Monday, May 07, 2007

Unhinged Duckling

Well it's official. I've gone a little nuts. As in "on meds" nuts.

Professionals don't call it "nuts" of course. I'm experiencing an anxiety disorder.

I guess it was earlier this year when I first started to notice that my brain was going a bit wiggy. Normal, innocuous things would give me a momentary panic. For example, my "you have a new email" message would pop up while I was working, and I'd get a surge of adrenaline as if someone had jumped out at me with a knife. But, I wouldn't actually feel emotionally frightened. I would wonder, "WTF, body? Calm down. It's just an email." Over time, these strange startles would happen more often, and it would take longer and longer for me to calm back down.

In the last couple of months I started waking up early in the morning, an hour or two before my alarm would go off. While I was lying there, trying to go back to sleep, random thoughts would occur to me, such as, "I should probably water the plants today." And that would be all it would take to panic me. I would get a horrible sinking feeling in my stomach, and my heart would start to beat faster, as if I just realized that my neglect of watering the plants would have terrible consequences. Every little thought that popped in my head would cause this reaction until it felt like being shocked over and over by electricity. My arms and legs would be tingling with adrenaline by the point it was time to get out of bed.

In more recent weeks, I have been walking around with an almost constant sense of worry and dread. The simplest tasks at work seemed completely daunting, so I started avoiding them. I was taking random sick days and spending too much time surfing the internet instead of facing what needed to be done. Of course, that just made me fall farther behind and heightened my stress. All I wanted to do was hide. I was starting to lose my ability to function.

My regular yearly check up was last week, and I discovered I have one of the best doctors in the world. I'm swathed in a paper gown, and she comes in and asks how I've been doing. I told her, "...well, I've been better." I was so reluctant to bring up this big issue about how I'm crazy and all when I was just supposed to be having a check up, but she sat right down in a chair across from me and said, "Let's talk." Relief just washed over me as I finally said out loud what a hard time I'd been having, and she told me how common this issue is and that she could definitely help me feel better.

So, hopefully some drugs and a shrink will do the trick and I can go back to feeling like a normal person again instead of a paranoid tweeked-out spaz.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Quick Question

I know that many of you are aware of the ongoing issue with poor bathroom habits in my office building. Here's my quandry: When I am in the restroom and some poor, unsuspecting fellow office-dweller enters a stall I have already rejected due to obvious pee-spatters, should I warn them? "Watch out, the seat is wet," or some similar advice? Or is that too creepy?

My Name is Unruly Duckling...

...and I'm a televisionaholic.

There was a time when I thought it couldn't happen to me. I remember when I was too busy to schedule my life around TV shows and using the VCR to tape them was too complicated to be worth it. Commercials filled me with so much existential dread that I could feel myself losing the will to live every time I watched Friends.

My slow slide towards rock bottom started innocently enough. The Husband, back when he was The Boyfriend, purchased for me in honor of my birthday or Christmas or some such holiday (at my request, I admit) the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was wonderful - an excellent show I could watch whenever I felt like it with no commercials. However, boxed sets of DVDs are freaking expensive, so my urges were kept in check.

So it would have remained if not for the wicked offspring of the intertubular cyberweb and the U.S. Post Office - NETFLIX! Suddenly, without ever leaving the house and at a reasonable price, I could procure as many television shows as I could stuff in my eyeballs. I gorged myself on old favorites (Star Trek: TNG! Kids in the Hall! Absolutely Fabulous!) and caught up on all those awesome shows I never had time to watch when they were on the air (NYPD Blue! The West Wing! Homicide: LOTS!) Kooky stuff (Strangers with Candy!), dorky stuff (The History of Britain!), bizarre stuff (Twin Peaks!) It was all there at the click of a mouse.

I had no idea it could get worse, but someone just had to go and invent the DVR. Now, with our homemade "TiFaux" we could record 24 hours of shows every day if we wanted to. I am never without pretty moving pictures to point my eyes at when I should be doing something else. Right now we have weeks worth of Jeopardy, The Simpsons, and Seinfeld saved up. I've been avidly following The This Old House Hour. Sometimes we even watch (I can't believe I'm admitting this) American Idol.

I am officially totally out of control. The Husband and I are moving in 2 weeks, and I have only managed to pack 3 boxes because my grueling schedule of TV-watching leaves me with very little free time. I mean, Lost and Heroes and Veronica Mars and 30 Rock aren't going to watch themselves, now are they?

Maybe there's a support group or something that I could join.