What prompted me to write yesterday’s post was a fairly severe episode of anxiety/panic yesterday morning. Got through it of course, but sheesh.
Then a major meltdown during my riding lesson tonight. The lesson itself was nothing really out of the ordinary — I’m trying to get back some lost time learning how to jump and jumping for me is scary but I had been doing pretty well with my comeback. Tonight a few canter strides over poles on the ground went a little rough, I pulled back in fear, Mo got a little amped in response, and I lost it — I didn’t fall or get hurt or anything, just got scared and broke down. Eventually, with my trainer Alejandro’s patience and encouragement, I composed myself, worked on something else, did okay with it, and finished the lesson. A few weeks ago, I would have just talked with him about what went wrong, and tried again, perhaps still a bit fearful but ammoed-up by his coaching for the next attempt.
When I was first diagnosed with panic syndrome in the late 80s, then general anxiety disorder in the early 90s, I did not recognize any specific causes, such as triggering events or difficult circumstances or what-not. Still don’t — definitive causes have remained a mystery. The shrinks I have seen over the years theorize that I am a type of a Type A personality that needs to be continually building something to be happy and feel productive, needs a lot going on at once, and can handle all that cheerfully with ease, then get even more overloaded and still keep on truckin’. The disorders are my chemistry’s rebellion when the all-that finally gets to be too much. What the shrinks have not been able to tell me is what the too-much point of the all-that is. And after all-that-money I have indirectly invested in La-Z-Boy (Live Life Comfortably) to upscale the leather factor of my shrinks’ offices. That I could have just spent directly on new leather sofas for my own living room so that my dogs can turn them into upscaled dog beds so that they can Live Life even more Comfortably than what the present ultra-shabby-crappy-ragged-cat-shredded-dog-smashed-chic decor can offer.
For years I have been telling people that Paxil saved my life. Its symptom fix absolutely did make my living so very much better. Of course, with my steps down in dosage, the symptoms are back with a vengeance. And with each step down, they are more frequent and more determined in their quest for vengeance.
Is this what life off meds is just going to be like? I am just going to be This Way from now on?
If that’s the case, ok, I say Bring It (I say that from the relative safety and peace and good coffee and dogs sleeping at my feet of my home office). I am getting off Paxil and not going back on.
I have to find a good life without it, in spite of This. Maybe I just have to accept This as my constant companion. Sort of like a nervous and jerky backseat driver who is always in my car, unleashing a continual screaming barrage of warnings and gasps and “Turn-HERE!”s and “Don’t-turn-THERE!”s and “Slow DOWN!”s and “Go FASTER!”s and “LOOK-OUT!!“s … who refuses to get out the car even though they think I am such a bad driver, and won’t shut the fuck up and just let me drive. And who may be pointing a gun at the back of my head besides. If I could just stuff them in the trunk. Or have a very large vehicle with many rows of back seats, sort of like a limo-cum-movie theater, and stick them way back in the farthest-back row so their shrieking can barely be heard.
Drawing this image of the unwanted screaming meemie lethal-weapon-toting passenger has given me some ideas … Time to get out the toolbox and check the inventory …