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Being Hip Without Breaking a Hip at www.xoxodarya.com
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I Am Anxiety's Bitch, Part I

Last month was one year since the Caveman stood blocking my way from the laundry room into the garage with his eyes level to mine and very firmly told me that I needed help, and not the kind of help that ends with my house being clean and me having nothing to do but get a blow-out and lay in the sun all weekend.

Nope.

He meant more along the lines of find-a-shrink-Darya-before-I-wring-your-skinny-assed-neck kinda help. And because the Caveman really does not ask very much of me, and Lord knows, he does not get much out of the booby-prize he won in the wife-lottery of life, and also because I am a scaredy-cat people-pleaser at heart, I found myself a therapist.

Dr. Headshrinker came highly and reliably recommended, and we got down to the business of getting me fixed--not like spayed, but more like I was broken, which to be perfectly honest with you I totally was, and to be even more honest with you, it pissed me off to no end. To be resentful for being targeted for therapy, because I hurt the longest and cried the loudest was a shitty way to start out on a reflective and therapeutic journey thoughI imagine a whole lot of people start out in much the same manner, I dunnoWhatevs.

Three very separately distinct situations had occurred over the course of a year that had rendered me a hollow shell of myself. And while I may have been able to recover from each of the circumstances individually, collectively, they were out of my weight class--I went from shadowing boxing to hitting the heavy bag. Worse than that, I would perseverate and percolate and articulate on the subject of these three circumstances constantly. That is when my exit was blocked and I was pointed to the therapeutic alter.

I came to my first appointment with a spreadsheet of issues and lemmetellyou after the eleventh minute when the first ten minutes were taken up with HIPAA regulations, patient-doctor confidentiality and insurance crap, and THEN I was informed that I really only got 50 minutes of time on the couch for the 60 minutes I was billed, well, let's just say I talked really super duper fast from there on out. And I had a lot to get out. For the first six months, I do not believe I even sat back into the couch--I balanced on the edge of the cushion and I made Dr. Headshrinker hide the clock because I would see the time clicking by and my anxiety would go higher and I would talk faster and at some point he would say, "Darya, please take a breath."

To Dr. Headshrinker's credit, he let me lead our dance and this process worked perfectly well enough for me until the spreadsheet was completed, and I was actually kicking around the idea of cutting back to one day a week. I did not really have anything of major consequence remaining on my list. For the VERY first time, I was allowing the Doctor to do what he was trained to do hmmm, imagine that.

But in all honesty, I did not know that I had not been totally honest with him or myself about how fearful I was of everything or even how much actual anxiety I lived with and endured each and every day. I had written about my nights of sleeplessness and crisis, but even at that time, I thought it was just me being me. Mostly because growing up I had always been dismissed as a worry-wart and nervous and all manner of botheration; however, in hindsight, and I say this with the utmost seriousness, it really began to ramp up after 9/11, and the whole-shit-and-caboodle has most definitely been escalating. It was quite revelatory to be told that not everyone had these same feelings most minutes of every single day of their whole entire life.

Now, wait a minute. Lemmegetthisstraight. 

Not everyone has an actual tactical security maneuver when there is a knock at their front door? Not everyone jumps a mile when the phone rings and then stares and pleads for it to stop? Wait. Not everyone walks around with a hollow pit in their belly or a constant throb in their left temple or their heart beating out of their chest like there wasn't enough room in there for their heart and their worry and their pain AND all their love? And they do not do a dive across the room and on to the bed reminiscent of Dennis Rodman trying to keep a ball inbounds just to get to the remote so they do not have to hear Sara McLachlan sing "Angel" and see frightened and abused animals because goddammit that shit is not fit for human viewing? They do not think that they may die at any moment from sheer exhaustion, worry and fright? You mean they just walk around NOT afraid of or worried about anything all day every day?

Dr. Headshrinker, assured me that normal people do indeed go about their day not thinking that the shiz is about to go down.

Clearly, this was a completely and totally foreign thought to me.

xoxo Darya



PS - As an added bonus, I finally got my act together and made it easy for you to get to I Am Anxiety's Bitch, Part II. I know, I know, I'm a giver like that ; ) And your welcome.