I’m a Bundle of Nerves – And I’m Okay

The title pretty much sums it up.

I’m literally all nerves, tingling, quivering,  hyperaroused nerves that make it hard for me to sleep at night, hard to quiet my body down. I presume that’s something to do with the combination of venlafaxine withdrawal with other medications and supplements I’m taking. But I don’t know that.

Maybe it’s a reaction to being a lot more busy than I have been in the past year. I recently got another freelance contract, so I have work to do every day and don’t have nearly the free time I had for a number of months. I do notice that having something due to a client puts me much more on edge now than it used to. Or perhaps I just got used to being on edge all the time. We do that, many of us, just to get by in this crazy-busy 21st century. (Side-note: having more work has left me less time to read and respond to blog posts; if I comment less often on your posts, dear WP friends, that’s why.)

Possibly the nerves have to do with this week’s therapy conversations about body memories and flashes of images, of how/why I have such a persistent sense that something happened to me even though my narrative memory can’t explain exactly what it is. I mean, I have been having versions of this conversation with E for nearly three years. It used to be that if we’d talk about it, I’d come home and go to bed. Or I’d make it to work the next day, but I’d be hit by tidal waves of shame that sent me to hide in the sick room to catch my breath. There are no tidal waves of shame anymore, but maybe the conversation still contribute to my edginess?

I’m also a bit nervous about the upcoming therapy break. After today (October 25) I won’t see E again until November 20. That’s 26 days, nearly a month. Okay, yes, some of it is my fault. My husband and I are leaving tomorrow on a vacation. (See Reason #22). It just so happens that right after we get back, E leaves for some professional development in California. Put it all together, and that’s quite a substantial interruption.

As I list this all out, however, I realize that it’s got to be the meds. I am just not that worried about the work. I’m managing it. I’m so efficient as a freelancer, now that I don’t get interrupted 100 times a day or have to spend my best hours in deadly meetings. So I can get a lot done in a few focused hours. And therapy-related shame doesn’t rule over me anymore. (Not to suggest that I’m shame-free, but things have definitely shifted.)

And I am afraid to admit this, but part of me realizes that I don’t need E as intensely as I did even a few months ago. I think. Maybe. Or at least that’s how I feel right this minute. I’ll miss her this month. But we’ll text or email. She sent me off with a hug today, and she’ll welcome me back in November.

So what I’m hoping is that sun and sea will be more powerful than the chemical disturbance in my body. Perhaps on vacation I’ll get to sleep a few uninterrupted hours. And if not, well, even with the disturbance, I’m doing okay. Better than that, I am repeatedly choosing to be kind to myself.

May you all do the same.

8 thoughts on “I’m a Bundle of Nerves – And I’m Okay

  1. Do you know much about the Vagus Nerve, and its effects on our entire body, including the gut, and sensations of anxiety? Have a Google. The best way to calm it is through breathing in for a count of 4 or 5, and out for a longer breath count of 6 or 7. It literally calms you down. You could try it while you’re relaxing with your husband: a holiday sounds lovely! Enjoy.

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    • I have learned about this breathing method, specifically in my yoga teacher training. Sometimes it helps, But for this particular agitation which I suspect is medication-induced, it’s not been as useful. I’m a little frustrated at the moment, as it’s 5am and I’ve been awake since 3:30, having slept only fitfully before that. I’m hoping that sun, sea, swimming and hiking on vacation will wear me out and get me a nice, deep sleep.

      And yes, I will read more about the Vagus nerve, thanks!

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  2. Congratulations on the new freelance contract 🙂

    Body memory conversations are so difficult. I would think that discussing them could easily be contributing to your edginess. Sessions about these things always leave me dissociated and on edge, waiting for something “bad” to happen. The break could be part of it, too. It is a long break. I don’t know how I would feel about a break that long.

    Of course, I wrote the above as I was reading and now I am reading that you are okay. And Q, I am thrilled for you. More than thrilled, really. This is HUGE. This is why we go to therapy and dig up the past and our feelings and all of it, right? To feel okay with where we are at, to be able to make space for ourselves and to learn to cope with tough moments. You are amazing. This is amazing. 💕

    PS– have a great vacation!

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  3. I don’t know how to add hearts to this entry but I love, love, love the tone of this and the emotional strength you’re showing. You’re showing confidence in your individuality, your autonomy. Yes, you need others, but you can stand on your emotional feet as well. This is called well rounded adult living. Cheers to you for that.

    I have been terrible about getting around to other blogs. I lose time or forget how to get to blogs…. stuff… but you guys are never far from my thoughts.
    Until soon,
    Faith

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