Monday, January 21, 2013

It's been almost a year

I have had both a wonderful year and an emotionally rough one.

Wonderful because my job(s) generally make me happy, we got married, we had an amazing honeymoon, and we are very lucky people to have such comfortable and fortunate lives.

Then its been emotionally rough, and I don't know why.

I got a concussion in August, I suppose it could have something to do with that, some sort of post-concussion syndrome.  But it has happened before unrelated to concussions, so it hardly seems fair to blame it.

It has gotten worse since I cut my finger and went to the ER last month, but I am not sure if it is stress and anxiety related to that or to sleep deprivation from the business of retail in December.

It could be anything.  I definitely feel unlike myself.  And I have struggled to behave like a reasonable human, especially when tired.

When I was about 20, I confessed to my sister that frequently when driving I would have these unbidden crazy thoughts where I would see in my mind terrible accidents take place between me and other specific cars on the road with me at the specific moment I had the thought.  I would see a tanker truck and a fiery explosion engulfing me as I drove past it.  I would see a pickup swerve over into my lane.

These things weren't real and they never happened but the thought flashing into my mind was a pretty regular occurrence.  It should be no surprise that I was an especially nervous driver and to this day hate to drive.

I told my sister that with the feeling that you know everyone has thoughts kind of like this.  They just happen.  They're normal.  My sister was horrified, and then tenor of her reaction told me that this was not in fact normal.  She'd never ever ever (pre Taylor Swift) like ever had that thought or anything like it, and she was pretty sure most people don't think like that.

I don't own a car and rarely drive, so the car thoughts are not back.

But thoughts like that are.

Since the finger incident.  I see it happen again and again and again.  Sometimes I know it is a replay of the bit of finger I accidentally amputated.  Sometimes I know it is a new fresh imaginary amputation.  The worst of the cranky emotional attitude breakdowns I've been having date to about then.

Was it the pain meds?

Is it the anxiety?

Is it the lack of sleep caused by the inability to fall asleep amongst my mental amputations?

Is it all of the above?

Or is my brain chemistry just kind of fucked? And has it always been?

2 comments:

Donald said...

Yeah, you're not alone on the car thing. It hits me from time to time. Usually when I'm already stressed out about something else.

The finger replays are anxiety and depression. Probably mixed with a little bit of regret of the "if only I'd done X differently" kind. It was a traumatic experience and that can be hard to let go of. The lack of sleep is probably magnifying the problem. This all mixes with whatever stress you're currently under and creates a positive feedback loop. Very bad.

I had to take therapy to find acceptance over a traumatic issue and deal with my anxiety/depression combo. I still deal with it, especially when things get stressful. Finding ways to relax is essential, getting enough sleep is essential, and therapy can really help. Things get better with time but they get better faster when you can talk with a neutral party. Exercise helped me for the first year or so. I should probably still be doing it really.

Go hug Sam. It helps. :)

Heather K said...

Thanks Donald. I have been making some changes to work towards turning things around. It's getting better.