Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Post Where You Tell Me I Am Not Alone


I know I promised some vacation photos, but my progress has been stymied by an attack of anxiety (of the generalized nature). I've been wanting to do a post like this for a while, but have hesitated because I don't want to scare any of you fine readers away :D

Many have referred to their blogs as "cheaper than therapy" and that's what I am seeking: Some cheap therapy!

Family members will be aghast that I am posting this, as there is still a great stigma associated with this topic.

Recent events have convinced me that I need to know that I am not alone. For most of my life I have been categorized as a "worry wart" "stress case" "nervous Nelly" etc etc etc. In one of my previous jobs, I was referred to as the "designated department worrier, or DDW" (Note to those who use such terms in describing acquaintances: it is best NOT to use these terms.) I've mostly been able to keep things at bay and gone along as a fully functioning member of society.

However, every now and then all it takes is a trigger to set things off and I'm back to waking up at night panicking over minor things (in the scheme of life) and obsessing to the point where I can waste hours accomplishing nothing as a vicious cycle goes around in my head.

Usually what triggers things is a perceived "mistake" on my part. This can lead to me doing numbers calculations over and over in my head - especially if I think I have sold something too cheaply, in which case I calculate the opportunity cost of the hours I have to work to make that $ back. Completely weird, I know. And yet I CANNOT STOP.

Outwardly, I remain my composure, but inside it is like a constant tornado swirling in my brain. It prevents me from focusing completely on what I am doing, including for example, enjoying a once in a lifetime vacation! Please tell me that I am not alone on this; and if you've found a way to keep your nervous energy at bay, I'd love for you to share it :-)

I cannot keep going on like this. It is far too exhausting. (although it does appear to be a good way to burn calories ;-)


P.S. I'm gradually working my way through my blog reader. I truly appreciate all of your comments. Lack of wi-fi at work has prevented me from accessing the interwebs during my "slow time" :-(

34 comments:

Merry said...

I'm a worrier too. My husband swears that I worry about finding things to worry about. It drives me nuts, drives him nuts....hell it drives everyone nuts but I can't stop. You are not alone (and now I know I'm not either).

Thanks for stopping by my blog. See you around SITS!

Lisa said...

My oldest is a worrier. She has been since she was little. She says when she finds herself not stressing she worries that she's missed something. Last year I finally got her to go to dr and she was put on lexapro. She still stresses but not even a fraction of how it use to be. She's 15 weeks pregnant right now and has to wean herself off the meds so she can nurse. Now I'm gonna worry about her. You are spo not alone and there's nothing wrong with taking meds. Hugs

Kristina P. said...

I had to laugh, because I just wrote a piece for another blog about anxiety.

AND, I've been going to therapy recently and am freaking out about a plane ride in two weeks and have been working on some exercises. You are so not alone.

BUT, anxiety is highly treatable.

Maureen said...

I have anxiety too, of a different kind, and people really do not understand it at all. Everyone always says, "well, why can't you just do this?" but it's not that easy. I wish I had some advice for you but I'm still trying to figure it out myself.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I'm definitely a worrier. I find it gets worse if I start worrying about forgetting something, so it helps me a bit if I make lists of everything that's troubling me.

angelcel said...

Same as Maureen - I wish I could offer some helpful words of advice but I have none. I just wanted to say - me too - so no, you're not alone. I can sometimes worry so much over issues that I end up effectively cripped by it, doing and achieving far less than I am really capable of.

My husband bought me a book called: 'Women Who Think Too Much' by a Professor of Psychology, Dr Susan Nolen Hoeksema. I've only just started it but it sounds like it might help and has had good reviews on Amazon. I'm not sure if this link will work but here goes:

http://www.amazon.com/Women-Who-Think-Too-Much/dp/0805070184

Big hugs. x

alessandra said...

You are absolutely not alone....
http://18stepstohappiness.blogspot.com/2009/06/n-7-mantra.html

Mommy, I'm Home said...

