A Bad Day: Today was what I qualify as... - Anxiety and Depre...

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A Bad Day

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Today was what I qualify as a "bad day" for me mentally. I had trouble sleeping this morning (I work overnights, so I stay up all night and go to bed around 7 AM, even on my day's off), so it was 11 AM before I remember my eyes closing. I was dosed well on atenolol and hydroxyzine (beta blocker/antihistamine...for anxiety) but I just couldn't stop thinking of the issues for the day. Bills, the kids, adulting... I was afraid it was going to lead to dreams surrounding it all, but I slept.

I woke up around 8 PM extremely lethargic and woozy. I slept like a ton of bricks, but this is how I wake now: ready to go back to sleep again (regardless of work). I had taken a day off from work today as I'm awaiting a refill of Xanax. I'm nearly out and the idea of going to work without enough of it makes me, get this.... anxious! Totally annoying.

Regardless, my wife and kids woke me up and I was a bit of an ass (pardon my language, but it fits). I really can't remember it all because I was groggy. I have an almost newborn child, so my nine year-old goes way out of her way for attention into the realm of annoying. This is a new concept of parenting for me but I usually handle it well. Mentally, I just wasn't ready today. I was like a bear that just awoke from his annual coma and had waaaaaaaaay too many pokes. I don't know if it was from this morning's sleep as well, but I took a comment about me checking my phone (instead of paying attention to my family) extremely personal to the point I just blatantly lofted my phone off the bed. My wife growled frustration, I growled it back, then her...and then...it cleared the room. I sat in bed angry with myself. The emotions all over; sad, angry, self-pity, more anger for pitying myself, feeling sorry, and like a complete useless POS since I wasn't even going to work tonight. I felt like and maybe did fail as both a husband and father. I got mad at myself as my brain still really hadn't grasped the day to emerge if that makes any sense. I guess you could say I felt like I acted like an irrational animal.

They're all sleeping now and I never said I was sorry. I told my nine year-old good night in her bad and told her I loved her. I took a shower and sat down for 20 minutes letting the water just try to cleanse how awful I felt away. I'm now by myself for the night, watched a little television, and still waiting for the Xanax to magically appear at my pharmacy...or for tomorrow to come when I can refill it....so I can get back to a functional member of society. I decided to come here to get the story off my back. I still feel groggy, a bit upset, and just questioning what's wrong with me. I take so many downers for anxiety and panic that I really think it's making me fully depressed. I'm the kind of guy that would make a great tragic comedian. No, I have never and will never hurt myself, but think of Robin Williams or even Chris Farley. I'm the same way: I joke, laugh, and do my best to "play" or "act" life correctly but sometimes I have to hold everything inside. In the case of the actor/comedians I mentioned, it ate them to pieces.

I guess, overall, I just hate making my problems someone else's because I feel like I have or do consistently. I get tired of hearing that we've had this conversation a million times from my wife about a medication. I get tired of hearing someone just at wits end with me trying not to sound exactly like that when I call during a panic attack. I get tired of hearing, well, I guess we'll try this now (insert SSRI/SNRI here). I'm trying to be compassionate to myself. Love myself. Breathe. Relax. I just never wanted to be like my dad. He was okay, but he wasn't the greatest husband and I was terrified of him as a kid (we're cool now). He was a jerk because he was an alcoholic and thus hung over on a daily basis. I quit drinking a year ago to avoid that after becoming a "social drinker" in 2008 and an alcoholic by 2010...and now I'm hung over on, I suppose, some depressing medications that takes a bit to allow a functioning mind. And to think there's another new med at the pharmacy (Gabapentin) waiting for me to try. I feel like I'm this close to making the open cast for The Walking Dead with how zombified these meds have felt.

So, what a day...mostly sleeping...it's over now and all I can say is that I was a jerk. If I've learned anything in my journey, I'm going to type everything that made today bad and leave it right here. I'll try again tomorrow. This damn horse doesn't want me to ride him, but that's too bad. Whoa now there, Anxiety and Depression (sounds like a good winner at the Kentucky Derby..right?), I'm hopping back on. Life isn't easy for anyone, but I think for a lot of us suffering here, we have to go a little beyond because we're not just suffering, we're the worst critic of ourselves. We have to learn to give ourselves a break, like any normal rational person out there does. I'm hoping I've done that typing all of this. I can't say I feel incredibly better, but man, give yourself a break! If everyday were a winner, life would sure be boring. I hope everyone is doing well out there. And hey, if you're being hard on yourself, I absolutely want you to give yourself a break.

Aequitas aka Patrick

13 Replies
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Sounds like an off day, we all have them. You awoke for a fairly heavy sleep and not refreshed and not in the best mood for family interaction. I’ve had issues with sleep before as well as anxiety. A combination of Lexapro and Ambien makes me ok. Both taken at night. Sounds like you got Xanax withdrawals too.

