May 14, 2013

Brain Meltdown

I relearned some important childhood lessons this weekend. "Don't take candy from strangers" and "Drugs do crazy shit to your mind". Short version of the story: Went to a friend's party. Left with some people that I had just met (dumb). Ate a pot brownie that I was assured was not strong (really dumb). Realized that I was too high. Made a quick exit and got home (smart). Started really flipping out: had waves of intense panic; thought I was dying; thought that I was having seizures; started having crazy paranoia about everything; wasn't sure what was real; felt like I might lose my mind. Finally figured out how to use my phone to call my parents to come get me. Managed to calm down a little knowing that they wouldn't let me die.

I have gotten very high and very paranoid from pot before but nothing even close to what happened this weekend. This was just a complete sensory overload - every sound, light or movement felt too overwhelming. I felt like everything was happening for the second time but then I wasn't sure if it had ever happened at all. I wavered between complete panic and complete detachment. I was seeing things in my heartbeat and I could look into the center of my mind and see a rotating patterned column. And every time I surfaced into a second of relative lucidity all I could think was, "Something is wrong. Something is wrong. Something is wrong."

So either I had a horrible reaction because the brownies were way stronger than they told me and, because I've been stressed recently, panic just completely took over, or they could have been laced with something else. No idea which. Either way I feel like a total idiot for going to a complete stranger's apartment and eating their drugged brownies.

Here was my rationale for being an idiot... these people seemed "safe" because they were in my friend's apartment when I met them and they knew someone who knew my friend. I ignored my anxiety about leaving the party with them because I just assumed that I was having a PTSD overreaction to meeting new people. Apparently I didn't have the sense to also think about the fact that it's normal to feel anxious about going to a stranger's apartment with a bunch of people I don't really know. But I convinced myself that it would be fine because making new friends is a good thing and I need to stop being afraid of flirting with guys. I only realized how stupid I was being once I told one of them I was leaving because I felt too high and he told me that I would be fine, that I should stay, and that I should just trust him. It's pretty creepy when someone tells you to trust them when you don't even know them and they just encouraged you to take drugs.

I think that this might be life's way of telling me to stop fucking around with mind-altering substances. I had a few drinks before I decided to go off with a bunch of strangers, which definitely relaxed me enough to ignore my anxieties about it and probably altered my decision making skills. So I'm going to stop drinking, at least while my life feels this overwhelming, and I don't think I'll be able to touch pot for a long time after this experience.

May 6, 2013


I think life is trying to drive me insane. It finally lets me get a little bit more comfortable with it and then *BAM* my job, which I love, is moving to a different state and I have to look for a new one because I would probably completely fall apart if I lost my entire support system all at once by moving. Obviously major life stressors are unavoidable - people lose their jobs, get sick, lose people who are important to them - but I could have used a little more time without an extra anxiety producer.

I'm trying (pretty unsuccessfully) to think of it as a positive... it's forcing me to deal with some social anxiety. My therapist and I made an anxiety hierarchy and noticed a theme. Instead of "normal" job loss fears such as actually finding a new job, having the right qualifications, etc., my anxiety has a lot to do with social things. My biggest fear from this is having to change health insurance and having that new insurance company make me choose between keeping my primary therapist or my CBT therapist. I know how hard it is to lose a therapist, and even though it wouldn't be the same situation as before, I know that it would still be difficult.

My second fear is the change of people. I like my current coworkers and I'm comfortable with them. Changing that is nerve-wracking for me. The thought of learning the dynamics of a whole new set of people makes me uncomfortable even though I know that I am perfectly capable of normal social interactions and fitting in with new people. But I also know that before I get more comfortable, I'm going to feel very unsure of myself because I unfortunately care way too much about what other people think of me and I usually tend towards thinking they don't like me.

My third fear is the interview process... And the more I think about it, the more I think this might actually be my second biggest fear. Interviewing is basically someone judging you. I don't mean that in a necessarily bad way, but someone is making a judgement of your skills and personality to determine whether you will make a good worker and whether you are right for the environment of the workplace. Knowing that, makes me tear apart every single detail of every single conversation and wonder if I've ruined everything by saying "and" instead of "but".

So basically my brain is melting from all of this anxiety. I am completely incapable of having a conversation without getting distracted or zoning out at least once. I pretty much constantly feel like hurting myself. My appetite has been really weird. And I've been having ridiculous dreams/nightmares.

Change sucks.