The Winds of Anxiety

I do not know what exactly is going on with me. For several weeks now, I’ve been on teetering on the edge of okay and traumatized. Then I started feeling that old familiar hopelessness. And now, today, I am agitated and anxious and overwhelmed.

There’s no clear reason for this. That means there is no clear way out.

I had a therapy session with E today, but it wasn’t helpful. There was nothing wrong with it, but it felt cool and distant. I was fidgety and nervous and unfocused. It was hard for me to be fully present and engaged.

After today, I will only have three sessions with E between now and October 7. Given that we’ve been meeting twice a week most of the year (if you count group every other week), that feels hard. Maybe I couldn’t settle in today in anticipation of that separation. Part of me urgently wanted to connect (a young part: I’m going to miss her. She’s safe, she’s a comfort, she knows me and despite that, she’s on my side). Another part thought about cancelling (a resistant, frustrated part She’s going to be gone on vacation, and then I’ll be traveling, and we won’t meet. And anyway, she no longer asks me about what I need to feel supported in her absence. She has already separated from me so much. So why do I even try? It’s like being a teenager and chasing after a boy who isn’t interested in me). There’s no way to win.

Since I left the session, I’ve resisted the urge to reach out to her. But I feel my anxiety increasing. So maybe it is about the separation.

Or maybe not. It’s been creeping up for a while now, little by little. Sometimes I think there is something going on physically–that is, biochemically. I haven’t changed much lately in terms of meds but two months ago I did add the amino acid L-methionine, following the advice of my nutritionist. It’s part of an effort we’ve been making to boost my energy levels, an effort which also includes taking methylated B vitamins and, of course, walking as much as I’m able to.

Anyway, I remember asking the nutritionist at one point how I would know if a supplement was helping me. And she said something to the effect that if it helped me better produce the neurotransmitters I needed by myself, then my anti-depressant cocktail might no longer be the right one for me, and I might feel more agitated or otherwise disturbed.

Well, I’m disturbed. But is this why?

Or maybe it’s about the wounded part we stumbled upon in Marie’s office a few weeks ago. I feel the presence of that part, a part that is pretty mysterious to me still. I sense her waiting behind a door, wondering, just as I wonder, if we can connect with each other. Sometimes I tell her to hang on, I’m working to be someone she can trust.

Maybe she’s the source of the anxiety.

I don’t know how to interpret what’s going on with me. I just know I feel a lot of emotional turmoil. Naturally, since it’s turmoil, I’m wanting to resist it. I’m wanting to trade it in for tacos:

black text on white, saying: I wish I was full of tacos instead of emotions

However, I’ve done enough therapy and reading and meditation to know it doesn’t work that way. No one is going to bring me a taco and a side of guac and take away my anxiety in return, alas. And my resistance to these hard emotions isn’t going to make them fade any sooner.

This too, like all the rest, I need to accept and treat with kindness. Deep breath. All of it, I need to accept all of it.

But then I still want the guacamole.

7 comments

  1. It’s powerfully strengthening to meet someone like E who is not only a safe comfort, but who also knows you and is still on your side, isn’t it. But I can also identify with your resistive part that is looking to interpret unwanted separation in places it might not belong. I felt a bit of a sinking feeling when Guy suggested EMDR, in case he thinks it’s his last tool to use on me and then he’s done! What a numpty for thinking that about him. I don’t think it helps that, apart from tonight in my family therapy, I won’t see Guy until September now. I wonder if how you feel could well be largely down to the therapy break you’re facing? I know it makes a difference to me, though I wish it didn’t. And I do recognise that sometimes I just feel out of sorts and some sessions feel deeper and more personal than others, and I can’t claim to understand the whys and wherefores about it.
    Hope you bear through it okay and that time flies for you 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know—it’s so normal that sessions vary in quality and connectedness. And much of the time I’m okay with that. But already feeling unsteady, plus approaching a dreaded therapy break, I see myself piling all sorts of additional meaning onto everything she says or does.

      It’s okay though… (slow deep breath). It’s all part of this crazy thing we call the human experience. Connection, doubt, attachment, separation, anxiety, irrationality, resentment, love.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my god how amazing would it be to swap anxiety for tacos?!! I’m sorry things feel rubbish again. It’s hard to know what exactly the reasons are (so many interrelating factors) but I’d put money on a good part of it being about change in the relationship with E and breaks. It’s all so bloody tricky when stuff goes off balance isn’t it? Sending you heaps of love (and a portion of tacos 🌮) 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • This morning I’m attributing it primarily to something biochemical, with the other issues feeding in secondarily. But who knows, by this afternoon I may have changed my mind! I guess though the most important thing right now is to keep responding in positive ways and not give in to the worst thoughts that come with all the emotions. And to enjoy some tacos! Thanks for your kind wishes.

      Like

  3. Late – sorry. I just wanted to add that I sometimes take the amino acid tyrosine, for energy, and I can feel an immediate effect. I also sometimes take rhodiola, an herb, for similar reasons. I think supplements and herbs have definite feelable effects, and I’d bet money that the effects are created by similar chemical changes to anti-depressants or other meds. So it would make a lot of sense to me that you would need to adjust your meds downwards when adding these kinds of supplements. If I take too much of the amino acid, or the rhodiola, I will become anxious, and have other side-effects (headache in my case). It would make sense to me to look into reducing something you are taking to see if it helps with the anxiety (i.e., supplement or med).

    Liked by 1 person

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