Tuesday, January 11, 2011

overkill part deux: anatomy of an anxiety attack

Sure enough, it happened. Hours after posting about my suspicions that I may have borderline personality disorder I became paranoid about something I had said to some coworkers. I won't go through the entire discussion, suffice it to say that, though I had not intended for a comment to be taken as a slight against someone the hours sense have left me paralyzed with fear that I have caused the work dynamic to change and I've given others reason to think of me as a bitch.

Now, if you were to ask anyone else what had happened, they would probably not even remember having a conversation about it. But the very thought of this conversation has caused me anxiety attacks ever since I got home. Once again I'm paranoid and once again I'm insignificant in the grand scheme of things. I'm not “cool” enough or “funny” enough to be considered one of them which would make them think nothing of my words...at the same time I matter just enough to be a bitch in everyone's eyes. My worst fear will be realized, I'll be as insignificant and worthless as the intern I started out as – just a body in front of a computer monitor and one not worthy of anyone's attention or, for that matter, a paycheck.

Completely irrational, right? And yet there is nothing else that I can even think about. I can't even focus on something else long enough to allow my body to release this stress illness.

Tomorrow when I go to work, chances are nothing will be said about my comments. Probably nothing will have changed. But I will have spent the night going through all of the ramifications of my words, the nightmare scenarios that could occur as a direct result of my words – even though they were not vindictive or judgmental or anything other than neutral. And will I spend the hours til work begins tomorrow fending off anxiety attacks? Yes, I will.

Perhaps some yoga and some rest for now. Hopefully all will be brighter in the morning and this bout of my battle will be beaten...for now.

just overkill

I ought to be working on the MST3K project that I proposed, but the submissions have, for now anyway, stopped. I plan on contacting some of the MST alums and asking them if they would be interested in contributing, but I wanted to wait until the craziness from the JoCoCruise and the holidays had died down. I plan on contacting them in the near future, but in the meantime I’ve been consumed by work and, for better or worse, Twitter.

As dumb as it may sound, I’ve begun to have a love hate relationship with Twitter. On the days when I’m, I suppose, sane it can be a great medium to connect with friends, share information, and even try my hand at being funny (an attempt with inevitably fails). But on the days when I’m a bit off kilter it feels like a competition. Rather than having fun with everyone, it’s as though I feel I have to compete against everyone. Compete to be seen, compete to be witty, compete to have some kind of a mark.

It must be reiterated that this competitive nature is not in anyway caused by my fellow tweeps – it all stems from within me and within my head. Everyone I follow is brilliant and funny and beautiful and intelligent, but at some point, I begin to convince myself that I am none of those things, at least not to the degree that they are. I shut down and think I’m not good enough to stand with the likes of the wonderful people I follow.

Isn’t it stupid? To irrationally believe there to be competition when there is none, and to then allow that to affect how and when I tweet as well as the nature of those tweets…it’s pathetic, actually. What is strange is that it’s not a constant feeling of inadequacy – it just comes and goes without warning. The inadequacy shows up in the offline world too. It comes and goes but when it’s present I can be very difficult to understand or deal with. The areas it affects within me range from self image to intelligence to self worth.

I’ve never been officially diagnose by a doctor or psychiatrist with having a mental disorder, but I do know that I have an anxiety disorder. I have a history of anxiety/panic attacks and can have anxiety so great that it makes me physically ill.  But after fellow tweep Cheryl posted a bit on her blog about Borderline personality disorder I began to reevaluate what I believed my disorder to be. The symptoms are all ones that I suffer from, and the more I think about it the more sense it makes.

For now, though, I remain undiagnosed and the reason for my fickleness with Twitter remains a bit of a mystery. But if I disappear from time to time or seem reclusive, hopefully this has shed a little light on why.