Lately my anxiety has been on what I’ll call “high alert.” It’s not that anything really difficult or crazy has been happening (though yes, occasionally something random will occur and trigger my OCD), it’s more that I’ve been feeling almost constantly on edge.
Emotional/Mental and Physical Responses
Sometimes I feel like my brain can’t relax, like for some reason it needs something to worry about or freak out about all the time. If “nothing” is going wrong, it will create something. It will invent uncertainty or a new thing to have anxiety around just so that it can worry and make me tense and uncomfortable.
This, of course, leads me to feel as if my body is in a constant state of tension. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this brings its own physical problems and issues, including jaw tension and clenching, tension in other muscles, and an overwhelming lack of being and feeling relaxed. It’s almost like I can’t relax. My body is in “fight or flight” mode, ready to take off and unable to let go.
This then makes the anxiety and OCD worse in my case. I worry. I feel like I should be relaxed, like I’m ruining my body by making it endure so much stress. I’m convinced it messes with my digestion and feelings of general well being. But I do not know how to get rid of this constant state of worry and anxiety.
I went back on birth control to hopefully help with my endometriosis and pain I was feeling possibly in relation to that, and I wonder if some of these feelings are related to that medication. Sometimes I feel like the chronic physical and mental illnesses I have are at odds with each other, like I can’t help one without having a setback in the other. It all feels really self defeating, like I have to choose one or the other, while in reality both seem to suffer and not improve regardless.
As such, I have also been feeling a lack of hope. Generally, I feel tired of dealing with my OCD and my anxiety. I feel like it will never go away, and, as a result, I am resigned to it. It’s almost like I just crawl along through each day because I know I must and have no other option. I do not have much hope that fighting it or not fighting it will do much good in the long run. My thoughts lately have been to simply survive and power through, hopefully not damaging my brain or body too much day by day.
Maybe this means that I’m also experiencing some depression. But I just feel like I have been going to therapy for a long time, did well for a bit, and now here I am, not doing well and not motivated or having faith in the therapy at the moment. I am dreading doing things—exposures, etc.—or even of having to go to therapy and receive homework assignments. It’s more of an apathy at times than an actual fear of facing my “obsessions.” Lately it’s all seeming futile and not worth it—like going to therapy is too much of an investment emotionally and in regards to the energy it requires for the reward that I’m seeing.
My husband reminds me that I can go back on medication. Yes, that is true. But part of me feels like that is a cop out for me personally at this point, like I should be able to use the CBT and therapy instead. Also, going on medication last time had a really rough introductory phase (see: intense depression and not wanting to live anymore) and going off wasn’t particularly great either. I really don’t want to live through those phases again.
I do apologize for this downer of a blog post, but I think it’s important to be honest with our mental illnesses and mental health. It’s important to acknowledge that we don’t live with our mental illness in a vacuum. Our physical, emotional, spiritual, and social health affect it and vice versa.
It’s also essential to know and understand that recovery isn’t always permanent. It sucks, sure, but that’s reality. Our trajectory isn’t always one direction or the other. It is up and down and sometimes the downs are really low and the ups aren’t as high as we’d like. Sometimes it’s the opposite.
Hopefully I’ll figure things out. I’m not sure when or how I’ll do that, but for now I’ll just keep on moving ahead, trying not to let any one day or any one failure get the best of me. I hope you do the same.