Tuesday, April 3, 2012

An Anxious Struggle

Part of the goal to get healthy is not just physical, it's emotional/mental too ... I left something out of Sunday's post, but seeing the morning/day that I've had, I think it's important for me to rewind a bit and briefly mention what happened.

The day had already been a struggle, and after posting my blog for the day, it didn't really improve. I got in the middle of some drama that left me feeling quite anxious -- add to that some extra tasks that I ended up having to do this week and I felt completely overwhelmed. The result = crying myself to sleep (from stress) and of course the insomnia I wrote about yesterday.

This morning I woke up feeling like crap. One thing that I realized is that the tears are probably a consequence of PMS, which became apparent after TOM just happened to occur 5 days early ... It's a bit of a relief because I've been having horrible cramps for the past week, plus I've been feeling incredibly bloated and heavy. After the amount of pain I was in last month I've really been dreading this. I just didn't feel ready to face the pain again -- and I've already written so many times about how much of a struggle all this is for me both physically and emotionally. Everything I wrote in The Last Rant back in November still holds true :(

For some reason, I just couldn't take it this morning. So I cried all the way to the gym, walked in and saw D (RPM trainer), who quickly pulled me aside and let me vent. I felt a bit better but wasn't sure how I was going to approach my workout ... part of me really didn't want to be there. I just wanted to escape -- but I didn't.

I got on the treadmill for my 1 km warm-up. For the first time ever I completed it in under 9 minutes. I didn't even think about my time or speed, I just went for it - ran when I wanted to (total of 4.5 minutes) and walked when I needed to ... seeing the time definitely gave me the energy boost I needed to complete Workout B1 of Stage 6 in NROL4W. It was a short workout - reverse lunges with dumbbell on shoulder (7 kg); dumbbell 2 point row (10 kg); dumbbell push press (8 kg/hand); back extension (72 kg -- sure did love seeing that stack of weights move up!); and incline reverse crunches -- followed by some other abs exercises and finishing off with another 1.5 km on the treadmill.

By the time I was showered and dressed I felt a bit more in control ...

Work was fine.

It just happened that a few of my girlfriends were meeting for lunch (they are usually caught up at work) so we enjoyed a pleasant lunch overlooking the sea ...

Everything sounds good, right?

I thought everything was fine, but then around 3:30 pm, I was driving and I suddenly felt like somebody had kicked me in the stomach. The pain was so intense that I thought I was going to pass out ... NOT the way you want to feel when driving! I made it home by 4:15 and threw up (sorry, gross). I was dizzy and shaking, my cramps were excruciating (even though I had taken meds at 1 pm).

I had to lie down ... I basically stayed in bed (except for a bit of time to post this blog) and rested. I was supposed to attend a lecture this evening, but I couldn't. There was no way I could drive, and definitely no way I could sit and concentrate on someone else speaking for a few hours. I just wanted silence. I have just been sitting/lying down in silence for the past few hours.

I just don't feel well. I don't feel calm and relaxed. I feel really, really anxious - and the fact that I can't seem to control this anxiety (which is being caused by external factors that really have me down - I'm still struggling with issues from last month) ... I'm sure all this anxiety is not helping my cramps. I'm really struggling.

It's tough because I feel like I escape at the gym - I can focus on my workouts and feel strong ... but when I leave the gym, the rest of the world, and the rest of my reality awaits me. I hate confrontation. I know I need to deal with these issues because they are already consuming me ... but they're not simple. Still, I know I have to do something -- I can't go on like this.


  1. I will keep this as respectfully generic as possible, as I have no idea what your spiritual beliefs are, but I just want to suggest that you let the spiritual take over where the physical leaves off. Our physical high from good exercise can really carry us through some tough stuff, reminding us how much control we have over the course of our lives...but there's a limit to that. I imagine my own anxiety would be unbearable most of the time if I didn't take time to think/pray/meditate and find peace with the things I have no control over, but have faith in.

    It sounds like you set very high standards for yourself to get many things done, and done very well. In my eyes, it seems a shame for you to not feel at peace with simply having that personality trait. It's really admirable to us borderline slackers, let me tell ya.

    When I went through my own personal hell a few years ago, it was only when I felt totally powerless that I found peace, because I put it all in my Creator's hands and just trusted. Then my daily tasks - raising my daughter, working, exercising - all felt put in their proper perspective, and were less overwhelming. Corny as it may sound, I used to listen to the Beatles "Let It Be" a LOT that year.

    Whatever you're going through, I wish you peace. Anxiety sucks beyond compare. I'm not even sure how to congratulate you for the great workout/run when you're in such a crummy emotional state today.

    Feel better!

    1. I feel fortunate that I do have spiritual beliefs to help me through difficult days. It helps. Some days it is easy to forget and let that slip.
      I really appreciate you taking the time for such a thoughtful comment.

  2. I get terrible anxiety attacks too and it's the worst when they happen at work because I have to appear normal while my body is going ballistic. At long last I got some medication to help stabilize my moods, but it's been a loooong road. Keep up the challenge, I love reading about it!

    1. Sometimes I think it's a good thing that I need to just get on with life and push my anxiety aside - that way I don't let it consume me. Other times, however, I really do wish I had the time and space to just express everything that I'm thinking/feeling ...


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