Anxiety Even Robs Me Of Sleep.I have been awake all day and all night and I not I have to get ready for work in less than 10 minuets.
I have spent over 15 hours on the computer. I haven't eaten all day except for a cup of black coffee and some crackers. I need to be on the computer to zone out and keep anxiety away because the second I take my mind off mindless stuff (like YT videos, or just getting other useless info) anxiety is right there.
I can't sleep. I am tired but I just can't sleep. I can't go to bed uncles I am exhausted; until I am ready to pass out. But about 20 minuets ago I forced myself to go to bed.
Even 1/2 hr sleep is better than no sleep. This is actually a problem though because if I do fall asleep even when I set two clocks I'll be so exhausted then I may turn off the alarms but it may not register and I'll be as late as a few hours, or even a whole day for work,and that is not good. This anxiety is seriously making me thing about looking into going on some sort of disability, but I couldn't survive off disability. .
Back to the topic at hand.
Even sleep, anxiety has to take that away from me. I got into bed and it seems that immediately anxiety got under the covers with me. I got the all too familiar uncomfortable feeling; an uneasiness. I think I am making some progress thought because I am realizing some things that I never understood. I just knew that I have always hated going to bed but only recently did I realize that it was because I was afraid to go to bed because of the uneasiness,and sleeping alone is even worse because there is no one there to distract you.
So as I was wondering why anxiety has to also take sleep
I began to think about how it has affected my life. It has costed me jobs but now it has taken away school and my nursing education. I could have worked around anxiety if I could have avoided the papers that are a requirement. I could study. I could take any exam. I could study night and day if I have to and pass any exam. I know I could, and I would be a good nurse because I have a brain a bit like a computer. I tell myself that I'm not much of a people person, but maybe that's anxiety once again controlling me. I'm a take charge person, the kind of person who would re you, be your advocate, make sure I did a good job because the better I am at my job and the more focused I am, the harder it is for anxiety to find me.
Papers are a big trigger. During my first BA I avoided classes that required papers like the plague. I couldn't avoid them all so in those classes that required a paper I would count on doing good enough in the other exams to make up for the papers so I could pass. In nursing, thought the papers don't contribute to your grade, if you don't do them you don't pass the class. I don't understand how you can have an 80 or 90 and still fall the class but that's how it is. Just having papers hanging over my head like a dark cloud just made it impossible to study. It felt like I was in a hopeless situation; like there was no way out so what was the point? It was like knowing that you were going to be electrocuted but not knowing when or even if you would survive. You just know that something really bad is going to come and it can come ANYTIME. How can you ignore that feeling? How could anyone live like that; and I'm not speaking about surviving, I'm talking about living - functioning, doing well (or even OK in life)
It's not even that I can't write papers because I have been forced to do it in the past, but even just thinking about them as I laid in bed immediately caused my anxiety level to go to about 6 and all the usual symptoms came along (the uncontrollable tears, the pain in my throat, the racing heart, the shortness of breath, the tightness in my stomach (and a I write this not the headache. I'm about an 8 right now))
I wonder why papers are a trigger. I think it has to do with making decisions on what to put in and what to leave out. I will spend months researching things (like cell phones) and still not be able to commit to one because I need to make the right choice.
But I have written papers in the past. It has always been a hellish experience, the kind that makes you think about suicide.
The best way I can explain it is if I use this situation. Imagine you were terrified to cross the road. You don't know why and you have no memory of anything traumatic (and just writing this is making me even more anxious because I can't even explain why I am so terrified of papers. I haven't had any trauma that I can recall) but you just know that you can't do it. You know it is ridiculous because thought you avoid it like the plague, you've done it in the pass, but it was HELL, not the actual crossing the road, but the just the thought of crossing the road.
