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OT - Mental Health Monday

Aniki's picture

Well, it's Monday. Life continues to be crazy.

Yesterday, DH got up at 0430 to go fishing. After he left, I went back to bed for a couple of hours. Got up a little after 7am, poured myself a cuppa, and made the the mistake of sitting down to read the news. And reading. And Reading. And READING...

Before I knew it, it was almost noon. My coffee was ice cold, my stomach was in knots, I had a headache, and the right side of my jaw was a fiery ball of pain. Obviously, my anxiety level was at Defcon 2. Yikes!

The jaw pain? I didn't realize I'd been jutting out my jaw and clenching my teeth. The pain was awful and felt like I'd tried to bite through a golf ball-sized jawbreaker and had sprained it. Ow!!! 

When anxiety rears its head, your body responds. But not always in ways you'd expect. Some things I knew; others I did not...

  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Heart racing
  • Headache
  • Lack of focus
  • No energy
  • Sweating
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Upset stomach
  • Forgetfulness
  • Erratic decisions
  • Anger
  • Hypervigilance
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Muscle tension
  • Overeating
  • Digestive issues
  • Increased urinating
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling too hot or too cold
  • Chest pain

So, yeah, I was a big ol' ball of anxiety and pushing myself towards a panic attack. Yippee.

LISTEN to your body and take care of yourself! If you're feeling overwhelmed and suicidal? TALK TO SOMEONE!!!




CLove's picture

I was in a major funk all freaking day, and super tied to the news. Everyone was so stressed, except my DH, who also went fishing (lingcod and some rockfish) He was simply tired.

I didnt go hiking, I barely got the laundry folded, all I can say for myself is that I took a shower, and ate something.

Aniki's picture

I made some lunch for DH this week. That's it. Not ALL of them. Two. We got take out for dinner. I felt guilty about that... *scratch_one-s_head*

justmakingthebest's picture

I have to check out from it all. I really do. 

I say this not to rile anyone up- because I am truly disgusted that another person (of any race) was killed by someone that was sworn to protect and serve. Disgusted does not begin to cover my feelings on that matter.

I am also disgusted at the violence of these riots. The pictures of people standing up to protect officers that have been separated- surely saving their lives bring me to tears. The rocks and smoke bombs and fireworks being thrown at police trying to protect the CNN building. The small businesses that were hanging on by a thread thanks to Covid now burned and looted. There is no comeback for those people... there is no help and I swear to DOG if one more person says "they have insurance for that" I am going to loose it!

I keep running the math and scenarios on what we (my company) would do if we were a target (closest violent protest was about 10 miles from us currently). We are small, we employ 16 people. We provide the bulk if not sole income for every one of those families and with unemployment being a mess from covid, who knows how long until they got any money again?? Our business, it would take at least a month to get up and running again. If we could find a place to move. Also at least 60K in insurance deductibles. I don't understand why someone would ever think that hurting your community, taking away pay and/or employment from your neighbors, inciting fear in everyone close by would ever be ok. 

(Stepping off my soapbox now)

Aniki's picture

Those feelings of which you write... I was feeling them, too. Along with sadness and heartbreak. It's 2020. We should be better than this and it's <insert negative emotion> to me. Cray 2

TX2step's picture

I have been having headaches from "clenching my teeth", biting my tongue, rolling my eyes. Lately more so than normal since SD29 announced her pregnancy with baby number 2 and baby daddy number 2. The hits just keep on rolling.

Aniki's picture

My jaw still aches and I swear my eye muscles are akin to Schwarzenegger's bulges in his hey days.

#2 with #2? Joy.

ITB2012's picture

related to work. I quit my job and don't start the next one right away. Today is my first non-work day. I really didn't want to leave my last job but my boss was just impossible (I am not the only one to state this, so it's not just a personality conflict).

Magically almost all my health issues from the past year are gone. I have felt better in the last week or so (since I resigned) than I have in a long, long time. I can even see the difference in my face and I swear I've lost weight in the last week.

Aniki's picture

ITB, your situation is the same/similar to a friend of mine. Her health issues were terrible and she finally quit. Within weeks, her BP was normal, her hair started growing back, and she stopped taking heartburn meds. 

Glad you got out of that toxic environment!

DPW's picture

It's good that you recognize the signs of anxiety Aniki. It's an important step in not relapsing into serious mental health issues.

