When I am in physical pain, my thoughts are jumbled, negative, and scattered. As I reread my last post, I cringed a bit. I am feeling better today. The migraine is finally gone. However, the fear of another one coming on is always there, hovering over me like a dark rain cloud ready to burst at any moment. I have no control over it.
There are many things I have been told to do over the course of my mental illness that are supposed to control the severity of my symptoms. I suppose they work, but only up to a certain point. I take my medicines as prescribed, never missing a dose. I see my doctor, never missing an appointment. I’ve gone to counseling, I use DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) and CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) skills, pray, meditate, do yoga, exercise, eat healthy, rest, get plenty of sleep, and ask for help.
Still my moods cycle and I get six or seven migraines a month, and now, I am having stress-related lower GI issues several times a week. I’m not quite sure what else to do about these physical ailments except to talk to my doctors about them; let them do their job and figure it out, because I have tried, and can’t come up with any solutions to make them go away.
I am grateful that I have doctors to see, insurance to pay for them, medicine that helps me, a supportive family, and financial stability. In times like these when I get to feeling discouraged, I try to remember all of the things I have to be grateful for. I have to or else I will fall into despair and that is a horrible place to be.
I just wish I could wave a magic wand over myself and eradicate the anxiety. I try so hard to stay in the moment; to not think about the future, the negative ‘what ifs;’ to not worry about all of the things on my to do list; to not stress about the social engagements coming up or about having to leave the house for this and that.
I always think, “Ok, once I get this task done, I’ll feel better” or “Once that event is over and I am back home, I will be fine,” but I never am because there is always something else to do after that. It is never-ending. So is life. Things are never done. How do I deal with things to do and places to go that never end?
By writing this, I see how the anxiety is making it difficult for me to persevere. It takes a lot of energy for me to go through daily activities; a lot more than a person without mental illness. Does this mean I am doing more than I am capable of? All of the time?
I hate the thought of this being true because it means I would have to cut out doing things with my children and I don’t think I could bring myself to sacrifice that, especially since I am not one hundred percent convinced it would relieve my physical symptoms.
I think most of the things I do give me anxiety, but I have really never asked myself why they give me anxiety. A great counselor taught me there is a reason for each feeling we have. Maybe if I understand where this anxiety is coming from, look for some patterns, I can get a better handle on it.
I realize that I am, once again, trying to control it, but I have to do something about it. It is disrupting my health and my life, and I just refuse to sit by and do nothing.