i have felt the physical effects of anxiety for many days now. better yesterday and better today. but for weeks maybe i have felt jittery and nervous and guilty and the physiological things mostly that come with anxiety. tightness in the chest. restlessness. difficulty breathing.
and most bizarre, the fact that things that should be second-nature are things i have to think about. driving. breathing. i can do them, but i have to think about them a lot more than usual. nothing happened to trigger these things.
i freaked out about being barked at by the neighbor's dog. there are good reasons behind this, but my level of freaking out did not match the actual incident.
in my online writers' club, my book was chosen for "book of the month" because of my participation rate and comments on other people's work. this should have felt great but instead it scared the crap out of me because it meant i would need to read and respond to many (more than I thought we would have in the club) varying opinions on my work. i haven't read any of them yet. it's on my list for today.
i could not "relax" given time to do so. i couldn't read or write or enjoy time to myself. i would pace with nothing particular in mind. i could do nothing, but there was plenty to do.
i write this in the past tense partly out of optimism that the feeling is on the wane.
i told Spouse that the feelings seemed to have gradually increased over time. especially the breathing and driving thing. i didn't notice the restlessness. i'm not a patient person by nature so it might not have been noticeable to me.
what else increased gradually over time? Vraylar. i went from 1.5 mg to 3 mg to 4.5 mg. when i looked at some of the side effects it included restlessness and some of the other things i was experiencing. so i called Psych NP and told her i was going to stop taking it and then talk to her in person on Thursday.
so far my breathing is much better and so is the restlessness. i feel more normal. brain chemistry sucks. i mean when it isn't working out so great, it sucks.
i went on the Vraylar because of hympomanic symptoms, but anxiety is part of that equation, so i don't think it works too well for me. Lurasidone (Latuda) seemed to be a better candidate. i'd like to try neither for a while to see if i am on more of an even keel at the moment. i just realized that is a sailing reference. ha.
there are meds that can be taken for anxiety to treat it directly, but they are of two different classes that i'd rather not touch. one of them is the SSRI meds that can cause mania in bipolar people. the other one is benzodiazepines that have potential for addiction and make me nervous.
it seems likely that i have a co-occuring anxiety disorder with my bipolar. because the anxiety is always there whether i am hypomanic, depressed or on an even keel. smooth sailing. but not.
spent the weekend with a bunch of teenagers. like six. they are good ones though, so it worked out okay. still somewhat stressful, of course.
celebrated pi approximation day yesterday by making tarts. made my own tart shells and then just filled them with premade lemon curd and a dollop of whipped cream. they were delicious. but the recipe for the dough was ridiculous and forgot to say that you need to add water. good thing i've made pie dough before. pi dough. doh.
need to find a therapist. ugh. i hate the thought of that. but still. necessary. i'll do some research today.
Quaker, teacher, parent,