I was recently (and very belatedly) diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD if you’re nasty. It’s a diagnosis I’ve put off for a while. Mostly because I was having anxiety attacks about admitting that I have anxiety attacks (which is how wormholes are created). Finally, after encouragement and support from my family, Grace, and Kate, I decided to go to the doctor and talk about “it” and “my options”. My doctor, who has been my doctor since I was 11, was absolutely wonderful about it. He was the perfect combination of compassionate and clinical and when I burst into tears, he handed me tissues and didn’t once look at me with pity or condescension. Instead, he listened to me. He talked with me not at me. And he created a plan for treatment that gave me relief and hope for a time when my day wasn’t measured by how many attacks I had.
Most important to me, is that for the first time, I’m able to laugh at my anxiety. Laughter is my trusty coping mechanism (sorry denial, you’ve been good to me, but not as good as laughter) and finally being able to rely on it again has made all the difference. Now, when I have a thought like “This plane is going to crash.” I’m able to prevent myself from falling down the rabbit hole that leads to me having chest pains, dizziness, shortness of breath, and the certainty that if I move at all, I might die. How, do I prevent myself from falling down the rabbit hole? I laugh. I laugh at what I’m thinking. Immediately after “This plane is going to crash.” I think “Yeah, it’s going to crash because there’s too many motherfuckin snakes on this plane!” And then I laugh because, c’mon, snakes on a plane? That’s hilarious. And then maybe I don’t fall down the rabbit hole because I interrupted my anxious thought with a funny one. And before I was never able to do that, but I can now. And it doesn’t always work but it works more times than it doesn’t and I’ll take it. I’ll take it.
And I guess I’m posting this because I want everyone to know that this is something I’ve struggled with and am now dealing with and it’s a thing that happens. And it happened to me.