Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rough Couple Weeks

Since coming back to Albuquerque a couple weeks ago I've been having a rough time getting back to normal. Specifically I've been having this constant feeling of anxiety and tightness in my chest, like I can't breath, but my lungs are clear and my asthma isn't acting up or anything. I've been showing all the signs of having mild generalized anxiety disorder.

I'm not sure what has triggered all of this, but a couple of things stick out.

Immediately after I returned from my trip I had to go to the hospital for a procedure. Originally I was going to be on vacation for another week, but my appointment was moved up so I missed out on more time at home. The results of the procedure were disappointing. A day or so after I started having the anxiety symptoms.

After coming back I've been feeling really homesick for CT. Crazy, because I don't miss the place specifically, but only seeing my family a handful of times throughout the year is taking its toll. The past couple of times I've visited home I've felt really sad after leaving, and I meant to visit my dad's grave when I was home, but I was in Virginia when I realized I had forgotten which made me feel like crap. Since getting back in to town I've been having upsetting dreams.

Last week I was going over some analyses for my research, and I realized I had overlooked something. The pattern I had been seeing in my data doesn't appear to be significant now, so I don't know what that leaves me for that project. Furthermore I don't know if I have the kind of personality that works in academia. I'm not super competitive. I'm modestly driven, but I get bogged down and stressed out pretty easily. I don't know if a high stress career is such a good move.

About two weeks after my hospital let down and a week after my research realization I developed shingles, which has only added to my discomfort. My doctor prescribed some antiviral medication, but told me that stress was probably the trigger for the outbreak.The health center sees their greatest increase in occurrences around finals week. But it's the middle of the summer. What the hell am I so worked up over?

I don't want to complain. I hate admitting that I don't feel good, but I need to let it out somewhere. I look around and I have a lot going for me, but I've been in a slump for over two weeks, and I don't know how to articulate how I'm feeling. My therapist thinks I'm still grieving over my dad, but it's been so long. I hate to think that every time something bad happens I'm going to have a delayed and drawn out process of getting over it. How am I supposed to function and live my life if I can't predict or control how I feel?

Maybe I need to go home more often, or call home more often. Maybe I need to cut down on my personal responsibilities until I get everything under control. I see my therapist again next week, I'm going to talk to him about medication options. Am I depressed? I've always been very tightly would and high strung. I worry now that my personality is going to make me sick. I had been feeling pretty good for a couple months, but it's like I go a period of time feeling fine, and then I get sucked back into a hole. I eventually come out again with some time. This week has actually been a bit better, I've been sleeping a little better over the past couple days.

I was supposed to avoid strenuous activity for two weeks after my procedure. Now that I can exercise again maybe that will help.

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