A wise man whose last name sends me into giggle fits once said:
“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths.”
― Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Preach it, brother! I feel like I can elaborate on this quote. Anxiety robs today (our memories of yesterday, and our ideas of tomorrow) of its strengths. It swells up over your strengths and can strip your life of its joy, its hope, and its freedom. It sucks the reality out of your awareness and replaces it with a distorted perception. Oh! And chronic hives, shortness of breath, tingling arms.
My name is Irene, and I have anxiety. Often I feel like I am the embodiment of the word. This is the hand I was dealt in life, and I am angry about it. But I have to deal. I got a family, man.
So I am currently on a strange cocktail which seems to work for me.
It also stops me from having panic attacks at work when someone asks, “What are you doing?”
In some ways I am more focused on the present moment. I complete tasks like a robot. I can focus enough to get things done, but now I have a hard time remembering why I do them. I do them because I know I should be doing them. But please don’t ask me to recall details.
This is most evident when I am confronted (99% of the time by Sheila…) about mistakes I make at work. It could be a mistake I made as recently as a month ago. I’ll take a good hard look at what I did. Then I squint my eyes and just kind of… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Because I literally have no idea why I would have made that kind of error. I can’t remember my thought process at all. I reason with myself that if I were to do the task today, I would do it completely different.
Still though, things have improved. Since I have been on this particular combination of medications, I haven’t tried to pull my hair out. I haven’t sat at my desk, frozen, digging my nails into my arm and staring at the computer – in like, a couple of weeks. I haven’t cried in a while. It’s hard to do that now, even when I should.
There is also a lack of empathy, which is bittersweet. When I’m not on my meds, I am an empath by nature. I can feel other people’s emotions as soon as I walk into a room and immediately suck them into my body and become their mood. That kind of thing can ruin my day, so I guess it’s not terrible that I can’t do it anymore. But when someone is legitimately upset about something it is really hard to be there with them. And that was always part of my identity. It’s why I was always deemed “the psychologist” among my friends, ever since I was a child. Now I don’t know what I am. The girl with a bad case of resting bitch face who don’t give a shit?
Possibly. Probably. #sorrynotsorry
No but really….