Saturday’s supposed to be the easy, fun day. The one where you just relax and do whatever you feel like.
I spent most of the day nearly paralyzed with anxiety.
Every thought leads to a fear. In the shower, I move very slowly, afraid of falling. I watch Tom warily, because I’m afraid he will up and leave me. Even in the condo, a dark corner spooks me. On the road, I tense up every time we get within 15 feet of another car, afraid we’ll hit it.
Death of a thousand fears.
These anxiety attacks come on mostly without warning. Most times, they are small enough that I can handle them with some deep breathing and herbal tea.
Some are much worse. My fears grow to apocalyptic proportions, and they are crippling. They block off all my confidence to do anything.
I have always been a bit nervous as a type, but it never kept me from doing things that I wanted to do: backpack solo in Africa, work with journalists in the Middle East, ski down a mountain.
Since my ruptured brain aneurysm and surgery in November, these fears and attacks make me freeze in place.
It’s similar to PTSD, the doctors told me, a biochemical response to trauma.
In some ways, it feels like a very logical response too. When you’re perfectly healthy and then one day your brain just blows up, it makes you less confident in the future.
Although today was bad, overall the trend since surgery has been positive, and I know this anxiety will be gone someday. I stopped having crying jags after a few weeks, and I haven’t taken Valium since my first two weeks out of the hospital.
Tom is sweet and supportive as an angel. We got out of the house and went for a drive, enjoying the loveliness of a June day.
There were dark clouds hovering, but the thunderstorm never hit.
Today’s penny is a 2015, when it all started.