Happy Hump Day y’all!
I was a mess last night when it came time for bed. I had a long day at work yesterday, a large number of projects to be working on at the same time, and at the end of the day I received another one with a short turn-around time. In addition, my hair appointment ran long last night, so I didn’t get a workout in (aside from a brisk walk around the neighborhood with the pup for 30 minutes), and it all just cumulated in me not being able to turn my mind off and sleep. I was bouncing off the walls/anxious/heart racing and none of my tricks for calming down worked – not even a backrub from DH! 🙂
I also knew I needed to be rested and clear-headed in the morning, so I could try to knock out some of the above-said pile of projects at work, as I’m out of the office all day Thursday. So! I took a Xanax. Okay, Alprazolam. Whatever the generic is. And I went to sleep and awoke clear headed and able to get my head around what I needed to do. Now…I’m not saying this is for everyone. But I figured I’d share a bit ‘o my story with y’all.
At the height of my anxiety issues, I was seeing a therapist. I’d seen two, actually – the first one told me I had anxiety because I lived in an “urban area” and the “crime” (what crime? This ain’t NYC people!) was causing me anxiety. I kid you not. Let’s remember I’ve had anxiety triggers basically my whole life, and I spent the first 25 years of it on a farm in the middle of nowhere. Crazy old man. When I asked for a different therapist, specifically one that worked with anxiety issues, they gave me one – and after two sessions he told me I had agoraphobia, with some slight social anxiety issues as well, but since I was able to “function” (go to work, come to his office for appointments, visit my family) he told me there was little he could do for me.
So I quit the therapist circuit. I did my own research. I started working out, I learned some mind-calming techniques, and I went to my PCP. I told him I was – under no uncertain terms – completely not interested in a “maintenance” anxiety drug. I could go days/weeks/months without a trigger and I wasn’t going to take something I’d need to be weaned off of later like a common drug addict (Note: I acknowledge some people need them, and that’s fine. I, personally, didn’t want to go that route. It terrified my inner control freak…and a previous bad incident with an anxiety maintenance drug swore me off of them forever). I requested a prescription for Xanax. The doctor looked at me like I’d totally lost my marbles and explained to me in his “I’m saying this slowly because you’re obviously not in your right mind” voice that Xanax was highly addictive…the exact opposite of what I was looking for.
I told him I knew that, but I also knew Xanax was only highly addictive if taken on a regular basis. What I was looking for was something I could take when I encountered a bad trigger. Which, like I said.. I can go days/weeks/months without a trigger. Especially with the mind-calming techniques and the exercise. So I explained what I wanted was the absolute smallest dose it came in, and my plan was to cut THAT in half. Apparently I seemed rational enough, so he gave me the script and told me I had to come back every time I wanted it filled.
That first bottle of pills was a 30-day supply. I didn’t go see him until a year and a half later. It took me a year and a half to go through a 30 day supply of Xanax (60 day if you consider I cut every pill in half). He was impressed. Asked how it worked – I told him it worked PERFECTLY!
So, to date, my anxiety and agoraphobia “personal Rx” has been:
* mind-calming exercises
* asking DH to assist me – sometimes just him distracting me from the issue at hand is enough to “talk me off the ledge”. This is especially helpful when we travel, as that’s my worst time
* exercise – burning off that “extra energy” leaves me with less nervous energy to be anxious with!
* no caffeine – sure, I eat the occasional piece of chocolate. And I just recently re-incorporated minimal caffeine into my last week of each month for personal fatigue issues, but beyond that – none. Zero. Zip. I don’t drink coffee, tea, etc.
* eating well – I also have IBS and some other stomach issues (sensitivity to preservatives and pesticides) so eating the proper foods to make me feel good also helps with keeping me level headed
* and the xanax/ alprazolam – this is my last resort…and I really don’t take it often. I just checked my bottle and I had it filled on 04.02.09 and there are 15 full-sized pills yet. I may even make it to two years with this bottle.
And ya know what? That works for me. For the most part. I’m not saying there aren’t relapses in times of extreme stress, or when we travel, or at a big meeting for work, but for the most part, I’m keeping it under control. I’m awesome. 🙂
My only worry about it is pregnancy. Most, if not ALL, fast-acting anxiety medications are not approved for pregnancy. And I get that. But I also think pregnancy will be my most anxious time ever and I’m scared at the prospect of not having anything to fall back on when all else fails. Terrified, actually.
But it’s something I’ll have to deal with eventually, eh?
Mmm…2 slices whole-grain bread (with seeds! Oh…I love whole grain bread with seeds on the crust). 1 egg, 1 homemade chicken sausage patty, and a tangelo.
Lunch was crazy. I must’ve been hangry when I packed this, cuz it was easily enough food for two lunches. In container A we have a frozen veggie medley…we’ve got some weird stuff in our freezer and I’m trying to clean it out. This particular gem was an “asian” vegetable medley…with some leftover green beans from last night tossed on top. Ate half.
Kind Bar (Almond and Coconut is my favorite, but this wasn’t bad) and strawberries. Local ones! They’re so much better than Cali berries. 🙂
That body weight exercise on Monday was rockin’ but I didn’t want to do it again today (Confession: My hips are still SORE SORE SORE from that workout) so I did a full-body weighted session, with focus on my upper body…I’m trying out this whole “work your legs less” thang.
30 minutes cardio – stair mill and treadmill hills (just walking quickly though)
- Leg Extensions – 12 reps
- Hamstring Curls – 12 reps
- Step-Ups on high bench – 12 reps each leg
- Incline Bench Chest Press – 12
- Incline Flye – 12
- Overhead Shoulder Press – 12
- Barbell Upright Row – 12
- Dumbbell Rows – 12 each hand/side
- Y-Rope Cable Row – 12
- Tricep Overhead Extensions – 12
- Tricep Pull downs – 12
- Bicep Hammber Curls – 12
- Bicep Curls – 12
611 calories burned in 1h20m
Headed home to walk the pup.
I chopped up some cukes, red onion, and tomato and doused it in red wine vinegar this morning, and threw a beef roast in the crockpot for French dip sandwiches. This evening I shredded the meat, toasted the crusty sourdough rolls, and melted the delicious cheese…mmm.. Oh, and I tested out a new oven baked fries recipe. Which I failed at miserably, but my oven sucks at browing things…so I’ll try again when I have more time.
DH and I are ashamedly addicted to playing “Family Feud” together on Facebook. We’ll sit for an hour and get sucked in! LMAO