Wham!

Some days you are just going through life, doing things that need to be done, thinking you are getting somewhere, ready to congratulate yourself on your progress when suddenly… Wham! You are hit up side the head with an irrational (or as in my case, rational but way out of proportion) thought generating panic and anxiety where you were calm and efficient only moments before.

Today was a double hit. I started today off great, with a (reasonably) early rise and a two-mile walk. Wimbledon was on, so I watched that intermittently while I had breakfast and waited for my turn at the shower. After DH left for work, I chatted with a friend about a photo shoot we are devising, then I set to work looking for a job. I couldn’t concentrate. All I could see was how filthy my carpet was and I wasn’t much better since I hadn’t showered yet. Wham! A whirlwind side swipe of anxiety sent me running for the Klonopin, and then the vacuum cleaner, to use up some of the spontaneous extra energy. After a nice shower and some lunch, I sat down to prepare for the job hunt again. I needed to check out some information on a conference I need to go to and went about preparing for that. I sent out some contact emails, working my network. I decided to check on my bank accounts to see how my finances were holding up, and I think that’s what triggered the next attack. But it didn’t come quickly, nay, it hid in the shade until my attention was turned elsewhere. It waited until I had logged off the banking site and logged back into my job search sites.

Wham! Trembling anxiety or is it panic? Thoughts raced through my head: we have to sell the house, we have no where to go, healthcare, food, shelter, how will we live? What about my pets – my children of fur? What will we do? What will we do? How will we live? How? How? How?

Every backup plan we had failed. We set new backup plans. Are those failing too? Something is failing… is it me? What’s next? What do I do now? COBRA is silently sucking away at my savings. This house needs repairs. Some minor, others less minor. Our mortgage is disproportionately higher than it should be… we can’t change it now because I have no job. Ironic, isn’t it? When you most need to readjust your finances, you can’t.

One car is paid for and we owe less than a thousand on the other.  I suppose we could live out of our cars, but it would be a cramped fit with the animals.  Sleep in the Walmart parking lot.  Can you do that?  I don’t know.

DH & I talked about today’s double hit.  We have enough savings for a few months but we will probably have to put the house on the market by the first of the year.  I hate owning houses, I hate switching jobs, I just want things in my life to be settled.  I want my emotional rollercoaster to settle and stop derailing me when I am doing well.  I was doing well until my mind side-swiped me.

Maybe try again tomorrow.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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5 thoughts on “Wham!

  1. I think this is something we all experience in really uncertain moments. I’m not minimizing it; no, I want you to know that it isn’t necessarily your disorder coming down on you.

    Here’s what I tell my husband (who has a serious problem with panic). Don’t even go into making emergency plan x, y, and z plans (such as evading debtors jail, yes I’m sadly serious) until we are facing an emergency. It’s not an emergency yet. So, you don’t really have to go there. No sense considering options for bridges you may never have to cross.

    And that just helped me figure out what sent my husband into this serious tailspin. Thank you, because you’ve given me the insight to unravel this whole thing. I don’t know if it will fix anything, but at least I know.

    I know how it feels. I’m sure you’ve found yourself in more crisis situations than what feels like might be normal. I know I feel that way, and it often leads me to negative conclusions. Example: when someone close to me starts to exhibit behavior that is “off” of secretive, I automatically assume that this person will hurt me in the worst possible way. It’s because I’ve often rationalized things away and felt like I was blindsided later. I don’t want to be blindsided by anything.

    But, the hell of living in that hypervigilant state is probably comparable to the hell I’d go through from being reckless. Maybe more. So, I have to remind myself of the serenity prayer. And when that fails, I ask, “What happens if I lose everything? Will I die? Does my world end?” And the answer is always no. I’ll live and I’ll find a way to make it work for me. Life will be different, but will it really be bad? If I’m feeling this bad right now agonizing over a way of life I might lose, is it worth trying to maintain? It helps to put stuff in perspective.

  2. That’s some practical advice, Lulu. Thanks. Our backup plans are things like: DH wants to go back to school, maybe he can get a teaching assistantship that would pay for us both to live on. Or I will get my act together and apply for certification to teach high school next year. I can’t even think of some emergency plans. Go live with my MIL maybe, but we’d have to leave our cats behind. :~(

    I’m spoiled and I’m not good with change (unless I’m in a hypo/manic state). I would rather keep the status quo even when it means I am losing money or whatever. I do some ridiculous things in terms of avoidance, and then when there are negative consequences, I tell myself I deserve it because I didn’t do x, y, or z. I’m supposedly ‘teaching myself a lesson” like my parents would have (i.e., punishment) but I still don’t learn. So I get into cycles of self-punishment, and can’t think my way out of a paper bag. All these little self-punishment acts build up (remember when you didn’t do x, and y and z? Yeah, that’s why you’re out of money now) and then we are in panic mode.

    I don’t know. I am feeling better today. I just wanted to see if other people go through the same kinds of things that I am experiencing.

    BTW, I’m glad I was able to help, however that came about. 🙂

  3. Boy do I know what you mean with not handling change well. And houses. Ugh. Buying/selling a house is ridiculously stressful.

    I think it’s OK to have backup plans, but they should be one-step-out backup plans. Don’t go to the catastrophizing extreme where you’re preparing for the worst and therefore mentally start to believe that’s the inevitable outcome. Just make sure you’re keeping your eyes open to opportunity as well. Sometimes the best things come to us when we least expect them, and all we have to do is realize they’re there.

    • I’m trying not to go to catastrophe levels, but I get episodes of it – you know what I mean? When I start thinking about all the money needed for my ridiculously high mortgage and COBRA, it gets a little staggering. I am hoping to get a teaching position, but I am going to a conference next month to try to network my way into an industry job in case the former fails. (It wouldn’t be teaching, but it would be a job.) I need to learn to separate self from work because they are too entangled. The problem with having a PhD is you end up with high demanding jobs and there is no work/life balance, no matter how much they tout it. Bipolar is pretty demanding too, which leaves us caught in a trap between the two. Academia is a high demanding job too but I feel like I have more freedom and it’s more rewarding. A lectureship would be great, but they are always contract oriented and so you never know when it might end. I’ve been thinking more and more about high school teaching. The pay is lousy, but you can really impact lives. I don’t know. I am still at a loss as to what I want to be when I grow up.

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