Tag Archives: anxiety

My Brain Soliloquy

5 Apr

People talk a lot about Depression. They talk about Anxiety.This excites the hell outta me, because these things SHOULD be talked about. They are major issues for a major part of our society, and are absolutely not to be taken lightly.

…And we’ve seen the unfortunate affects of trying to ignore them.

…Something I additionally deal with (because my brain is just this uber sauce of awesome) is not as frequently discussed, and as a sister-cousin of Anxiety, can live and procreate and feed and feed and feed for days, weeks, months…sometimes even years…with no formal medical go-to coping mechanism.

There is no pill you can throw at it to reset the chemistry of your mind.

…So far, the only help you can offer to ease it is therapy to try and coach the brain alternatively. Which, for me, has worked exactly as effectively as tell me to calm down during an Anxiety attack–in that it helps zero-much.

Zero-much.

Hyperchondria kinda gets the bumb-wrap of Schizophrenia in how the world relates to its victims. What I mean by that is: they fold it into comedies on film to make a character more “interesting” or “dark” or “off” or “quirky” or just “disturbed” in general.

What I can tell you about actually HAVING it, is: there is not a single, solitary thing that is funny about it.

…I can make fun of my Anxiety (eventually) in nearly every circumstance, after it is over. That is how I regain my power back from what it has taken. It is how I “win.”

…I had been diagnosed since early childhood with Hyperchondria…and what I can tell you about it, is that never once have I “won” even a slight piece of ground, from it. The way that it has manifested in me is so deep, and from so young, for reasons which even the shrink couldn’t conjur up…and it is (and apparently always has been, and WILL be) a constant.

…And when I say “constant,” I mean: I am deathly afraid of at least one thing, if not also another, at all times. I can have fleeting moments without…sometimes even a few days…but I’ve never made it a week. I’ve never seen an illness of another and not mentally had to go to war with myself about it. To the worst case scenario. Every single time.

… I never have an itch or ache or bump that I don’t lose sleep over. 

…Literally: lose sleep over.

…And it is always a blooming congregation of thoughts, which bloom horribly. Death is not the “fear” here…it’s the prolonged torture of horrendously, slowly, long-term eventually dieing.

This disease (often coupled with Anxiety for obvious reasons) makes this horrible little forever nesting environment in my brain, where it can feed and fester…and does. And because it has been so constant, I have been able across the years to build up a bit of a functioning tolerance to it. 

…The brain will fight. It will fight hard for you. Which is pretty cool. When it isn’t tearing you apart.

…But sometimes I get into pockets where it begins to overtake me wholly. Much like hitting the ceiling in Anxiety, when I need to ultimately fold and take the damn Xanax.

…Only, as I said before…there IS no “Xanax,” or other chemical brother, that exists, which can help.

Which means…when I hit this supremely arresting level of legitimate terror –say, I’ve been in for a good while now, directly after I finished my last bout with Anxiety…it’s like no-sleep, sweaty-shakes, zombie-esc central.

…And that is always fun while performing a show, rehearsing another, and holding down a full time work week.

So: I battle. I keep losing. I’m terrified damn near every minute about at least three things that currently come to mind, and am even physically manifesting my terrors bodily as the ultimate thing that takes a Hypercondriac out of commission in any joy or normal life department.

And though talking about it, has never helped me. And laughing about it, is never a possibility. I guess I’m putting it here in print for those who suffer from it too.

The terror is real. I get it. I understand you. I know it doesn’t help you even a little bit to know that. But: now you do.

I know.

And: I’m really fucking tired of knowing it.

~D

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Thoughts (1 Day Before London) 

20 Oct

Have got a lot of travel-time alone, to do all my normal freak-out things tomorrow…as Cecil and I are on totally different flights. She’ll be kicking it with family in Boston hours before I reach Reykjavik. She lands at Gatwick, I’m touching down in Heathrow. 
…And where, in “normal-world” anxiety terms, that’s just fun adventure…for people like me,  the fact I’m getting on a damn plane to Iceland, and have 55 minutes to get through customs and to my London flight… should be seriously freaking me the fuck out right now. 

…I dunno why,  but for the moment at least, I’m totally fine with it. 

