Distressing Anxiety Disorders…

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Anxiety…something many struggle with, and silently deal with. It is an invisible struggle. A crushing weight.

Anxiety is defined as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.”

Yet for many, anxiety is much, much more.

For me, it has become debilitating. I never did understand when people said that fear stopped them. Fear is something I have never understood. I am a former adrenaline junkie, was fearless, and never said no to a bet. And then one day it changed. A couple weeks ago I had arrived at my work location, and had just hit the “up” elevator button. Just as I was hitting it it was like someone threw something over me; OVERWHELMING pressure, despair, panic, and anxiety. My chest was being crushed, my throat had tightened, I had to grab on to something to not fall down. I got to my floor, walked up to my boss, and informed her that I was sick and wouldn’t be able to stay…luckily she said she could see in my eyes I wasn’t feeling well. I think she saw “freak out” which may look similar to illness perhaps?

 

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I feel like I’m lost in this storm,                                              and the lighthouse is just out of reach.

Sigh…anxiety has really made my life miserable. It has caused me to lose jobs. It has ceased any social life. I can no longer function like a normal person. I have education and job skills, that is not the problem. The problem is that when I’m stressed my mind goes haywire. I’ve tried meditation, I’ve tried music, I’ve tried breathing…and the saga continues.

I could blame this invisible struggle on many things. I have a thyroid disorder, a suspected adrenal disorder, and basically my system can no longer handle daily stress. So I am on the hunt for a doctor who can help me.

On that note, I must finish this post…my journey for the day has ended. This traveler is weary and must rest.

Carry on.

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Living with an invisible illness…hypothyroidism

Many people struggle with thyroid problems. In fact I would say that everyone knows someone with thyroid problems. It has probably become so well known, but only those suffering from it really KNOW how it is. There is a website called “Stop the Thyroid Madness” that has been a big help to me. A friend of mine told me about it. On this site is a long and pathetic list of symptoms. Here are just some of mine:

  • Low stamina
  • Low energy
  • Long time to recover after an activity
  • Arms like dead weights
  • Legs like dead weights
  • Depression
  • Always feeling cold
  • High cholesterol
  • Constipation
  • Thinning and dry hair
  • Dry cracking skin
  • Nodding off easily
  • The feeling that I have to crawl under my desk at work – for just a few minutes relieft
  • Hurts to breathe
  • Forgetfulness
  • Foggy mind
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Aching bones/muscles
  • Ringing ears
  • Anxiety that I can’t seem to control
  • Not able to eat in mornings
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Food allergies
  • Itching in my ears
  • No appetite
  • Joint pain
  • Tightness in throat
  • Hoarse voice/throat
  • Migraines
  • Low body temp (96.4)
  • Always fatigued

This is not an exhaustive list…but for me, my everyday reality. Even on Armour Thyroid I still have these things daily. With Synthroid I also had increased heartbeat, tight chest, nausea, vomiting, and more. I am not a doctor, nor a medical professional. What I am is someone who is sick. I have done extensive research on all things endocrinology.

I suspect I may have adrenal fatigue. I suspect several other things as well. I have not been blessed with a husband who supports me. Instead I must work full-time to support myself. In my current position I work about 50 hours a week, and drive about another 20 hours a week. So I put in about 70 hour a week.

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There are days I don’t know how I make it. I get to work and have to lie back in my seat because I am so exhausted I literally cannot move. So I have to try to sleep for however long I can in my car before I go in to work. Sometimes on the way home I have to pull in somewhere because I can’t keep my head up or my eyes open. It sucks. It really sucks. People just do not understand why I so sick. It’s pointless trying to explain to someone what is wrong with you…they think, “it’s ONLY thyroid problems. EVERYONE has those.” Not quite. I doubt that everyone is just driving along, and suddenly goes into a trance they can’t snap out of. Then after that I can barely walk, and after that I can barely say my name, let alone think it. And then I have to try to pretend nothing is wrong and put cohesive words into my mouth and into countless conversations, emails, memos, and correspondence. Sigh.

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Right now I’m on probation at work. Why? Because I can’t do my job because I’m sick. I can’t remember certain aspects of my job that I should be able to. I have an IQ that is higher than most. But simple tasks are now awful for me. Because I can’t remember how to do them. So I have taken to making notes about everything…but my boss doesn’t seem to get that. Right now, all the words I am seeing are doubled – because my eyes are extremely dry. My body hurts when I breathe in and out. And I am in an exhaustive state that I really cannot explain. And Monday morning, no matter how bad I feel, I must put one foot in front of the other and drag myself to work. And once there it will be all out chaos. My boss will chew me out because I have forgotten some stupid aspect of my job. She will chew me out because I made a dumb mistake because whatever…and all I can do is smile, nod, and say I will try to do better. But how can I? I can’t go to the doctor, because my boss fusses when I need to go. And my days are full of meetings and tasks that I cannot shove off to someone else. I can’t go to the doctor – I’ve been trying to and have missed the last 3 because of work. I can’t lose my job. If I lose my job I lose my insurance. If I lose my insurance I lose my ability to pay for all the stupid medication that’s supposed to make my functional. But how functional am I really? It could be worse, and it has been. But certainly, this is not how everyone feels.

One foot in front of the other, one day at a time. As Dory the fish says: “Just keep swimming.”