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in reply to Hidden

Appreciate the kinds words and suggestions, yeah, it was a tough one. I worried myself out of sleep for sure. I'll have to see about Ambien, my doc has tried Klonopin (why any doc gives a person two benzo drugs...way beyond me), trazodone (not a huge fan), and now the hydroxyzine which works okay but not great.

Absolutely, the Xanax is the worst part. I do have some left, but I've been budgeting it for when the anxiety/panic gets to be the worst during the day. Definitely not full blown as I actually tried to quit/wean until I realized it was the only thing working. Wanted to figure out my panic/anxiety before I wean off the drug that makes daily life work. I remember feeling sweaty and like I was floating around with bad heart palpitations. Thankfully just some moodiness rather than the ugly symptoms compared to that. I know there will be a lot to pay when I wean off. The stories I hear...yikes.

Gonna shrug this one off and try again tomorrow...well it's today now...so today. Thanks for the chin up :D

Hi Patrick ! I am sorry about your day and everything else with your family !

Kids , marriage , spouse and acting like an adult is not easy ! Add work , lack of sleep with anxiety / panic attacks you got the perfect

I am glad you were brave enough to share !

Have an awesome Friday ! 😉

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in reply to foxglove_pnw

Thanks, all will be well I figure so long as I just put it behind me. And, oh yeah, the combination of work/bad sleep/anxiety = the perfect storm :) It definitely feels better to share the story for others and as a reflection for myself when it happens again. It was absolutely better than sitting on the couch stewing about it. Thanks for everything and have an awesome Friday as well!

Hi!

I can relate to your situation. I have had anxiety issues all my life (GAD, OCD, SAD). I am a bit older than you being a child of the '70's. There were no SSRI's back then only tricyclic antidepressants. It did not matter anyways because mental health problems never entered into the equation. I figured it was just part of who I was. Like you, my father was not there for me emotionally. Thus, I had no "father figure" to speak of. When I went to college I would be the life of the party but I suffered inside. Back in the early 2000's I went to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me as having OCD, GAD and alcohol abuse. I worked in the day and drank by night. In 2006, I was diagnosed with a neurological disorder (SCA-6). My life was turned upside down. At the time I owned a small transportation company. We transported developmentally-challenged school kids. I held on until 2011 when I failed the required state physical examination. No longer was I qualified to drive commercially. It broke my heart to leave all those kids behind. So, after 28 years in Arizona I moved to St. Louis to be with my family.

After a few years of working in hospice I decided to go back to school. Last August, I graduated with a masters degree in Gerontology. During that time I was diagnosed with autism. It explained a lot (no children, no marriage, no friends to speak of). Since then I have been in and out of depressive episodes with my anxiety following along for the ride. Job interviews are a major source of anxiety. I have yet to tell any one of my autism. My doctor feels I should disclose my disorder before the interview (Oh, by the way, I'm autistic. How about a job?) Still thinking about that one.

I guess writing you serves two purposes; 1) It is a chance to vent-Thank you, and 2) I want you to know that you are not alone. Millions of people suffer just like you and I. Most just hide it better. With your medications, just hang on and try mixing it up. You will find the combination that works the best for you. I commend you on your self-awareness and the empathy you have for loved ones. I know of many who would take the path of least resistance and blame others. Your awareness of self love deserves mentioning because it is the first step towards true happiness. May your "cup runneth over" spilling love to all those around you. As for your words, thank you, I needed someone to remind me to "give myself a break" Have a great day (night) at work and remember: You are never alone. Write me or anyone else on this site for a "refresher" any time you need to.

You are appreciated.

-MSGSTL

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in reply to MSGSTL

MSG,

Wow, I cannot fathom losing as much as you did because of the state examination. I'm in a similar area as we're supposed to be "full attention" at work since it's safety sensitive. I feel like a lot of us diagnosed in the 2000's were left behind a little bit. It seems things are a little bit better now, but my family support was minimal...stress is anxiety and life. I remember adding 40 pounds due to SSRIs at 19 years-old. Nothing worse than having those side effects during a period of time when Taco Bell eating didn't do a thing to the metabolism. I dropped the meds then, dealt with it the best I could, exercised, and lost all of the weight in a matter of two months.

