I’ve had anxiety disorders for as long as I can remember. The actual diagnoses are generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. The take away message is: disorder. My brain is an unholy mess.
Imagine holding your breath, counting to twenty, and then being told you have to name all 50 states before you’re allowed to breathe again. Now imagine that some jerk projectionist follows you around constantly and plays worst case scenario movies every time there’s even the remotest possibility of disaster. Finally, imagine you’re in the middle of a normal, predictable day when an axe-wielding psycho jumps out at you from nowhere, only no one can see him – including you. Congratulations, we’ve just gone to a party and made small talk, driven on the highway, and had a panic attack at work. Also, my brain is an asshole.
I’ve been this way as long as I can remember, to varying degrees. I’ve collected coping strategies throughout, and managed to get rid of most of the self-destructive ones. I started blogging in 2003 when grad school started making me nuts, and stopped in 2008 when I was the healthiest I ever remember being. It’s my favorite form of therapy, a chance to get the crazy out of my head without forcing my friends to listen to it. (Don’t get me started on actual therapy. That’s its own post.)
So why am I back at it? In October, I knocked myself on the head, had a concussion and a two-week-long traumatic migraine, and took for freaking ever to recover. I still have memory problems and headaches, and my anxiety is through the roof. I’m working with my doctor medically, but emotionally nothing mitigates the sound of the little jerk between my ears like pouring out it’s drivel into text. Because most of the things I worry about, when you look at them from the outside, are actually pretty ridiculous. There is really no way that the old man with the cane on the train platform is really a disguised assassin who is going to draw a sword from his cane and set upon the whole train-full of people.
My brain may be a jerk, but it’s a jerk with creative flair.