It’s an ordinary Thursday morning; I have nothing unusual planned for the day. No big meetings; nothing pressing to do at work, yet, today, I woke up to a messy mind. This is what I call it when my brain is overloaded with thoughts that I can’t quiet. These are the days when my meds don’t seem to have any affect, and my anxiety takes control. It’s only 8:00am right now, and I’m already exhausted.
It started as soon as my alarm went off at 5am. Before I even got out of bed, I was taking a mental inventory of all the things wrong in my life. Getting dressed was the next challenge. When I have messy brain days, nothing is easy. I put on my running tights, and then forget what came next. Socks? Bra? Top? Shoes? What comes first? Where do I start? I go looking for my running shoes; still just wearing my tights. I find them in my gym bag and put them on top of the dryer. Socks, I need socks first. No wait, I should put on my bra because I’m cold. Where is my running bra? Damn it. I stop and realize I still need to brush my teeth, so in tights and socks I head to the bathroom. I look in the mirror and before I can do anything else, I need to fix my hair. Fast forward–I’m finally dressed. I head to the kitchen and go through my morning checklist.
#1 – take meds: I try to open the little blue prescription bottle and my meds go flying across the floor.
#2 – put water in the dog bowl: my hands are shaking and water splashes across the floor.
#3 – still need to put on my runners: OMG where are they? 2 minutes of searching the house and I find them on the dryer.
#4 – pack dog poo bags
#5- put dog on the leash
#6 – I can’t remember what comes next – forget it, I’m just going to leave.
My dogs is whining at the door ready to go, and I have no tolerance for her impatience. As soon as I get in the car, the radio hits me in the face with an 80s song that makes my skin crawl. My friend is waiting for me at our designated meeting spot, and I’m suddently not in the mood to talk. My shoes feel too loose; the dog is annoying me, and I just want to scream.
The chaos and frustration of my morning are the result of the rush of negative, uncertain, and confusing thoughts playing in my mind. It’s like channel suffering on speed. I can’t turn it off — I’m constantly reminding myself to breathe and just get through it. I understand what is happening, but I’m unable to stop it. On day’s like this, my seasonal allergies seem worse, my chronic neck pain is front and center, and I’m in a constant state of “FRAZZLED” I hear everything– the sound of my car’s running engine, the hum from my computer at work, the buzzing fluorescent lights — everything.
My mind is in a tizzy, and all I want to do is drown out the noise. I’m tempted to call my Doctor and tell him I need new drugs. These ones aren’t working, and I need him to fix me right now. I’ve put it on my to-do list for the day, which I know I will re-write 100 times throughout the day. I will accomplish nothing but what I have to today; however, I will create multiple PRIORITY To-do lists. I will search the internet for self-help advice, and research new anxiety medications. I will be completely mentally and physically spent before the sky turns dark. Thank you anxiety for reminding me you are still a part of my life.
OK “day” — give it your best. I’ve been through this before, and I survived. I’d give anything for just a small amount of peace and quiet. A moment to catch my breath. I’m off to face what ever this day gives me, and I will tackle each obstacle with the knowledge that this shall pass.