Oh, and better late than never - it's almost like being famous!
Friday, June 24, 2005
So I have very physical manifestations of stress. Even when I think I'm handling things ok, my body will inform me in no uncertain terms that I am not. Before heading off to my freshman year of college I developed panic attacks, a particularly fun attribute wherein you feel like you're suffocating. I've since managed to get those mostly under control, but during the week leading up to my exam, well, I fell apart a bit. And I'm still working on putting myself back together. Before the exam I had a few episodes of hyperventilating, tingling in my hand and foot, and what anxiety disorder websites call "depersonalization" or "disassociation" (everything feels unreal or surreal and you have trouble focusing). I figured I could handle that amount of anxiety, since the exam was right around the corner and surely afterwards my symptoms would go away. Apparently, not so much. Things were mostly ok at Bonnaroo, aside from the dreams which resulted in trouble sleeping and a few more brief episodes of disassociation. Then I left for home and DC. I should have known that, much as I love Mom and Brad, they elevate my stress level on a normal day, so this wasn't really the ideal time to spend lots of quality time with them. But such is the way things are. So I spent four and a half days in DC mostly trying to convince myself not to freak out, feeling like I'm going a little insane, nearly passing out at the National Gallery, having some pretty severe vertigo, headaches, racing pulse, and trouble sleeping. Then back to WV. And I have to say, I'm fairly upset. Because I feel like this whole stupid anxiety thing virtually ruined my time at home. I still had a decent time, and good talks and time spent with Mom and Dad. But typically home is my favorite place, the place where I feel most relaxed. And to spend all my time there freaking out about whether this is all in my head or there's really something wrong with me....well, not much fun.
Fortunately, I'm back in atlanta, already feeling calmer, and got myself all checked out this morning, just for peace of mind. I probably shouldn't say this until the lab results get back, but the doc agrees with my assessment - most likely I'm fine, just messed up in the head. So I'm getting my head shrunk on Monday and hopefully I can get back to feeling normal again soon.