Friday, 20 September 2013

Healthy body, healthy mind. Or not. As the case may be.

I forgot to set my alarm this morning. Since I went freelance one of the joys of life is that it's OK to do that. It doesn't actually matter. As long as I do the work I've promised people then I don't have to get up at 7 every day. The weird thing is my sleeping patterns are absolutely shagged.

Sometimes I wake up at 5am and find myself rushing with adrenaline and unable to relax in any way shape or form. How do you wake up stressed? I mean, how is it possible to wake up having a panic attack? I've just been asleep for fuck's sake. That's where things have to relax in order to be able to sleep. So how is it possible to wake up aching because you've been clenching your muscles? My psyche is obviously dedicated to its need to be stressed at ALL TIMES.

Today I woke up at 11.30, the latest I have slept for a long, long time. Often, the time not spent trying to regulate my breathing and getting rid of the nervous knot in my stomach is spent trying to stay awake. It's possible that the over abundance of adrenaline in my system leads me to be completely exhausted for the rest of the time. I don't know. It could be my endo, it could be depression, it could be boredom, it could be the fact that I only have two settings: stressed to fuck or asleep like I'm in a coma.

The amount of times shrinks, docs, books and friends have gone through the 'flight or fight' adrenal response in my lifetime is comical. I understand it. I get it. I know what's happening chemically. I know that my reactions are 'off' and my brain is no longer able to recognise the threat of real danger as opposed to 'having to walk around outside in a busy city for a bit'. I get it. I just don't seem to be able to stop it.

It's bollocks that understanding is most of what it takes to kill off panic disorder. You can understand it inside out, backwards and upside down. Doesn't stop it happening. Doesn't make the panic attacks go away. Doesn't regulate your adrenalin. Doesn't make any difference at all in fact. All it means is you know that you're being completely irrational and mental and can't even control your own responses to something as simple as crossing the road.

I wake up with a stomach churning nervousness, even if I have absolutely nothing to do that day. I go to sleep trying to regulate my breathing and calm the fuck down. My heart races most of the time. These are all normal reactions to stressful, difficult and dangerous situations. They are manifestly not normal reactions to sitting down on your sofa and watching Junior Masterchef.

A lot of times I wonder what it's like to not feel like this. I actually don't remember a time when I wasn't stressed, nervous and semi panicked most of the time. It goes back to when I was about nine, so that doesn't leave much to measure normality by. It's obviously my lot in life. And of course it could be worse. But isn't it sad that even when you have a relatively healthy body, your mind can work to destroy your health all by itself?

1 comment:

  1. Wish I had words of wisdom for you...but......even at my age I tend to wake up @ 1 a.m. and worry about my kids who are 47 and 45 and have a great life! What's up with that...I blame it on old age....although, I've always been a worry're too young...try to relax my is too short. Enjoy instead!