…Where last night was my third consecutive one of shit sleep, it isn’t due to crippling fear or pacing. My nights have been 300% consumed in mapping, ticket-buying, and investingating all the stuff we could do (if we want to), will do (cuz we need to), and might do, despite all odds. 

…Between London, Brighton, Warrington, and Stratford (so far on our lists), that is a pretty consuming occupation. So much so,  that my brain doesn’t have time to flip out and require multiple distractions and interfacing from TVs, computers, bright lights, and other people…which is it’s usual demand. 

I prefer this way. 

…In the best of circumstances, it never has time to blip over to the shitty stage. This would be my brain Mecca of Zen….whilst mid world-altering happenings I cannot control,  take place all around me, and I partake, blissfully, and completely okay with it. 

And it might just happen. 

…How I know is, today when the Whs guy was all, “So. Vacation,  huh? Where yuh goin’? Hawaii? ”

…I said, “Nope. London. ”

…And he’s all, “Holy shit! ”

…And for the first time all week, I started to tear up. Not cuz of a 2 a.m. anxiety attack, period emo anger, or night-sweating hypochondriac freak-outs. 

…It was cuz:

Holy shit. 

I am going to fucking London. 

Tomorrow. 

To take theatre classes. 

The number one thing I’ve wanted to do. 

My entire life. 

My top plan. 

For me. 

…I’ve got a lot of people to thank for helping me get here, and a hell of a lot of cheerleaders backing me. 

…But I’m one of those people too. And even with the sometimes cripplingness that is me… 

I. mutherfucking. made it. 

(You’d choke up too) 

😂

~D

Thoughts (4 Days Before London) 

17 Oct

Enuf

18 Sep

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Omigod you guys! I actually got sleep last night for like the first time in almost two weeks!!!!!!

…The Fitbit buzzed me out of dead sleep this morning, which naturally made me want to rip it off my arm and hurl it across the room (for soooo not the first time), but then I realized why I was mad and sorta wanted to burst into tears.

…Of joy, this time.

….Which is a happy change, yes??

…Anywho, one night’s sleep may not two-weeks cure-all, but it doesn’t freakin hurt. Even stuck at the office alone with all the usual constant fire-customer-bullshit is more easy to choke down, with a semi refueled tank.

(Giant sigh)

After tonight’s rehearsal, I’ll have an entire actual day and night off tomorrow…wherein I vow to put all stressful necessities aside, and instead, party my damn ass off….at a friend-wedding so conveniently placed on the schedule…I really sorta feel like I personally owe them.

…I mean, I do, but I mean more than just “people who support you when you really freakin need it,” and a wedding gift.

…I’m thinkin something along the lines of a fully-paid week in the Tropics. You know…if I were other than me and all wealthy and shit.

…Anyway, to them I say: “Thank you for making a lifelong commitment to one another at this particular time. It’s really super convenient to me.”

(My friends. You guys…they just excel at all the things…)

…So! A wedding! That means girl clothes! Like that used-to-be “skinny” dress which is also now “too big for me.” But it’s the closest I’ve got, so I’m freakin doin it!

…Hell, I’ll even shave my legs! Breaking all depression anti-self-care tradition! Lookit me: all Rebel With A Cause, and shit!

…And speaking of legs: those new bruises are gonna look super hawt with heels. Like a cage-fighting pinup! I’m fucking fierce, y’all!

..P.S…I dunno how I gained them, exactly…(the bruises)…but I’ll bet it has something to do with flying on office rolley chairs in a fake dream sequence (like yuh do.) Cuz that’s how our choreography rollz, people.

(…get it? “Rollz”…)

…In fact, I dance more frequently on, around, and with a chair, than any human being.

…Which is prob’ly super wise on our Director and choreographer’s part. Perhaps there’s a cunning plan?

….Perhaps it’s ALL a “cunning plan.”

…And perhaps I need to wrap this up and eat something today. I’m clearly still fake-high loopy on restness. A little sleep and a shit-ton of coffee does not Wonder Woman, make.

….I’m pretty sure that’s a real saying.