I used to be a worrier, but not so much anymore. I'm guessing it's the Prozac (seriously) that did away with the obsessive compulsive worrying.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I'm a worrier too. I have such a hard time forgetting mistakes. I often replay them over and over. I try hard to let stuff go but it is hard.

Crystal Escobar said...

Hey, I'm new to your blog, found you through SITS, now I'm following you :) This is the perfect post for me right now. I'm just going crazy about a decision I'm trying to make. I really want to go visit my best friend in California, but am deathly afraid to fly. I keep imagining the plane ride, and I have anxiety just THINKING about it. It's no fun. I wish I had some advice, but all I can say, is, you AREN't alone :). I don't know about medications, I know they will help, but then your body becomes so dependent on them. I just don't want to be dependent or addicted to anything.

Kathie @ my net finds said...

I have anxiety and I've found that stress triggers it and panic attacks too. I wish I had a quick fix answer for you. I've had therapy for it, breathing techniques to calm me down and basically self talk...talking to yourself in your head to get through panic attacks (no it's not crazy). Let me know if you want to know more :-)

short answer: you are not alone! :-)

Vodka Logic said...

worry and anxiety are my middle name....as for your reader. I'm still catching up on mine too. :)

Yaya said...

I'm all too familiar with anxiety.....hope it eases up soon!

Amanda said...

Did you ever see that old Mad TV clip with Bob Newhart as the shrink and the woman who comes in and says, "Well, I have lots of problems. I throw up every time I eat."

He looks at her and says, "Well I hav some great advice for you. I know how we can make you better right now. All you have to do is listen to me."

She says, "Ok. Tell me!"

He says, "Ok. Here goes."

"Stop it."

"What?" She says?

"Stop it. Just stop it!"

"But its not that easy! I cant just stop it. I need to know how to get better!"

"I'll tell you. Stop throwing up!"

She subsequently storms out and its rather hilarious.

BUT! My whole point is to this rambling post, I have no idea how to help online. There are no words I can say to help you... its an action you have to take. And I dont even know what that action is.

Well. Other then to stop it. ;)

I kid.

I wish we could meet over coffee and have this conversation is person!

Be blessed-
Amanda

blueviolet said...

I worry way too much and I always develop scenarios which expand into the most preposterous tales.

AnnQ said...

I know how you feel -- I wish I could say I wasn't a worrier, but I'm completely obsessive about SO many things!

Crissa Pollmann Robertson said...

Thanls for stopping by my blog. Nice to meet more bloggers!

Crissa
Ckscorner.blogspot.com

Tracie said...

I don't really have this issue other than minor worries here and there.

Maybe you should talk to your dr.? A combination of therapy and medication may help you.

PS Thanks for sharing this. We all have our issues. Not all of us are willing to put it out there.

strokeofliving said...

You are not alone. At all...

Like Blueviolet I tend to create stories when I have no information about things. I go from observing past behavior and my mind takes off from there.

Is that anxiety, loopy craziness or just lack of patience? Who knows I am no professional but I know I must get off that train.

Kaylen said...

Totally normal.
I think I am more high-anxiety now than ever before.
Not usually at work, as I seem to trust myself to manage that mess.

But once I'm at home and I'm in charge of the entire universe, I'm often having a crisis inside my head where I think random things like: what if that tree back there falls over right now...can I save my son? Will the cats run through the open hole before I have a chance to quarantine them?
Or sometimes when I go for a very nice relaxing massage, I start thinking things like, what if there is a big earthquake and I have to run out of this room in just my panties...
Or while I'm driving and some shmuck doesn't know how to merge, I can go through an entire scenario where he clips my fender, my car starts spinning like a top and then I plunge into the river and I have electric windows and I can't roll them down.
Etc.
It's hard thinking so much. It just exhausts me.
You are not alone.

