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overstimulated cycle/repercussions for busy people with anxiety

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Uggggh! 

I knew this week was going to blow goats when I said yes to going to NYC for a day of training. It meant Monday/Thursday out of the house evenings as per regular (I'm working a second job because I'm nuts.), rescheduling something from Tuesday evening to Sunday (today) mid-day so I no longer have one day at home with nothing on my schedule, getting up stupid early to get downtown for a train to NYC Friday, in Manhattan all day Friday and home late Friday night, followed up by up stupid early for school on Saturday (I'm also taking a class right now because see earlier comment about being crazy.)

Both Friday night and Saturday after class, I got much more intensely carsick than I usually do. Fortunately I didn't actually puke in the Uber driver's car or on the bus, but it was close. It also, of course, took a LOT longer to fall asleep even with drugging myself with some clonazepam, on Thursday and Friday nights. When I got home from school yesterday afternoon I took a 2 hour nap followed by in bed/lights out at 9:15pm (what can I say; I know how to party down on Saturday night). I slept (with my usual several wakings per night) on through until 7:30 this morning when some obnoxious beeping somewhere outside our apartment building kept going off every couple of minutes.

My general thought about Manhattan/NYC in general is it's WAAAAAY too much and I try to not go there unless I absolutely have to and/or the thing I want to go to is worth risking total meltdown panic attack in the middle of the city.

Are you a "driven" person with anxiety? ("Driven" is the work tdoc and I have settled upon because "workaholic" isn't really appropriate. I really am just *driven* to do things. It's not an addiction or avoidance.) How do you modulate your schedule to compensate so you don't come completely unglued?

 

 

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I am not a driven person by any means, but I have to say that you deserve a round of applause for being able to handle all that. What's you secret to motivation? It takes starvation to motivate me to go to the store even.

I think your schedule is ambitious even for most "normal" people. I'm wondering if in fact anxiety is less for you if you keep yourself busy than when you are idle?

Sorry I'm just musing as I stand in awe of your abilities.

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Totes agree with JT07...big kudos for doing hard stuff that makes u wanna puke. I would say that's part of the key to fighting the illness--you know, fighting back. I feel like you that Manhattan is a horrid place and I avoid it. For me the decision to avoid it has put the brakes on many of my social and work plans, but for me, I know how much I can tolerate--and that exceeds my tolerance levels by far. I personally had to come to the decision to take care of my mental health before worrying about career, relationships, etc. I would describe myself as driven and hard working but in the last couple of years I've had to reframe that and re-evaluate what I want out of life and how I define myself. For me, part of it was those news stories about people dying on a subway platform and its like no big deal. I want my existence to be more consequential than that...so I'm opting out of that kind of existence. I'm not taking a subway to a shitty job in a shitty city(that rhymes haha) just to make money. And I'm not doing other stressful things because the "cost" is too much, emotionally, mentally, spiritually... 

I'm in the process of changing careers entirely. While I am scared of the transition, I find it reassuring in a way because I now am taking control of my exposure to stressors. If I choose to, say, make pottery in the desert and earn $15K a year at it, that's a decision I could live with because my mental state is in a better way... If I had to ride the subway to work and be smooshed in a throng of people, I'd better be getting paid in the 6-figure range because anything less too damaging to make it worth it. PLUS, the biggest thing for me is when I was in bad situations--jobs, marriages, abuse, etc--I would just want to "survive" it and sort the shit out later--long as I made it through I thought it was worth it. I was soooo wrong! Had I been emotionally stronger and more able to gauge my inner coping mechanisms, I would have split and left all that stuff behind long before it got really really bad/overwhelming. The damage it inflicted has left a huge giant cluster of crazy in me that I'm having to fix NOW. My thinking now is I'd rather not suffer the sunburn and all the peeling and pain when I can just avoid the sun and wear sunscreen--know what I mean?

I think your decision though is ultimately something you have to decide for yourself, and only you can judge how much of that City you can take. On the one hand you felt lousy but on the other you were successful and accomplished your mission(way to go btw!!) Only you can decide though if it's worth it to you to continue to be stressed and overwhelmed by it. I feel ya--there's alot of coping things you can do when you get a sensory overload like that--but when you're overloaded you can't remember to use your skills--it's a vicious circle. So bottom line is, how much stress do you *want* to tolerate...it's entirely up to you. You can change your life so you don't have to deal with that specific city, and deal with less powerful stressors--or you can continue to fight and try to keep going. 

 

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