My Anxiety Triggers

November 15, 2017

This is a difficult post to write, because it means putting my personal struggles out in public for others to judge.  It will probably be a little disjointed, and certainly not what I’d call professional blog writing, but it’s me.  It’s raw.  It’s real.

I’ve always considered myself lucky that I was blessed with good mental health.  I didn’t seem to suffer from depression that I couldn’t explain.  Any anxiety I experienced could be pinpointed to a specific cause.  When things were good they were good.

I’m talking today, because things are good, but they’re not good, and I don’t know why.

Take today for instance.  The day started out pretty good.  I marveled at how I wasn’t feeling even a little anxious this morning.  I tested the water, so to speak, by thinking of my typical triggers:  money, my kids, my job, and the dreaded comment sections on the internet.   Nothing.  No physical reaction what so ever.  Today would be a good day!

Until I ate lunch.  It was nothing special.   Ate some food.  Wasted a little time on my phone.  Spoke to my son, who is feeling a bit under the weather today.  Logged into my state’s health insurance system to see if I can apply for next year yet.  (How is it open enrollment, but I can’t enroll?  Perhaps tomorrow).

Health care is definitely a trigger.  It’s expensive and throws my whole system, which I tend to obsess over, out of whack.  Perhaps that’s why I’m suddenly feeling my symptoms again:  rapid heart rate, palpitations.  General feeling of unease from head to toe.

Most days I can’t pinpoint any one reason.  Most days, it’s everything and nothing.  I just feel this way.  All day.

Particularly bad are Sunday nights.  On Sunday’s I am returning from a weekly road trip with my kids.  It’s about a 4 hour drive and I get home around 10-10:30 at night.  I typically unwind for a bit before heading off to bed.

I’ve been doing this for 10 years with no major issues.  It’s only been in the last 6 months that I can pretty much count on not sleeping on Sunday night.  I’ve cut out caffeine.  I’ve cut out alcohol.  I’m not sure what else I can change, but sure enough I got about two hours of fitful sleep.   I sometimes think the only reason I sleep the rest of the week is from pure exhaustion.

Today is not a good day after all.  Just thinking of the aforementioned exhaustion is compounding my anxiety.

I need help, but it costs money, which throws my debt repayment plan out of whack.  I’m obsessed with getting the debt paid off, so I can pay for the help I need without going further in a hole.  I’m obsessed with paying off my debt, so I can afford to keep my daughter insured when her CHIP plan expires.  And when that happens, her insurance takes priority over mine, due to a chronic and life threatening illness that cannot be cured.  And I can’t figure out why, when I have a decent middle class job, I still can’t afford health insurance and save for retirement at the same time.  Never mind the day to day expenses.

There I go…. TRIGGERED!!!

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