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Tuesday 27 December 2005


Any of y'all got advice for dealing with anxiety? Can it be caused by short days and not enough sunlight, or what? I've felt anxious the last three winters, but, you know, my mom died and then I got divorced and stuff. Also, when I was at Wesleyan, I would get anxious as all my due dates arrived for final projects and then I would go home to California and feel more relaxed and much warmer. This is my first solstice away from California and I've got no deadlines I can think of and no source of stress aside from daily life and I'm as anxious as I've ever been. It's driving me crazy . . . so to speak.

One day in the summer in New York, I received a particularly stressful letter from an adversarial divorce lawyer and shortly thereafter, my neck began to hurt a lot and I, quite reasonably, decided that I had tetanus and went to an NYC emergency room where a nice doctor told me that I probably didn't have it. I'm avoiding repeating that embarrassment and am not running to an emergency room saying that I'm having a heart attack. However, anxiety + rapid heart beat + occasional chest pains is somewhat alarming, which tends to cause anxiety, which, yikes, vicious circle! If it's not being caused by heart problems, it's going to cause them.

I've cut out coffee and tea. I got for at least a half hour walk between 10-14, when the sun is high in the sky. I take vitamins. I sleep enough hours. I breathe deeply. And still, every goddamn day I find myself spending time feeling freaked out. But, you know, functionally so. Tomorrow, I'm cutting out sugar. And going to see a doctor tomorrow, I guess. I hate doctors. They make me anxious. ha ha ha. And seriously, wtf are they going to do for me? If I feel anxious every single day, punctuated by periodic panic attacks. I can't be popping Xanax 24/7. Bah, the week between Christmas and New Years. Maybe I should just go to an emergency room, because then my stupid travel insurance might cover it and it's not like I have any idea how else to access healthcare and isn't everyone on vacation right now anyway.

After this year, I'm spending every winter in Berkeley or south of these from then on. Also, apparently, my exes are right and I'm one of the crazy people. Alas. Or, you know, I'm really having a heart attack...

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Anonymous said...

I just find movement the best, yoga or brisk walking. and over a half hour.

Also you aren't crazy when you can ask "Am I crazy"


Polly Springhorn said...

Carol's right, exercise helps a lot. I have managed to deal with anxiety without drugs thanks to lots of working out, being straight edge, trying to avoid excess things that make me anxious, and seeing a therapist (not in a dating sense). I am so not crazy. Anxiety does not make one crazy. Just a little neurotic. :)

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