Just Drive On By

So I landed this job out of 500+ applications. I should feel special. And I did. Did being the key word. I had a lot of anxiety during orientation, but I somehow got through it - barely. But when our schedule called for us to train two days 45 minutes away AND CARPOOL..... AND an extra dinner 45 minutes away with the team and family, I caved.

*Sidenote: When telling my trainer about my "carsicknesses", he tells me it's "weird" and doesn't understand. I don't explain to my boss, trainer and fellow employees of my panic because they won't understand. No one ever understands. So this sets the tone for what was to come, definitely.

I was to be at work this morning at 4:45am, which I love (early mornings). I slept horribly, waking up with paplitations, insomnia and terror about driving to our store training. I did try to talk to my boss, telling him I got carsick and I needed to drive (and I have a two-seater truck) - so I thought that I would get out of carpooling and be able to drive alone. But they wanted to stick someone with me.

I can barely get out of the house, let alone carpool someone 45 minutes while dealing with my anxiety. Plus, I didn't want to be responsible for leaving training and abandoning some poor person because of my anxiety. I got up this morning, got ready and drove past work at 4:40am and kept on driving.

This is a known trait of mine. I have done this dozens of times. I couldn't go. I passed up a great 40 hour workweek in a small, shitty town - and blew it. Again.

I drove to a rest stop out of town and slept there for two hours so I wouldn't have to answer to my husband and family (in case they saw my truck at home). Who does this? I do!

I'm 34 years old and when I told my mom, she told me I was crippling everyone around me, including my husband. So now I'm mad at my mom. I seriously just want to run away - at 34 years of age. Reminds me of when I was 14.

Hair Loss

Having anxiety usually means when you tell someone you think something is really wrong, they say "No, you're fine..." and never really believe anything is ever wrong. Nothing is ever really fine with me when it comes to panic disorder; I always believe something is really wrong.

This time the physical proof is there. My hair. In the last few weeks, my hair has been starting to come out. This photo is from my running my hands through dry hair (for example, to put my hair up in a hair tie - or simply tame it from being messy).

The next two photos show my clumps of hair after I wash it in the shower! This isn't just every once in a while, it's every time. Proof something is wrong; even if it's just anxiety.

Just anxiety? Like I always say: "There's no such thing."

I looked up hair loss and found this:

Telogen effluvium: This type of temporary hair loss occurs suddenly, most often after a significant illness or major life stress. Handfuls of hair may come out when combing or washing your hair or may fall out after gentle tugging. This type of hair loss usually causes overall hair thinning and not bald patches.

From: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hair-loss/DS00278/DSECTION=symptoms

I had a thyroid test done 6 months ago (it showed signs of abnormality in 2006), but this past test came back normal. I'm sure Thursday, at my next doctor appointment, I will be told it's stress. Why do I even bother?


Seriously, Who Feels Like This?

First day of work went.... okay. I got there and felt fine. I took a quarter of 0.5mg Klonopin at 2:30pm. I had to be at work at 5pm. Usually, psychologically, it lasts me 6 hours (because that's what my doctor told me how long it stays in your system, give or take). Of course that low dose isn't much, but psychologically it usually works for me. Even a nibble at a department store or grocery store, for example, will help me calm down.

Orientation began tonight. There were about 40 employees (we're all new, starting a new store). I was fine until we all sat down. My mind raced. I thought about how I was going to have to sit there for the next three hours. I kicked my feet back and forth. I then got dizzy. I felt light headed and then my heart started racing. I couldn't concentrate. I was trapped! The owner's wife and family were sitting nearby, near the restrooms (I sat in the back near the door, in case I needed to plan my escape route).

As the owner talked, I heard muffled sounds. I couldn't concentrate. I continued to plan how I needed to get out of my chair, go to his wife and explain that I thought I was about to die. I was frozen. I didn't want to dig around in my purse and fish out some Klonopin. So I sat there expecting to pass out. I thought, "I need this job. So God help me, if I have to pass out, I will, in order to keep this job." And I don't know how, but I made myself calm down.

Of course, yay for me, but I then thought, "How the hell am I going to do this on a daily basis?" At the end of the night, I had another "episode". We were waiting in line to discuss availability and I got really dizzy. Luckily only two people were in front of me, so I was able to manage. I cried on the way home.

A week from tomorrow, our boss is taking the employees and spouse, significant other, etc. out to dinner 45 miles away, to show his appreciation, welcome us, etc. We are to ride together. I seriously don't know how I am going to do this. I don't want to say anything to him - I don't want to discourage him regarding my work abilities.

I honestly don't think I can handle this. If I have to quit one more job, I'm running away. I can not take any more disappointment with my family. I feel like if I run away and am alone, I will have no choice but to suck it up and stop being a fucking loser.

Highs and Lows

Common symptoms of low blood sugar (and any illness) are so general:

  • trembling
  • clammy skin
  • palpitations, pounding or fast heart beat
  • anxiety
  • sweating
  • hunger
  • irritability
Looks a lot like anxiety symptoms, right?

So when my blood sugar got down to 48 today, I thought I was going to die. It took me by surprise because I had just eaten and had about three cookies and milk an hour or two earlier.

I had severe anxiety before I knew I was low. Often when I am at a store and feel strange, I test to see if I'm low. When my sugar is 130, I feel a bit disappointed, having no real reason to feel nervous (except the fact I have a hard time leaving the house).

My point.....side effects that are listed for anything are so generic. There are so many other symptoms that may occur (which is why I am terrified to start new meds). For example, today my stomach hurt really badly before I got low. This has happened several times before, but I never really put two and two together. I still felt like something major was wrong. The same thing when I get a panic attack: every time I panic, it feels like a new time and that something is severely wrong. Today, it was only after I tested my sugar, that I began to calm down, realizing I was low and that I wasn't dying. I had proof of my anxiety.

This sounds so strange, but every time I get blood work, I beg to have something wrong? - - no wait, before I jinx myself (OCD coming out), let me clarify that I don't want something to be wrong!, I just feel like if my thyroid is out of wack, that explains the racing heartbeat. Or if I'm having hot flashes, my hormones are screwed up. Or trembling and nervous because I have diabetes. There is a reason for my anxiety.

But I don't have a medical reason for my panic attacks. I don't know why I can be fine for years at a time and then relapse with full blown agoraphobia - trying to tell myself it's just anxiety. Just anxiety - easier said. I've gotten this to go away before, but I haven't been this bad since I was 16. I start work (outside of the home) tomorrow and I'm really scared I'm going to fuck it up and quit. I've had so many jobs I can't even remember.

Why can't I just tell myself it's just anxiety? I mean, if I can freak out and tell myself I'm dying every time I panic, why can't I switch my brain to say "Stop it, anxiety. You're fine...."?

I read one of those programs that cost a ridiculous amount of money (a friend let me borrow it), which says to meditate and tell yourself (and the anxiety) to "bring it on". The program says that when you welcome the anxiety and ask for it to appear, then your mind doesn't have anything to be afraid of and it passes. Don't waste your money. Us in the panic world can't afford to pay for bullshit.