I’ve been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, and over time it has had varying effects on my life. Looking back, I think I struggled with it a lot longer than I realized, perhaps as early as middle school; especially after enduring sever bullying in the seventh grade because of my weight. But that’s another post.
One of the many ways that my anxiety manifests itself is in crowds. If I am in the midst of a large crowd of people in a confined space, I develop a kind of claustrophobia that actives that lovely fight-or-flight response we all have and often leads me into panic attacks. This is even if I am at a benign, or even joyful event.
I have pills that I take every day to manage my anxiety, but in situations like this, they are worthless. I have an additional medication, called Klonopin, that I take on bad days. This medicine works well, but is often sedating, and my doc and I have been trying to figure out thee right dose so that it calms the screaming anxiety monster down while allowing me to function.
My husband comes from a huge Catholic family that is pretty tight. any family gathering or event feels like the damn state fair to me and it can just raise hell with me. There was a death in the family this week, and attending the wake sent me over the edge. At times like this I feel stupid and defective. Like a broken person who cannot even do simple things like attend a fucking wake and socialize with people. I feel worthless and burdensome on the people around me, and unworthy of love. I hate these feelings.
However, today, I tested out, with some trepidation, a very small dose of my klonopin. COOL AS A FUCKING CUCUMBER. I am shocked, really, and I hope this isn’t a fluke. This could be huge in helping me on those days when anxiety is in overdrive and otherwise can make me non-functional and stuck in bed. I want to win and let anxiety rule less and less of my life. I have come to terms with the fact that I suffer from mental illness that will haunt me for the rest of my life, and that I have to adjust to that fact. But finding any helpful tools feels like a ray of sunlight guiding me out of the darkness, and gives me hope.