Am I anxious or just lazy?

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I think most people with anxiety have had a comment or two about how they just need to suck it up, get on with it or ‘snap out of it’ and many may have experienced another;

‘You’re lazy’.

This was on my mind recently until I got a chance to try it out. Like many days, when I find myself working from home, I lie in bed or return to my bed at some point in the day feeling lost and overwhelmed. So this time I sat with myself and asked ‘Are you being lazy or is this something different?’

I analysed the feelings I was having. The thought of moving made me feel like crying, the thought of leaving the house horrified me leaving a feeling of dread, I thought about all the things I had to do for work and I felt my body ache, hurt and tense up. When someone is being lazy, they know full well they could do the task, they just choose not to. This was SO MUCH MORE. To feel physical pain from the thought of leaving your bed is far from lazy. It’s overwhelming. It’s tiring. It’s all consuming. It’s not in any way lazy.

I think naturally as someone with anxiety I tend to get frustrated by my own symptoms. At the moment I am really struggling. I’m on medication that has kept me on the straight and narrow for going on about 2 years, but all of a sudden it’s effect is not as great as before. I have begun to get a tight chest and feel anxious just for going to bed, something I have experienced in the past. I would often avoid going to sleep because of it causing me to be tired at work and have a bad day, but it would repeat as quickly as before. I have noticed that I don’t want to leave the house unless I have to. That makes me sad. I love to be out in the sunshine, so to see the sun from my window and not want to sit out in it is a horrible feeling.

I managed two panic attacks last week in the same day. Something I am neither proud or happy about. But since then, I have not been the same. I can’t seem to shake it. I’ve cried, I’ve hidden, I’ve pulled the duvet over my head and in the last two days my brain has needed stimulus at every moment. If there isn’t something on in the background my brain is going crazy and making me feel like a failure. One thing that’s different though, is there’s no particular reason for this spell. Thats when it makes me re-visit my (self-diagnosed – doctors have talked to me for years about anxiety and depression, but never given a diagnosis.) GAD, Generalised Anxiety Disorder title and realise that this is something that has to be caused by an imbalance. To have your mind be empty but your body tense, chest tightening and a serious feeling of dread is FAR from lazy.

I hope to return to the Drs in the next week or so, but the thought of a Dr who doesn’t know me, worries me. I want to do the next step, I want to see what else is available, I want to see a psychiatrist. I do not want to have my medication increased. If I have anymore medication in me, I feel like I might become a lifeless box and there is so much life in this box I just refuse to lose.

Be confidently anxious.

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The Tiredness is Overwhelming

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Today, I saw a friend, looked after a super sick boyfriend and then was ready to spend the evening doing e-mails or maybe even something more exciting. But as soon as he left, I just wanted to sleep. I am now very much a believer of doing what my body needs if its realistic to do so, but as I lay there, I realised I wasn’t tired, I’d just lost my energy.

Recently I’ve had issues with my anxiety, last week I had two days where the strain showed through. Migraines, easy to anger, crying, confusion. I thought I was through the worst and aslong as I remembered to take my medication everything would get back to normal, but instead things are different.

The other day I woke myself up in the middle of the night, anxiety pulsing through my chest. I had dreamt I was going on holiday and it was the night before, so my body had started its usual thing of getting anxious for the flight. Except…there was no flight. Just me in my bed freaking out about it. I hadn’t experienced this in years. It was an unwelcome memory.

With my medication, my anxiety is now reasonably stable. Last week however, it was like i could feel the anxiety bulging out the sides, I knew it was there even though it was being pushed down. Today this became ever clearer, I went with a friend to a nearby cafe for brunch and felt my chest tighten just sitting with her and chatting. This was the first sign I started to get after being back from Hong Kong that my anxiety was bad. Otherwise I was able to function, eat, there was no need to rush to the bathroom, but it sat there heavy on my chest as a reminder of past experiences.

Once my boyfriend had left this evening, I went about airing out the room hoping not to get his illness. I had begun coughing when he was coughing, but I knew it wasn’t the same thing, I was there for the first 3 days he was ill and I haven’t caught it yet, but I admit I became quite the hypocondriac. Before you know it, my chest is tight, my throat hurts and I’m coughing. I stop myself and as I mentioned earlier just lay down to rest.

I’d forgotten how tiring and debilitating anxiety can be. I hadn’t even thought of this until my friend mentioned it at brunch. The medication makes me tired and I can sleep for hours, but the anxiety can turn my into a lifeless potato. I’ll lie and get nothing done I was supposed to, my normal entertainment gives me no stimulus and my mind starts to wonder into self doubt and damaging thoughts.

I know I need to use my tools here, a little meditation perhaps, but you need to be strong and willing to do that and often willingness isn’t your own choice.

 

Keep strong.