My eyes hurt from crying and wiping away tears, yet I can't seem to turn off the news. I'm encouraged by most that are protesting peacefully - people of all types, colour, ages, etc... Enough is enough. There should not be different rules for people in 2020.

Aniki's picture

DPW, holding my breath and the jaw issue are brand new. Old dogs CAN learn new (icky) tricks!

DH made me watch comedy last night for a few hours to distract me. It's utterly appalling that this is happening in 2020. 

Crspyew's picture

I stepped away from the internet and went to our cabin.  I encountered 4 timber spiders, a copperhead, 8 chipmunks, 3 turkeys and saw a bear.  Nature has a way of calming and soothing.  I sat on my deck, listened to the wind in the trees and the river.  And drank way too much wine.

My job has been COVID19 response pretty much 24/7 since Mar 16.  I am tired, physically & mentally.  Then the sadness of the news this week was overwhelming.  400 hundred years and we can't get this right. I am ashamed.  And now it seems that the protests are being stoked by left & right wing extremists and our leaders are flailing and talking about using the military to fight our own citizens.  It's crazy and scary and I don't know how it ends.  I can't find my reserve of optimism.

Aniki's picture

I'm glad  your time with Nature gave you a bit of a break. My optimism well feels like it contains only dregs. I cannot begin to imagine how those in the middle of chaos feel. {{{HUGS}}}

advice.only2's picture

A trigger of anxiety that I learned much later is the need to finish a task, it becomes almost a fixation. I never knew this was a trigger, until one time I was exercising and I was forced to stop to deal with something else, the need to finish exercising became so intense it was all I could focus on and then began to get panicky thinking I couldn't complete the task.

I have learned how to deal with my anxiety and panic attacks, mostly through exercise, diet and just learning how to calm myself. Little did I know the absolute need to complete a task was also part of it. Now that I know this I have learned to start paying attention when I become hyper focused on a task and remind myself I can walk away and it will be okay.

Aniki's picture

Excellent points, advice!

Additional anxiety issues:

  • Feeling unable and too afraid to speak up
  • Not wanting to come across as "stupid"
  • Thinking everyone could see inside my head 
  • Believing everyone was silently judging me
  • Worried about every word choice used while interacting with people
  • Thinking I had to be perfect to avoid judgment 
  • Resenting myself for not living up to everyone's standards
  • Felt like I had to overachieve and get the best at everything and know everything to be considered worthy/intelligent (THIS is huge for me)

Monkeysee's picture

Anxiety has gripped me hard lately, there’s so much going on in the world it’s hard to wrap my head around it all.

My heart is breaking for what’s happening in America at the moment, although I do hope it sparks change and leads to the destruction of white privilege and systemic racism. It’s terrible to see the looting & vandalism occurring right now, and horrific to see the violence perpetrated by the police, but so many more are protesting peacefully, and I’m choosing to focus on their actions. There are police forces out there standing on side with the Black community, and this needs to happen. What’s more important than the riots and looting is the continuous loss of Black lives at the hands of those who are meant to protect them. 

I’m ashamed it took the death of George Floyd for me to finally examine my own white privilege, and the ways I’ve been racist without even realizing it. I feel ashamed I haven’t spoken out, educated myself, or done anything to support the Black community until now. My heart breaks that it took this degree of violence, this blatant act of disregard for George’s life for people to finally wake up to what’s been happening for far too long now. My greatest hope is white people stay awake & fight the fatigue that comes with inciting great change. 

I’m also concerned about the increase of cases of COVID we’re most likely going to see as a result of what’s happening, people are protesting around the globe and have thrown social distancing to the wayside. I pray that hospitals will have the bandwidth for the new cases that will most likely result from this, and that loss of life is minimal. 

In my personal life, I’m concerned about returning to work as it will mean putting my infant child in daycare, and the thought of it is sending my mind into overdrive. I can’t stomach the thought of her getting sick, and I’m wracking my brain to think of any alternate arrangements I can make to keep her safe. We’ve been taking social distancing extremely seriously since day 1, and I don’t agree with re-opening. I’ve been having several conversations with my husband about this, if there’s a feasible way to keep her home I’m going to do so. Which also hurts my heart because I’m in an extremely fortunate position to even consider that as an option, and not every family has the same opportunities.

My heart is sore. This has been a horrible year, but my hope remains that we see an enormous change that benefits everyone, most especially marginalized and poor communities who need it the most.