper and adhesive tape. Clearly, it was newly made because I could still smell the adhesive. My brother came in to watch over me, and said to me in a serious manner ''Janna, if this is because you got pregnant, just tell us already''. I could not help but laugh, he did not know I was gay.
I was trying to calm down, watching the paper bag go in and out of itself was calming. My limbs were tingling all over; I could still hear my heart. I was alone with until a nurse came by and I was cheered up, although I was undoubtedly in distress, I was not blind, she was pretty. She chatted with me a little as she wrapped the blood pressure measuring apparatus around my arm, I couldn't help it, I flexed my biceps.
Still feeling shitty but happy, a different nurse came in asked my bro to leave and conducted an ECG, it was cool, they stuck some electrodes on me which was no problem because I had no bra on in the first place.
The doctor came by to interpret the results, it was normal except for the abnormally fast heart beat. She prescribed something to slow down my heart which my sister did not approve off. My sister is a doctor herself and was worried that my heart would slow down to much. So she gave me just a tiny bit of the meds.
It took me about 5 hours to calm down, they were going to confine me to a different hospital but just got a second opinion instead and I went home. I would like to say that was the end of it but alas, it was only the beginning.