~D

Things To Do*

6 Dec

*When Other People Sleep

I’ve been awake since two a.m.. It is now a quarter to five. Last time I’d looked at the clock before the short stint of sleep I actually got was 11:30. So, I’ve had 2.5 hours of sleep. You should be impressed I can do math right now.

…Either way, more is obviously not an option. The alarm goes off at 7:05, my flight leaves at 10:40.

I control none of these things. But I do get to decide how to spend my not-sleep time. And in case you are also having complete-shit sleeping patterns, may I suggest some of the following to fill all your lonely waking hours as the world Zzz’s on:

1. Make hot tea:

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Everyone does it. Cuz it’s supposed to be “calming” and “soothing.” I happen to like tea on an average day, so this always seems a good idea to me when I’m awake before dawn, and freezing my ass off. It works on a hit/miss scale though–warming you, till you’re full of it, and need to get up to pee over and over again, which makes you colder, which necessitates more tea. Sort of a vicious cycle, really…but what the hell else is there to do at two a.m.?

2. In between potty breaks, read this:

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It has pictures. Plus jokes. Plus interactive material. If you’re me, it’s also by your bed right now, so: readily available in a convenient location.

3. Consider eating this:
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A representative of the left-overs currently in my fridge. I can’t show you the real one, cuz I ate it. About an hour ago. In between suggestions 1 & 2. Midnight eating for me isn’t exclusively due to boredom, but more “I’m nauseous from lack of sleep and it’s either this or swigging a thing of Pepto, and this tastes better.”

4. Catch up on this:
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…Then realize the topics only feed your total inability to defreak in any way at all, and move directly into this:

5.
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…Which is good for about 20 minutes, by which time (because everyone you know is asleep) you are entirely caught up on every stream and cat meme.

6. Which leads next to this:
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I suggest 90’s Rom-Coms, or sitcom comedy. They require zero reasoning skills, plot analysis or stress…as you already know how they turn out, even if you never saw them the first time, because they were made in America, and there are rules.

7. Solve this:

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The ultimate pillow pile of perfection. I’m a girl. Which means I have like 47 pillows on my bed…some just decorative, sure…but a lot are main-functioning. I keep them in the hopes of one day solving the perfect combo of body-pillow, neck pillow, back pillow, fat pillow, skinny pillow nesting…which will lead to instant sleep on say nights like this one. I believe there is a key. And I will find it one day.

8. Window shopping in your underwear:
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The internet is never closed. You can always go there and look at stuff, and put it in your wish list, no matter HOW much money it costs. Who cares?! YOU aren’t buying it! But your hypothetical winning Lotto ticket, or sugar daddy, or wealthy admirer might! And they won’t know what the really good stuff is, unless you put it in there!

9. See step 5:
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…Part of you thinks, “hey, it’s almost six now. Somebody’s gotta be awake and posting.” Only, it’s Saturday. So: no. No one is.

10. Do this:
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Write a blog. It helps sometimes. Also: you’ve run out of other activities. Last time the neighbors frowned on your early-morning interior redesigning overhaul. And it’s too early to drink.

The end.
~D

Things

8 May

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Good news is: I’m not contracting a weird disease in my wrist.

…This watch I bought from Hong Kong online has been freaking me out for days…on account of the face constantly changing color when it touches me.  I didn’t realize it until after I’d already been wearing it across two day’s span…chalking it up to “difference of light.” Then I took it off to show Ma at one point, and it turned from brown to green within seconds. My brain instantly jumped to the fact there is prob’ly something spurious in the metal…filling me with lead-based cancerous ions of doom.

…Like those coffee cups I drank out of for a whole year before I read the base stamp that said as much.

Nowhere on the literature of what I purchased or where I purchased it, was there an explanation to my new state for concern. Until I found it today, by total generic Googling.  Apparently it’s a selling point feature of said watch, for every place BUT the one that I purchased it from.

…Whether I’m feeling “coffee,” “green,” “black” or “blue” tinted, I am told none of them will fill me with any toxic diseases.  That they know of.  So, that’s comforting.  Although it still doesn’t explain why none of these places online provide you with a “key” to the color codes. I have no fucking idea what in the hell any of them are supposed to mean.

Is it my aura?

Is it my chi?

