I can’t keep calm, I have an anxiety disorder

I get the whole mental attitude  (mentatude?) of this “keep calm and carry on” thing. I do. But um…It isn’t going to happen with me. It’s like telling someone with the flu, “You don’t need to throw up, just take a breath.”

Condescending. Insulting. Frustrating.

My anxiety has been heading into the stratosphere this week, and I cannot find any stressors causing it to do so. It’s same shit, different day territory. Yet every day if I am at the shop, toward 2 pm, the anxiety meter starts ticking, reminding me my house could be on fire, people could be stealing my stuff (again), the kids could be vandalizing shit, one of the cats could be laying in the road dying and need me…On and on it goes, leading to an obsessive compulsive compulsion to LEAVE. Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. I NEED TO GO HOME NOW!!!!

I fight it.

For all the good it does.

And it cracks me up when people tell me I am being ridiculous with all my unfounded anxieties.

Woke up with house on fire? Check.

Came home to find shit vandalized? Check.

Come home to find stuff stolen? Check.

Came home to find a cat dead? Check.

It’s NOT unfounded, for fuck’s sake. It’s all happened before, and now I am scarred to the point of quiet paranoia 24-7 that it will happen again. And again. I am well aware the panic does me no good. Too bad those wonky little receptors in my brain won’t accept that and stop sending out the “fight or flight” responses.

My mood has been “within normal limits” for cyclothymia. I am on summer cycle, which means my energy is up, my mood is in the middle, and my anxiety is off the charts. Aside from the heat making me super oppressed and bitchy, the moods haven’t been all that bad. I mean, it’s not a smooth ride by any means, cyclothymic blips appear on the radar screen constantly. But I can handle tiny blips here and there. It’s the giant blips where I go from extreme high to extreme low, rinse lather repeat…Those kick my ass.

Soon, I will enter into the next cyclothymic phase. The advent of season change will start depleting my energy. My mood will be okay, until it’s not, and then it will just be low for about five months. Though I do find my anxiety dies down during the winter, possibly because people aren’t out and about so much and it gets dark earlier so I just feel less stressed by a fast paced environment. It’s like the season change crashes my mood to suicidally depressed levels, but the relief is in the lowered anxiety. Then comes summer and the moods lift but the anxiety is heightened. Round and round we go. I don’t like this playground ride. It’s the scary-go-round.

I survived my kid’s birthday Wednesday night at my mom’s. My mom didn’t even verbally attack me. R and his wife brought the grand daughter. Of course, the assorted bums and their broods were present, people who are of no consequence or attachment to me or my kid and yet, they are there at every family get together. I was proud of myself for I handled a day with kids and my family and a crowdf (c’mon, 24 people IS a crowd to me!) and I DID NOT TAKE SO MUCH AS A SIP OF LIQUOR. This is improvement. It means I am getting back to dealing with stress on my own rather than climbing into a bottle.

I still smirk when I think of all the doctors who have scoffed when I told them the rehab center rejected me because they didn’t think I had a drinking [problem, I have a coping problem. It’s so easy to not make the distinction. A drinking problem is someone who cannot go one day without a drink. A drinking problem is someone who will gargle mouthwash and swallow it just for the possibility of a hit of alcohol.

Someone who only drinks during high anxiety or depressive or manic phases…That is mood related and definitely a coping mechanism.

I have put a lot of thought into it, entertaining the notion that maybe I was an alcoholic. One day last winter though the proof smacked me in the face. I wanted a drink…But it was cold and snowing and I didn’t want to pack the kid up and drive..So I didn’t drink.

Had it been a Dr Pepper I was in need of…Chances are I would have turned my cats into a sled dog team and bundled my kid up like the staypuft marshmallow man to go get my nectar of the gods. That is an addiction. That is possibly a problem.

But too cold and snowy for booze? Not really seeing a problem there with too strong an urge to drink.

I digress.

I am surviving.Some days that’s all it feels like. Not living, not enjoying life. Just surviving. Other days, it’s like things aren’t so bad. Though inevitably a mood swing or panic attack will mar the surface of a seemingly nice day. I try not to let it deflate me entirely, but it does chip away.The days where the mood is level and the anxiety is low…Those are like the purple magical unicorn. You know they exist, but they are rarely ever found. (supposed to be funny.)

Today is the party at home for my kid’s bday. I am sweating. I have baked. I have games and prizes ready. My kid is with my dad til 3pm. The kids are here, they were here last night even though my kid isn’t.Am I flypaper for kids or what? It’s okay, though. I hardly knew what to do with myself last night, the mommy thing is just so ingrained. Maybe the loner thing is only a part of who I am now and the bigger part has just become den mother or something. I don’t know.

I buried three out of four newborn kittens today. Nightshade is an awful mother. THe forth one likely isn’t going to make it either. It makes me sad. Why allow them to be born if they aren’t meant to survive? People, cats, dogs, whatever. This lottery of life thing pisses me off.What’s the point? And exactly what dictates who gets to live and who gets to die? I didn’t get the rulebook but it seems to me if you’re a complete asshole, you live forever. If you’re a decent person, oh, can’t have that, here, have cancer and die.

Oh my attitude is showing.Dead cats trigger it.

Now…more cupcakes to frost and I will cross my fingers that the kids go away long enough for me to grab a shower and change before I have to get everything ready outside.

Another week survived, it’s a plus.

Though I wonder what it would be like to actually enjoy life instead of just surviving it.

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