I don’t know what’s going on with me lately. I want to blame it on anxiety but I’m not so sure any more. Sometimes I feel like I’m about to lose my mind or have a mental break of some sort. I feel like I’m coming unglued. I have this really horrible fear that I’m going to lose my mind and forget who I am, my past and everyone I know. When I can’t remember something that I think I should it sends me into anxiety/panic mode and the spiraling downward starts. I feel like a zombie some days just living life in automatic mode but not really present. Candace tells me something but I can’t remember it 5 minutes later and then she gets frustrated that I don’t pay attention to her. This is probably her #1 complaint about me. I do try to listen and pay attention but retaining is hard sometimes. It’s a huge effort to remember everything she tells me. And I have a hard time following along with her stories. I get confused and stuck on one thing she said and then don’t hear the rest because I’m still trying to figure that one thing out. And then I struggle even to hold onto my own thoughts. They seem to flitter around and holding onto one is tough. When I do grab onto one for a moment it’s hard to remember what else I had been thinking about. And then, maybe the most disturbing thing is that I find myself having to really think hard about how to spell words. I’ve always been a good speller. But lately, I really struggle with it and sometimes the words even seem foreign to me. It’s so freaking weird. When this happens it makes me feel like my mind is turning to jelly and only reinforces my fear of losing it.
I want to know why this is happening to me. Is it the T? Am I taking too much, not enough? Should I quit it all together? Is it my transition in general making me feel like I don’t know who I am anymore? Is it age? Do I have early onset dementia? Is it just my anxiety flaring up? Is it a vitamin deficiency? Am I overwhelmed? I just don’t know.
It feels like the deeper I get into transitioning the more lost I feel some days. I look in the mirror and see my dad’s face looking back at me and that makes me feel…happy? sad? connected to him? a little freaked out? scared? all of the above? My dad died young-ish at 68. He had two massive strokes back to back. The second one killed him. He died in 1963…a long time ago. Medicine has come a long way since then I tell myself. But I feel like my brain is my Achilles heal and could be my undoing like my father. I worry about strokes but I take care of myself too. I don’t know anyone in my family that lost their mind or had dementia or Alzheimer’s (had to look that word up to spell it!). It’s unlikely I have it but it scares me to death and this growing feeling of being disconnected to reality is totally freaking me out!!! I can’t shake it.
I want to feel present and aware completely of what’s going on around me. I don’t want to feel overwhelmed so much when there’s multiple stimuli in my environment (tv, talking, reading). I want to be able to multi task again but that’s just not something I’m capable of anymore. It seems like I can focus on one thing only at a time and even then it’s a struggle. I find my mind wandering into lala land or thinking about something stupid. I try practicing mindfulness but it only lasts for a moment until I’m distracted by something either in my mind or my environment.
The really interesting thing about all of this is that I don’t experience this much at all at work. I would think that work would be much worse than home or even when I’m alone. But it isn’t. I can focus at work and I rarely have trouble remembering things. Sometimes, sure, but not like at home. This makes me think that it’s anxiety and that maybe I’m disconnecting at home for some reason. Maybe I feel more in control at work because that’s MY space that I created. Home is more Candace’s space. I don’t know. Maybe when I’m alone or at home my mind is freer to wander which causes the overwhelm to start.
What I do know is that my particular anxiety disorder seems to latch onto one thing for a while and that one thing scares the crap out of me until I get a grip on it and then I’m ok for a period of time with very little symptoms. And then it latches onto something completely new and surprising that I have to deal with. It grips me so tightly that it makes me feel like I’m losing my mind and now losing my mind has become the new thing I’m obsessing about. What will it be next? Putting on my socks? I have no idea. All I know is that I need to go take a little yellow pill that will calm all this shit down so I can relax and focus for a while until it starts again.