Is it generic me-temperature?

Is “coffee” better than “green?”

Should I esteem to a calming “blue” over the who-knows-what-to-think-of-it “black?”

I dunno.

They won’t tell me.

…So now I have that to worry about.

…Meanwhile: Am on a record-breaking semi-insomniac cycle. That means I can get to sleep alright, (around one-or-so a.m.), but pop awake for any variety of “thinking” reasons at three or four, without being able to kick it and go back to sleep again. This is just weird. Who wakes up from “thinking?”

…It isn’t a dream. It isn’t a sound. I’ve had the fan running WITH the heater at the same time, and singularly by turn…so it isn’t climate.

I don’t understand.

…Really, it’s akin to going from total sleep to that semi-haze of alertness when rolling over, and my brain suddenly yells something like, “RENT!” And then I snap totally awake and commence to worry the rest of the morning about when the fucking landlord will finally deposit that damn check…cuz I have my auto car and insurance payments hitting any day now, and even though I did the math and it should all be fine to go through, who the fuck knows what random “oh, I forgot about that” thing might hit my account in the mean time and screw everything up?

…And then the rent might bounce, and I’d be homeless on the street…and I have a lot of shit that NO WAY would all fit into a shopping cart as a make-shift mobile home unit…cuz if the RENT doesn’t clear, it’ll reject my car payments too…and THEN where will I be?!

…Oh sure, you can laugh or roll your eyes at me all you want, but these are real anxieties at three a.m. on almost no sleep. Your brain isn’t thinking super clearly…it just fixates, and chews the SHIT out of things…like an old piece of bubble gum, long since flavorless, but the chewing action keeps your oral fixation and teeth clenching at bay…so you just keep chewing on it until you’re exhausted for totally OTHER reasons.

…A case of the solution making another problem.

Basically, this is the entire life-cycle of a person with clinical anxiety.

…So: not a lot of sleep. And busy work days slamming me against the wall without mercy. And random anxiousness popping up night and day, for what equates to “technically sound reasons,” although not good enough ones at all for normal people to obsess about for hours and days on end.

…It’s the only time I crave to be one of them.

We are not without some “goodnesses,” however. Until today, there was sun for after-work walks. Some buddy hang times. Lovely read rehearsal work-outs with old friends for a performance this Friday. Birthday toys to be played with…

…I have “stuff.” I’ll be fine. I’ll eventually figure out this new rut I’ve been thrown into and even things out. Either way, it beats the hell outta the “depression” tsunami that “was”…so…I’ll take it.

…I’ll chew on it…

…Til the fucker turns to rubber.

…Then, one day, I’ll figure out how to spit the bastard out, and have a reprise of calm before another piece gets popped in my mouth.

…So it goes.

~D

On The Piss…Then Off

1 May

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I shall survive! This MONSTER bout of general grossness from seemingly all walks of my life, up to (and including) my Birthday, is almost over.

…And now that I am finally coming out of this two week cycle of woe…like passing a really shitty kidney stone from hell…I can report that the world is not ending after all…while showered and shaved, dyed painted and plucked…sitting in some sunshine. 

…Sure, I’ve gained weight back…which is to be expected when you spend three days and nights on-end eating everything you can get your hands on, and getting pissed on every kind of fermented substance known to man.  But it’s over and done…I survived the bitch, and it’s time to collect myself, and hit the waves of “better things” now.

It all began on Saturday night.  This was when I closed the latest show with a particularly terrible performance, possibly due to the collective 4 hours of sleep I’d had in the past 24 hours leading up to it.  Or possibly not.  Maybe I just blew it full-turkey-out-the-ass all on my own.  I dunno.  But I’m never one to just roll over and let those kind of things just run off my back, whether it’s my actual fault or not.  This only put more fuel behind the next 12 or so hours of supreme hormonal meltdown, leading into my 34th birthday on Monday.

…It basically ended in a Nora Ephron comedic sketch of me blubbering to myself in between hot flashes, whilst refusing anything to do with celebrations by anyone with good intentions, and instead closeting myself away in pajamas, to watch nonstop film alone, on loop, and consider the travesties of my youth, with a bottle (or several) of booze…and how I’ve accomplished nothing I set out to, or will, and I might as well eat this pizza and get even fatter, cuz who cares?

