I remember going into my primary care provider’s office and telling Jeremiah that I was overwhelmed with anxiety, hoping he would give me a magic pill to make all my worries disappear. Luckily for me, after sitting down and talking with me for quite a while, he gently but firmly offered me several other options but told me he cared too much about me to prescribe a potentially addictive benzodiazepine like Ativan. I left, disappointed but completely understanding where he was coming from.
I would have thought anxiety would have been more of an issue during the rougher/major times & changes times in my life–college, starting a new job as a nurse, taking on the awesome job of caring for a helpless infant, losing loved ones, going through a divorce, but I don’t remember being that overwhelmed. Why, when my life was actually good, was I self-medicating with alcohol and feeling like I was one step away from losing it all together?
I couldn’t see to understand this at the time, but lying in bed an hour ago it was like an epiphany. I was definitely stressed during rougher times and major changes in my life, but I was either writing in my journal or creating art to vent my thoughts. Somehow after venting what had started out as a negative thought/emotion suddenly metamorphosed into something deeper and positively meaningful. I don’t know if it’s just me but for some reason my deepest feelings are often buried in my subconscious–I can sense them on a deeper level but I can’t quite put my finger on them until I get away from the “noise” in my head and let myself listen by getting out of my own way and just letting go as I write and create without thinking.
When I went to Jeremiah I hadn’t been sober long enough to really sit down and journal coherently or to create meaningful art in months. I don’t feel that crippling anxiety anymore. I know my husband worries because I don’t sleep as well as I used to (if passing out at 8pm in a Chardonnay stupor and waking up at 7am counts as ‘sleeping’) but I don’t feel tired. If I do, I take a nap or go to bed early. My mind is still going a million miles an hour, but my thoughts are joyful. My life is still chaotic at times with two young ones, work, and everything else, but it’s a beautiful chaos that I will look back on fondly someday.
Looking back now, my feelings of overwhelming doom and apprehension were definitely worse after reading Twitter, any Reddit sub about politics, or playing Candy Crush. (I thought Candy Crush was something to help me ‘relax’ but really it just gave me something to mindlessly do while my mind ruminated on everything I was concerned about). I deleted Candy Crush a few months ago, haven’t checked any political tweets or subreddits. Can I really change anything surrounding our President or government at this moment? Why am I wasting all this time and energy on something I can’t change?? My gratitude to my husband and my mom for being there for me & listening to me vent about the latest uproar but really I owe you both apologies! Venting about the state of affairs to them did nothing to absolve my anxiety, and only shared my negativity with them…some of the people I care most about in this world. This toxicity is definitely not something I want to share with them.
It’s been since February 15th that I really turned away from self-medicating and plunged back into art and writing and I haven’t felt this good in a long time.
Looking back at the sequence of events since New Year’s Eve that led me to where I am now…God is good. ❤