Congratulations on your masters by the way. I'm back into school just trying to get my associates degree. I left school to work for the railroad at 22 because I honestly didn't know what I wanted to do. What I do there stress wise has made Marines have panic attacks from the stress and get carted out from the attack. It's a tough field to stay in with what I deal with but with all the mindfulness and meditation, I feel like I've come some ways forward. I definitely understand the anxiety with job interviews. I felt like a sputtering nervous wreck at my last one (the railroad one in 2005...lol) and I doubt much has changed. I've also been told disclosing my issue(s) would be helpful, but you're right...what a way to start a conversation. "Hello, everyone, I'm Patrick and I suffer from panic and anxiety...so if I start to look like I'm flushing, embarrassed, and making this uncomfortable for anyone, please, seriously, I'd like to know." Yeah, I'll pass. I think what makes it more difficult for you (and really anyone) is the stigmas and lack of understanding with autism. Disclosing means then you need to sit down and explain the spectrum, how it won't be a problem working, and...on and on and on. Tiring. I'm sure there is a helpful way to toss it in there, but I can say letting some people know I have panic and anxiety has helped. One of the senior folks at where I work empathized with me..."I thought I was having a heart attack...they're terrible." Now if I'm feeling the triggers activate, I just nod at him and I'm outside walking, taking my immediate active med, and putting in earphones so I can listen to a mindfulness activity. I think for us, it's embarrassing and like 'turning over on our side' when it can be helpful. The most important part of that interview should be and I'm sure will be that you're educated, qualified, and a good person...who just happens to have autism.

Thanks for your kind words and story. It is nice to hear from others who feel similar, especially in the category of self-love and compassion. We're so darn hard on ourselves that it opened up my mind hearing the terms used towards mental health. Makes me smile just typing that. I hope the same for you, let the love out, and absolutely give yourself a break. You're worth it, unique, and have a great story of making it as far as you have. Truly amazing and inspiring. I'll be sure to keep you in mind for days like this and more. Feel free to also keep in contact.

MSGSTL
MSGSTL
in reply to Hidden

Hi Patrick!

I want to thank you for your perspective. You are the first to acknowledge what I have been feeling all this time and that is very well appreciated. Man, nine days since you wrote this! I am so sorry to take so long to reply. Please do not take that as a slight. Rather, here is how I perceive your reply: I consider your words as precious. As with most things precious, I want to covet it and in doing so I stash it away as to protect it. Think of it as like a safety deposit box. You know it is safe and thus leave it alone. You know where it is, you reflect upon it but you dare not take it out of its box. Make sense? I know where your words are and I think about your kind and astute perceptions, but, I just want them to be safe so I might "take them out" when I need a "lift" You obviously spent some time writing your reply to me for words like that do not come easily. If you wrote this on the fly, you might consider an occupation in writing for your verbiage is so conscientious-dense.

I hope your nights are going well. I have several friends who work for the RR's. You are right it is safety-oriented and can also be stressful. One works in Oklahoma, the other in Needles, Az.

A word about Gabapentin-its a tricky drug. When you first take it be prepared for a ride! My first time, I took 400 mg as prescribed by my neurologist and boom! I was lit-up like a Christmas tree! I remember being in the kitchen thinking, "I like this!" "Now gimme' some food! After three days I acclimated to the drug and now use it when my gait needs to be at its best (special occasions, presentations, etc.). I hope it treats you well. If I am not mistaken, gabapentin is a precursor to serotonin which invariably factors in to a host of mental maladies. Depression and anxiety for sure.

Well, time to feed the pugs, god bless, and thanks for the contents in my "safety box".

You are appreciated.

-MSGSTL

foxglove_pnw
foxglove_pnw
in reply to MSGSTL

Thank you for sharing this ! I have a son on the spectrum ! Brilliant mind and big heart ! He is very high functioning and no one can tells he is autistic if I don’t say anything ! He has taught he to look at life in a different way , I am a much better person because of him !

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in reply to Hidden

Thanks, Goldie. Yeah, I often wondered if myself and another family member were borderline autistic. Extreme introverts, socially awkward, and really hard on ourselves. Smart but shy. I don't know the spectrum all too well and I'll let the doctors do the diagnosing, but thus far they say I'm just an anxious panicked high strung person when I'm not having a good time and laughing.

Yeah, I think it's easy for a lot of us to obsess with failure and regret, but sometimes that fork in the road comes really quick. You are who you are and your decisions have made you better for it; no matter how better we think we could have been. We absolutely need to focus on the positives and I think we discount some obvious ones. Just my own "for instance", my wife and I were discussing the fact that my symptoms really are aligned with depression. I just named not having sports in my life and how tied up with my job that I never got to enjoy life young. She mentions herself, the two awesome kids I have, and more. For me, I just acknowledge those in the back of my mind as I'm lucky. Instead I need to move that to the front. Just a little mind rewiring and prioritizing on the good versus everything else. So many deep philosophical thoughts there, but really, all things considered it's easy to discount our own true successes as assumed or what we expect when they aren't simple feats.

You were a doctor? Wow, I can't even imagine the toll of that role. I mean, immediately I can tell that you aren't a failure. No one who has put that much effort into their self and education --and passed-- is a failure. I typed it another post, but I think finding positives can be a lot like what I said in regards to getting yourself back on track. Start small and be loving about it. I appreciate the kind words for our dialogue and if you ever need a positive nudge, remember that you're here and haven't given up. Feel free to message if you ever need an ear. Have a great day!

I loved this. Yes, we are our own worst critics and life is hard. We are all just trying to make it work. Be well. Thanks for sharing. It’s never to late to just say, “Im sorry”. You got this! Be well.

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