I like to call it “Bridget Jonesing.”

…Add to that the fact I’m pretty sure I was (and am) peri-menopausing on top of it.

…Like an idiot, I did research online. This is ruinous for people like me, with anxiety issues that won’t sleep for weeks at a time cuz a zit on my elbow might actually be a cancerous growth I don’t know about yet, but am too scared to really check out.

…So I fester.

…Only lately, it’s been: “fester and sweat.”

…Now, don’t get me wrong, I have always been a clammy sweater. Its in the Latino DNA. Only for the past…oh…year or so, I’ve had these random night-sweats-from-hell that I try to pretend aren’t really there. Except when they wake me at 3 am because I have to strip every fucking thing I’m wearing due to the fact they are doused and soaking wet with sweat. It’s been really special…lemme tell you…

…And as my BD got closer, and I brought it up to Ma, she was all, “Well, yeah…I mean, me and two generations back all had hysterectomies by your age…so who KNOWS when menopause hits this side of the family?”

…And I said, “ARE YOU TELLING ME ON THE EVE OF MY 34TH BIRTHDAY THAT I AM MENOPAUSAL?!?”

…And she said, “Well…maybe peri…”

…And I said, “I STILL GET ZITS ON A REGULAR BASIS! I’VE BEEN DYING THE WHITE FROM MY HAIR SINCE MY MID TWENTIES! I JUST FINISHED PLAYING MOTHER TO A MAN THREE YEARS OLDER THAN ME!! ARE YOU BEING REAL RIGHT NOW?!? HOW IS THIS FAIR?!?!”

…And she said, “Reasons.”

…So, needless to say, after a really shitty performance, in my really not best show, with streaks of white waiting to be dyed out of my temples, a bitchingly horrid period, and (apparently) peri-menopausal sweats, I decided to be terribly terribly depressed on the day of my birth.

I’m usually anxiety bound…so this was a new thing. It sucks too. Especially the involuntary bursting into tears bit. You know…the, “I should take a shower, but what’s the point, I’m fat anyway…my back hurts like I’ve been punched in the kidneys…I think I’ve bled so much I may have turned anemic and SUNOFABITCH it’s HOT IN HERE!”

…That kind of thing.

…Wrapped up in: ” All my LIFE I wanted to be EQUITY and pro, doing only theatre by age 35, and now its only one year away and I’ll never make it…or if I do, I’d only work like once every five years…there aren’t enough houses here to support it anymore…and I’m a coward…totally unlike The BFF who just opened her first solo company in freakin’ New Orleans last week…you know…cuz she SAID so…and also, no matter WHAT I do, these last ten pounds just won’t go away. It’s like my body is STARVING for the fat…to keep it warm and sweaty (apparently)…also my mood swings could basically be categorized as step-one bipolar disorder…if that’s even a thing…and I’m in my mid-thirties…and STILL struggling to pay bills and live life and figure out my head…and sometimes am maybe a little lonely…but never enough to deal with the shit that people have to deal with when they come in twos…”

…And also: “CHOCOLATE!”

…And, “Maybe I need some sex IMMEDIATELY, or at least more often…or maybe not ever again. But definitely salt. Like NOW!”

…And, “How DARE my mother call me menopausal! Peri or otherwise!!!’

{gentle sob}

…It’s been an interesting few weeks, to say the least. And by “interesting” I mean: “viciously feminine and horrifying.” And though the actual REAL heat outside is not helping my body’s imaginary already over-indulgence, the sunlight does. So I’m trying my best to use it as a guide…to get out in it and sweat more (on purpose) and hydrate like a sonofabitch…and try, try, try to find the humor hiding in all my personal little woes. It’s there. They are the original basis of Rom-Coms (minus the love story bit)…which is totally fine with me…cuz I obviously have enough shit to deal with right now without adding secondary subplots into the mess.

…And whatever all THAT means/achieves in outting crap for some better self mental-help: so be it. Consider it writ. You can now commence to make fun of me. Meanwhile…I’m packing up and going for a walk. Like a person.

Hurrah for me.

~D

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