Friday, December 13, 2013

Blood for the Gods

What The Fuck!  It is Friday morning and I am nauseous with anxiety.  I can feel my heart pounding through my chest and a hand squeezing the life out of it at the same time. 

When I think about the way my anxiety makes me feel physically, my thoughts instantly go to the human sacrifices at the Great Temple Tenochtitlan in Mexico.  The Aztec priests would offer human sacrifices to the gods until the gods' thirsts were quenched - this sometimes took whole weekends.  The priests would cut open the abdomens of living people, reach up through their diaphragm, and rip out their hearts as part of these ceremonies.  My anxiety has me held down by four guards as the priest reaches into my thoracic cavity and grabs my heart.  I just have not passed out yet.

I am a picker.  My anxiety makes me pick at my face.  I pick and pick and pick and pick until I am bloody mess.  I am picking right now! 

I don't know why it is always a surprise when I notice blood all over my finger when sitting at my desk - I guess it is because I don't ever notice my picking until it is too late.  I not only pick at my face but at little scars under my hair.  If a day goes by when I don't see blood on my fingers, it is a good day. 
Picking scabs on my forehead and cheek
Today is going to be a blood filled day.

My anxiety also causes me to flex my toes all day long.  If you take out the insoles of my shoes, you can see the evidence of my anxiety.  My big toe has dug a deep trough in my insole - stress at its finest.
Trough in my insole from toe flexing at work
I wish I could hide my face and scalp picking like I hide my toe flexing with my shoes but blood on the face is just so Zeus-damn obvious. Toe flexing is a never ending process while sitting at my desk and by the end of the day I can feel rawness building up on the hotspots of my big toes.  Thank goodness for thick callouses.  Maybe this is why my calves are so well developed. 

Calf measures 16.5 inches which is in the 66% percentile for normal males
So how do you fix anxiety?  How do you stop the constant pressure on your heart?  How do you stop yourself from throwing up?

These questions run through my head constantly (that is one perk about being ADD - I can think about 1,000 things at the same time - this is also a negative because I can confuse people with a quick change of topic without warning).  My therapist and psychiatrist decided together to put me on the beta-blocker Propranolol. Propranolol is a drug typically used for people with heart issues and high blood pressure but as a beta-blocker it can help reduce the feelings of the fight and flight adrenaline response from stress and anxiety.  I have just started taking this drug and have not seen any real appreciable difference in my anxiety or the feeling that an Aztec priest has just seized my heart.  I think we will have to raise the dose or find a different drug to help manage my anxiety. 

Of course the ultimate goal is to be able to control anxiety without medication.  This is going to take a LOT of therapy and digging into the vault of my mind to find the root cause of my feelings.  I have an idea of where this therapy will be going but that is a different blog (for a glimpse you can read Self).

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