Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fine Lines

I've always been a famously anxious person. I was the queen of mood swings as a kid and there was always a little hysterical maniac in me just waiting to come to the surface. I'm sure part of it is my genetic make-up (my brothers can be equally intense), but I think it also has a lot to do with the instability I lived with as a child.  It was (is) my way of dealing.

In college, I realized that I was constantly walking the fine line between motivating and debilitating anxiety. One pushes you to do your best and other doesn't let you do anything.  Unfortunately, I'm leaning toward the latter with only a week left until finals.  I know everyone gets a little bummed out every once a while.  Even to the point where they can't get off the couch for a few hours.  But this week, a new kind of anxiousness (almost depression-like), has set in.  Deep in my chest. It is a physical pain that can bring me to hysterical (hurting, wake the neighbor) tears just thinking about it.  It comes and goes with no apparent reason, and I'm out of coping mechanisms. 

In case you couldn't guess, for almost all of high school and college I was highly medicated. My depression and anxiety became too much for a fourteen year old to handle on top of everything that was going on at home, changing schools, making friends and trying to pay attention in class. When I moved away from Michigan and took a series of awful, low-paying jobs, I couldn't afford insurance so I stopped taking my medication cold turkey.  And while that's not usually a good idea, it ended up working well for me considering I had a lot of time on my hands, my own apartment, and few friends. 

And this is the first time in over a decade that I've been in school without medication.  But now I'm going on twenty-eight, not fourteen.  I have a better battery of coping mechanisms, and twice as much maturity.  Although I've always known when it's socially acceptable to be hysterical, I feel the need much less often.  I've created my own life and that in and of itself rids a great deal of uncertainty and anxiety triggers.  My last hurdle now is how to deal with others; to be OK with the unpredictable nature of the other. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The "other" really is always the challenge. That's something we'll never be able to control. But then maybe the answer, if there is such a thing, is learning more how to control (or not) your own response or reaction to the other. Because that's the only thing you can always control, right?