Anxiety, Part ? (by Judy)

I don’t know how many posts I’ve written about anxiety, so this is part whatever of those posts. Maybe they’d make up a nice little (or big) collection. I don’t know.

However, I digress. I’m anxious. I don’t have what is known as free floating anxiety, as defined by psyweb:

Free-floating Anxiety is anxiety not associated with a particular object, event, or situation.

Nope, that’s not what we’re dealing with here. In fact, I could outline each one of those for you:

Free: my anxiety is definitely not “free;” it comes at a great cost to me and those who love me.
Floating: It doesn’t feel like it’s “floating;” in fact, it feels quite grounded in my reality.

I can also discount that it’s not related to an object, event, or situation. I would say the “object,” if you can call it that, is my cancer. We can actually isolate some objects, the tumors in my liver that we want to go bye-bye. Event? I don’t know if I’d call cancer an “event.” I mean, I don’t get dressed up for cancer. I don’t have to go anywhere to have cancer. Yet in some ways, I guess it could be an event. The only problem is that it’s a long event and I’m not sure when this bloody event will end.

A situation? Oh yes, only more so: a situation that I don’t like, that is and has changed me and my life, that is most certainly unwelcome here. “I have a situation” doesn’t quite cover things like cancer, but it fits in some ways. I guess.

So my anxiety definitely isn’t “free-floating.” It’s expensive (literally and figuratively) and grounded in my day-to-day life as a woman with a recurrence of metastatic breast cancer.

I’m anxious. I tend to get anxious between nighttime and sleep, for some reason. I don’t know why and I want to try to understand why. On the other hand, maybe understanding why isn’t what I need in this case. Maybe I just need to get my butt to sleep! I think this is a possible subject of conversation with my ever-so-talented therapist, T.

Anxiety. I hate it. It keeps me up. It hounds me with horrible “what if?” scenarios. It makes me cranky.
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Outside, it just started raining. It’s a summer downpour, one in which the rain seems to fall straight down from the sky onto the ground. I hope it doesn’t wake up Energy Boy; he hates storms. I doubt it will bother Absent Minded Professor. I wonder if the rain pounding on the roof is just what I need to lull me to sleep. I will give sleep another try in a few minutes.

For now, I’ll write in the hopes of writing out my anxiety: my expensive, grounded anxiety of which there is definitely a cause.

I’m feeling sleepier. The rain is stopping. AMP has stopped snoring quite so loudly.

My bed is calling.

Perhaps I can have a dream free of anxiety, whether it’s free floating or expensive and grounded.

I pray for peaceful sleep . . . . for myself and for any of the other night owls out there, the ones to whom sleep doesn’t come easily, whether your particular brand of anxiety is free floating or not.
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Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.

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7 Responses to Anxiety, Part ? (by Judy)

  1. […] Cross-posted to Mothers With Cancer. […]

  2. mommydoctor says:

    Dear Judy,

    Since my diagnosis, I’ve worked hard to learn how to deal with the losses and heightened sense of vulnerability and uncertainty.

    After a few years of living in and out of cancer treatment, I was able to do a pretty good job of focusing on all that was right in my life, keeping at bay all my anxieties, fears, sadness — during the day.

    It was a completely different story at night, during the transition to sleep. All the fears and sadness would resurface in the dark, quiet of the night as I relaxed to fall asleep.

    I understood this to be due to the loss of all the distractions and busy-ness of the day.

    Also, the brain works differently when falling asleep, leaving us more vulnerable to experiencing feelings we keep at bay using our “higher” cognitive brain during the day.

    One thing that may help is, before turning out the light, reading or saying mantras that calm you or gave you courage. Another is writing in a “joy journal” in which you record whatever made you smile or laugh that day.

    Lastly, I realized that sometimes I needed to feel the horrible feelings, at least for a while. Only by feeling them could I begin to adjust and grow stronger.

    Luckily for me, I didn’t have to endure the unpleasant (sometimes, downright painful) feelings in a lonely corner by myself. I have been blessed with a loving husband and loving friends who told me to call them, if I’m going through a rough spot. At midnight, I rarely did. But knowing I could somehow calmed me and gave me strength.

    This blog is here for you 24/7.

    Sending you wishes of calm and fortitude.
    With hope,
    Wendy

    • Jessica says:

      Hello,
      Wendy – I loved this response. It is so true. I try to do my positive affirmations at night when going to sleep. Or think of good things that happened during the day. A moment of love with one of my children, a glimpse of something wonderful.
      I also love the loving kindness meditation. Judy – you might really like that one, I’ve written about it in my blog.
      http://dont-mess-with-jess.blogspot.com/2011/03/loving-kindness.html

      I also am using trazedone to sleep. It’s not addictive and considering all that we are going through, a little help in that department isn’t a bad thing. Right?

      Pleasant dreams,
      Jessica
      (Stage IIIc breast cancer, mom to Abby 2.5 years and Leo 8 months)

  3. justenjoyhim says:

    Oh, thank you, Wendy. What a kind and thoughtful response. It helps to know how the brain works and that this is why the time before sleep is harder than other times. Your suggestions are also good. And I really am grateful for being able to Blog It Out. It helps. After I wrote this, I was able to get to sleep pretty quickly.

    Thanks again, Wendy. You’re a real treasure. 🙂

  4. mumisphere says:

    Anxiety comes in waves for me – harder leading up to a brain scan and then not as bad for a while after, (if I get good results). I have a scan in about a week and I’ve been very anxious about it. It will be a year since my brain tumour diagnosis and I’m worried…having children are both a distraction and yet another reason to be anxious. Your blogs help, too. Blog it out as much as you can – I’m here, listening and reading and understanding.

  5. justenjoyhim says:

    Thank you, Mumisphere. I so appreciate that. I do find that blogging it out is very helpful to me.

  6. Sorry to leave an unrelated comment, but I couldn’t find any contact info for you. I’m wondering if you’d be interested in a guest post. Please drop me an e-mail at alliegamble81@gmail.com. Thanks!

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