Last week I was overwhelmed. Despite how good things have been going, I couldn’t escape my old friend anxiety. Like some of the other symptoms of bipolar, I’ve had to learn to adapt and tolerate it the best I can. Why was the week overwhelming? Well, that’s easy to answer. I was overwhelmed because I had so much to do. I had two appointments. Yes, that’s right, I had two appointments – both on Friday. One was with my pdoc and the other with my therapist. I checked and rechecked my calendar all week so I wouldn’t miss anything. This week is a lot easier. I have no outside appointments at all.
Appointments or not, I have my days scheduled and I take my to-do list very seriously. My daily duties consist of spending one hour each morning blogging. I work on my manuscript from noon – 5 pm and I spend another hour blogging each evening. When I have anything that breaks my daily routine, it makes me uneasy. It makes me downright anxious.
One of my favorite go to places for information is the Mayo Clinic Website. Here is their list of common symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder:
• Persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that’s out of proportion to the impact
of the event
• Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
• Inability to relax, restlessness, and feeling keyed up or on edge
• Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind “goes blank”
• Worrying about excessively worrying
• Distress about making decisions for fear of making the wrong decision
• Carrying every option in a situation all the way out to its possible negative conclusion
• Difficulty handling uncertainty or indecisiveness
I can relate to all of those, but the first one is where I camp out 24/7. I think worrying for two weeks about two doctor appointments on the same day is a little obsessive, don’t you? Worrying about excessively worrying ranks high up there too.
I’m mostly okay this week; I have no appointments to worry about. I say mostly okay, but I’m still feeling overwhelmed. More overwhelmed than I did last week, actually. My problem this week is that I have a busy next week. For me, a very busy next week.
Monday, I have lunch with my writers group.
Wednesday, I have my writers group regularly biweekly meeting.
Thursday, I have a meeting with a committee at church.
Friday, I have an appointment with my therapist.
That’s going to be my week. I have some activity or another every day but one. That’s extremely unusual for me and my heart is racing wildly just thinking about it as I type. My only free day is Tuesday, but don’t think it will be easy. Tuesday I’ll be overwhelmed with what’s going on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It never really ends. If you really want to know how bad it gets, I have no plans to go to the library all week, so I’m overwhelmed with anxiety because I have a library book due. That’s right, a damned library book consumes me when I think about it. The absurdity is laughable.
So, what’s going on after that? So far next month I have two therapy sessions, one pdoc appointment, another writers group meeting, an appointment with my doctor and an appointment with my neurologist. Naturally I’m overwhelmed with them all. I know even more obligations will come up. I’m overwhelmed by things that aren’t even on the calendar yet.
A year ago my therapist asked me to stop any volunteer work that I can. I have two things I do at my church. The first is I’m chairperson of our LGBT committee and the other is I’m an usher coordinator. The LGBT committee doesn’t take much of my time, but the usher position does. For the past year, I’ve been able to get volunteers to be ushers, but haven’t found anyone to coordinate. As easy as it sounds, it is overwhelming to me also. I’ll keep trying. It’s reached the point that I’m going to have to wave my arms in the air and say “Sorry folks, I can’t be usher coordinator anymore, so someone’s going to have to take over this job by the end of the month.” Of course, I can’t do that, but something needs to give. I have no solution now.
I hope I haven’t overwhelmed you with this overwhelming post. It was overwhelming writing it. I take my meds, so other than pills, what helps you when you’re feeling overwhelmed?