Alicia said...

ohhh lady..you are so not alone! i have sensory issues with anxiety and if i feel a texture or hear a sound that triggers it i shut down completely....i can't even think about it!!

Lucy said...

On a serious note: cheap therapy won't work you need to tell your doctor. Minor worrying I understand, ruining a vacation and sleepless nights, sweety spend the money and call the doctor it is well worth it!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

being a "worrier" is a misnomer. t is actually attention deficit disorder. a very low dose of meds can make the difference in your life.

Janna Bee said...

Hey, looky here- You are not alone. I am a ridiculous worrier, to the point where I have been breaking out into tears lately at the drop of a hat, I'm so stressed. I used to think it was the outside world doing this to me, now I am thinking it is within me, and I probably should see someone about it.

I hope you feel better soon, maybe a trip to a therapist would help (and inspire me to do the same). Also you can feel free to email me if you need to talk or vent.

Coach Jenn said...

You are so brave to post this. I agree that it is a topic that many of us hide from. You are definitely now alone. If worries truly become all consuming, I think it is in your best interest to seek help beyond just blogging.

Thanks for welcoming me to SITS. I really appreciate it.

Anti-Supermom said...

Thank you for stopping by in my blog when I've said nothing good this past week, feeling sick and looking at the computer make me want to puke. You are too sweet ;)

You are *so* not alone in this. I worry about silly things, then let the big stuff slide. I'm crazy like that.

Aunt Juicebox said...

I remember the first time I ever heard the term worry wart. I was about 6 years old and we were driving back from my aunt's farm one weekend, which was a normal weekend for us, and I heard my parents talking about whether or not to stop for gas. I kept popping up in back to look at the gas gauge, and then ask my parents if we had enough gas to get home. I did this for the entire 2 hours. My mom finally told me to stop being such a worry wart.

Now, I am 36 and I lay awake at night worrying about the most inane crap imaginable.

Kristin said...

You are absolutely not alone! My hubs' and are both worriers, but luckily we balance each other out and worry at different times! Ah ha

Joy said...

Honey, I had it so bad from the earliest I can remember - around age 6 - until I got on Zoloft about ten years ago.

Randi Troxell said...

hubby is a TOTAL worrier.. sometimes, i look at him.. and say- everything will be fine and work out..

if i let myself go, i can worry.. so, i just try to NOT let myself go.. much easier said than done by the way...

Tater Tot Mom said...

You're so not alone with this one. I'm a constant worrier so much so that I finally had to leave my last job because of the pressure. I wasn't sleeping and was constantly in a state of panic. My hubby thinks I'm crazy sometimes and sometimes I agree that it's crazy to worry so much but it's hard to stop!

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

We're mom's. We're good at that kind of stuff.

So.not.alone.

bayctygrl said...

I worry and stress if I do something wrong. Or if someone is mad at me.
I hate making mistakes and will beat myself up over and over if I do. I try so hard to preplan my every move in life so I don't make a mistake. This is all done in my head and only I know...lol
And by the looks of your comments you're not alone!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Ah, Carma, you see while I'm off at work, worriting myself into a frazzle, I had no idea that you were doing this over here...

Yes, you are not alone - I find my panic attacks (for that is what mine are) have increased as I get older, and I understand may be attributed to (pre) menopausal changes... Delightful, non?!

I am a firm believer in the fact that, if we can recognise the signs in ourselves, and try to halt the process - the vicious circle, as you say - that this puts us ahead of those that don't even know they've got issues and just start to spiral downwards...

You have to find what works for you, sweetie... I stand by Bach's Rescue Remedy as a herbal solution to some of my more minor wibbles...

Others have mentioned other possible med solutions... We can try to change or modify our behaviours, but I don't think we can change the fact that we are prone to worry, as you did over The Boy's potentially being overcome by the oven-cleaning fumes! (I've been there, done that, and seen myself visiting him in a hospital bed over something even less frightening than that, Carma!

Take care, darling friend xox

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