It rules my life.
It ruins my life.
(Please excuse my shitty Microsoft Paint skills)
No doctor has officially diagnosed me with any sort of anxiety disorder. Probably because I'm always going to docs with physical ailments. Stomach cramps, nausea, dizziness et al. One doc got close and gave me an IBS diagnosis which is pretty much stress and anxiety induced distress.
Over the years I've come to understand that my issues are anxiety. I can pinpoint when it started too. I did have a lot of on and off undiagnosable issues growing up. Looking back it was most likely anxiety. The real turning point was about 10 years ago. I was in a relationship with a man I eventually married and then quickly divorced. That relationship was heavy on the mental strain and trauma but I didn't really see it at the time. The damage was cumulative and when I started losing my shit I began getting dangerous panic attacks. Still, I didn't know at that point. It wasn't him, it was how we were and how I let the relationship exist around me for so many years.
During the separation I was the worst mess I've ever been. I tried a few different anti-depressants but none of them really helped until I went on a stronger more anti-anxiety specific drug. I started to feel better, more human. I still didn't see that my problem was anxiety. I was pretty stupid really.
Ah but then last year I embarked on an almost 12 month journey to get off them. The problems started coming back. Here's the thing though, my symptoms don't typically present themselves as textbook anxiety. I dismissed it because of that. I get stomach cramps, nausea, dizziness and a whole hoard of other physical symptoms. I wasn't denying that coming off the drugs made me feel worse, I just thought I had to adjust to being off them. Since then I've had loads of friends and people I don't even know come and tell me they've experienced the same things.
Then I really started thinking about it and I mean REALLY. I thought about the times I felt the worst and what was happening. I thought about what stresses me out and began making connections to everything in my life. People, racing, commuting, events, planning things, social outings and food... FOOD. Food is the bane of my existence. Diabetes didn't make the list surprisingly enough.
There are a few things that will require their own blog posts that connect all of this together:
3. Sensory processing disorder
I am 99% sure I need to go back on the drugs. I am 100% trying to find any way possible to manage without them. 1% of me that's left is crying for help.
I haven't decided which blog post is next. Feel free to tell me what you want to read about most.