Friday, October 23, 2015

Present tense anxiety

So I'm back in the insert-the-worst-word-you-are-willing-to-say-out-loud-here place where i wait to find a successful medication mixture with which i can attain reasonable health. The key word, of course, being "wait." This is the lesser known waiting period that happens over and over again between starting a medication and waiting to see what will happen, and if nothing too terrible happens, then you raise the dose again and wait to see what happens.

I've been in this state for over a year since the last successful medication mix. Hopefully that means that within the next two years we can find the next successful mix. That is indeed hopeful, except when the psychological pain gets to me and I've had enough. Then is that sobering moment when i realize that modern medicine... really can't do much until the correct med mix at the correct dose kicks in. Well, maybe they can, but they aren't really fond of using the quick-acting anti-anxiety medications that can be addicting, and i am usually a bit afraid of them anyway, and i need to remain alert enough to drive and all, so i wait.

But really, i mostly wanted to comment on anxiety. On my anxiety, to be specific. People talk about anxiety being future-focused. You know, that sinful worrying about the future.

Well, to my counselor and perhaps other people's sadness, i try to keep my view of the future short. This is because i am pretty sure i can handle a few more months of depression, but another 40 years? (Or 60, since ladies in my family seem inclined to live long lives.) That is depressing.

But when OCD comes up, it always has a "right away" component. Or even a past component? Did i offend someone with what i just said? Should i apologize right now? Should i check the rear-view mirror right now to make sure that was just a pot hole i drove over? The future is more vague. What if i do something terrible and something terrible happens? How can i stop it right now?

Generic, nondescript anxiety, perhaps typically called free- floating anxiety, is also pretty immediate. Fear that something terrible is happening. Fear that i will do something to cause something terrible to happen. And the worst part of that would not be the terrible experience so much as knowing i had caused it.

So just maybe, here is some of the difference between the physical anxiety illness that happens, and the choice to worry about the future that is not recommended in the Bible.