People may offer you their hand and try to reassure you but it does not help. Maybe it just adds to the stress and anxiety that you are facing as you stand on the side of the road. The more you think about it the more terrified you become, and then you have to hope that that terror does not build up to a full blown anxiety attack so you try to ignore it. But you have to get across the road but you can't move so you stay there and hope that some how you will find yourself across that road. But it's not happening. Anxiety may lead to a full blown attack (level 10), or you may stop the torture when the anxiety level is lower, but the end result is that you are just not going to be able to make it across the road. Not this time, and not anytime soon.
So you back away and no one understands.
That is how I feel and how I deal with having to write papers. Papers create the kind of uneasiness that just hangs around like a giant gray cloud for me. No one understands. My instructors don't understand, and even had the audacity (well really the ignorance) to tell me that most people get anxious when they take exams but they still have to take them, and they are nurses!!!! Yes people get anxiety but most don't get it on the level nor at the frequency that I do, at least not most people in school and trying to fit into what society expects of you. They just don't get it. The best they can do is to tell me to see a writing tutor, but my problem is way deeper than that. I think part of it has to do with making decisions, but still it is deeper. Even if I went to the writing center and they told me what to include and what to leave out, I would still feel uneasy. I am not a hoarder. Perhaps I am one traumatic incident from being one, but I am so terrified of falling into that trap that I will purge ever so often. I will make up my mind to at least have everything fit in closets and get rid of any overflow. Writing is not that easy. I do know though that I NEED to make the decisions on what goes into my papers and what gets left out. Just making those decisions can make me anxious and lead to exhaustion. If I do manage to get a paper done it is ALWAYS late and it is always at least twice as long as what is required. Even then I have a hard time turning it over because I feel like it is not good enough because it is not completed. It could be edited a little more and perhaps more information added.
It is not just writing papers. I paid into disability but when I had a claim I procrastinated until it was too late and then I was unable to collect. That is not the first time (and naturally not the only time then :) ) that things like that. (Yes, I'm in the middle of an anxiety attack and I can use smiley faces, but right now my level is back down to about a 3 because I am distracted and writing about things in the past so I never ever have to deal with them again. Depression as a result of anxiety, will follow when I think about how anxiety is affecting me) It sickens me that I can be so ........... I want to say stupid but I know I'm not stupid. I'm not irresponsible either. Maybe I'm just sick; but sick just does not sound right either. Maybe I'm just different.
So I was supposed to be going to work. Even if I had stepped away from the computer in 10 minutes, the anxiety would still be looming over me and building and I don't know how to function when my throat is tight and my heart is hurting and I'm just hoping that I don't start hyperventilating. (the correct term is HYPOventilating. Yes you are breathing faster but so shallow that it is more like gasping for breath, and enough oxygen isn't getting into your lungs) The only options would be to cut, and though it is a fast way to calm down it takes about 1/2 hr and only gets me down to a 2 or 3, just enough to feel uneasy but still function. But I would be late. Or try to force it down to something manageable but I don't know how to do that, so I just have to fine something to distract myself if I can while I wait for it to come down, to let it go all the way and ride it out. In any case I would not get to work on time.
I feel it is better to call out sick than to show up late so that's what I'm going to do. But I'll never say it's because I had an anxiety attack. People don't understand anxiety.
The saddest memory and the thing that I will carry to my grave is that people (guardians, teachers) just thought I was lazy because I didn't do as well as I should have in school. Most people knew I was smart but my grades hardly ever reflected my abilities. As I got older I thought I might be dyslexic. Recently I got tested and the results were negative. But I think (and my therapist says that it is a possibility) that I was/still am but I have learnt to find ways to deal with it) In any case looking back I believe that I have always had anxiety (I grew up in an abusive, heavily controlled environment, I was separated from my mother (who was also abusive and controlling) at a very young age, and though we would occasionally get back together for most of my childhood we were separated.) and that I used avoidance as a coping mechanism whenever I could.
Well anxiety has made me exhausted. Since I'm not going to be going to work today I guess i should be grateful for that because it means that I will finally get some sleep.
If you are interested I have mroe of an intro on my blog.